The cinematography of a horror film is crucial for instilling fear and introducing the audience to an unknown evil. The use of film grain in cinematography, in particular, adds a new dimension to the horror genre. Kyle Edward Ball’s directorial debut, “Skinamarink,” is an ideal horror presentation, in my opinion, due to its bizarre color tones and grainy filters. This low-budget horror film packs a punch in a short amount of time.
“Skinamarink” is about childhood fantasies and their influence on a child’s mind. The movie is portrayed from the viewpoint of Kevin, the family’s younger child, who finds himself alone with his sister at home after suffering a head injury. Both of them fail to find their parents at home and also cannot find the doors to the house. If there isn’t a route out, will they be able to escape the situation? Let’s have a look at that.
‘Skinamarink’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
The movie opens at a house with no family members’ faces visible. Only their legs or their backs are seen. The entire movie depicts the house’s walls, rooms, and furnishings in a way that gives the impression that it is haunted and that a spirit has taken over the entire place. As the story begins, we see Kevin and Kaylee, two siblings, searching for their parents in the house. We hear their father telling someone on the phone that Kevin has tumbled down the stairs and injured himself. But according to Kevin’s sister, Kaylee, he was sleepwalking. We only hear from his father once since; the very next instant, he is nowhere to be found in the house. The children become terrified when they notice that the doors and windows are constantly disappearing. With the TV constantly buzzing in the background, Kevin and Kaylee discover their toys are getting dispersed on the floor. A strange voice is audible from upstairs, every now and again inviting them to approach it. Kaylee goes upstairs to find her parents. She finds them weirdly beckoning her to come to look under the bed. Her parents, who seem to be dead, have been transformed into ghosts. Otherwise, it is possible that the apparition is frightening Kaylee by merely taking the form of her parents. Soon after, Kaylee’s mother is seen asking her to go downstairs. The strange voice is heard telling Kaylee to take a knife and insert it into her eye. Kaylee does what she is told and cries out loud in pain. Kevin later realizes that his sister has also disappeared. The ominous voice starts tormenting Kevin, constantly asking him to play with it. The voice eventually reveals that he has killed Kaylee by taking her mouth away since she has disobeyed orders. Kevin dialed 911, but before any assistance arrived, the voice diverted him once more. The telephone drops onto the floor and the voice starts leading Kevin to come upstairs. Kevin finds himself walking over the ceiling and coming far away from the room. We see some pictures of the kids at the end of the movie, but the pictures are frightful since they don’t have heads or faces. Eventually, at the end of the film, we see out of the shadows, a strange face emerges and orders Kevin to go to sleep, but Kevin asks him his name. A sudden bloodstain on the walls indicates that Kevin has been ruthlessly killed by the evil force. It’s plausible to assume that Kevin couldn’t resist the evil and perished like his parents and sister, even if the movie didn’t reveal his demise.
‘Skinamarink’ Ending Explained – Is ‘Skinamarink’ Just A Horror Story Or A Childhood Fantasy?
Similar to the title of the film, “Skinamarink,” it symbolizes both a lot and nothing at the same time. A popular nursery rhyme, Skinamarink or Skidamarink, is told to kids as a quick learning tool. Kyle Ball focuses on that fantasy world of childhood in “Skinamarink.” Ball’s direction allows us to see inside the minds of two children. Up to the beginning of the film, all we can see are the house’s walls, windows, and furnishings, but if we try to perceive the visuals through a child’s eyes, we can comprehend the true significance of the images. As children’s mental and physical development progresses, exploring the world and understanding what’s real and what’s not becomes strangely attractive to them. They discover new things and comprehend their significance. The house’s doors and windows, as well as a small toy, appear to be unique and strange to them. The constant cartoons on TV seem as real to them as their parents. They are too young to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. When their mind is at their peak of curiosity, small sounds and sights begin to appear frightening. They go through many delusional phases; for instance, many kids talk to imaginary friends they make as kids. Adults may ignore them as children, but interacting with that made-up world as a child is quite frightening. Because of this, some of them hurt themselves. Similarly to how Kevin acted in “Skinamarink.” The movie explores the relationship between this young mind and a dark universe that exists beyond the real world. We may infer that Kevin sleepwalks and looks for his parents but in his dream, he encounters darkness that compels him to commit suicide. The visuals of the film also seem like a nightmare tormenting Kevin, which pretty much says that he has been sleepwalking the entire time. Although it’s also possible that Kevin actually passes away after tumbling down the stairs and that his ghost is now imprisoned inside the house in the following scene. His family has been disconnected from him as he passes away, making it impossible for him to contact them. In the concluding part, we witness a bizarre apparition advising Kevin to go to sleep. Just like Kevin, we, the audience, feel bewildered and start to think that this spirit is urging us to go to bed. It’s because, like Kevin, the viewers are also interested in learning the identity and purpose of the spirit. But it remains unknown.
“Skinamarink” doesn’t take away our fear by explaining it; rather, it leaves us with a sense of wonder and eagerness that lingers in our minds long after the film has ended. We often dismiss a child’s sense of dread of an ill-defined phenomenon that could or might not exist in reality. Skinamarink uses a slow-burn method to discuss that childlike curiosity. Though the film is a little testing for the audience’s patience, yet it hopefully succeeds in delivering the scare that makes us ponder about the story.
“Skinamarink” is a 2022 horror thriller film directed by Kyle Edward Ball.