Director Ball Told Inverse, “There is One Shot in the Movie Where There is Someone, a Real Person, Standing in the Dark
After its release on the unlucky Friday the 13th of January 2023, “Skinamarink” quickly became a fan favourite. The nursery rhyme inspiration for the meaningless title belies the fact that the filmmakers of this horror film intended to accomplish the opposite: keep them awake.
The frightening film is shot in such a way that the audience never actually sees anyone’s face on the screen. Scenes from 1995 find two small children waking up in a windowless residence where they had been left alone. They protect themselves from becoming frightened by turning on VHS recordings of classic cartoons, which are the only source of illumination in their otherwise pitch-black living room.
As they explore their haunted home, they hear noises in the night that appear to be demonic in nature. Toy phones make an ungodly racket at inappropriate hours, and barely perceptible dolls and legos dangle from the walls and ceilings.
This film does an excellent job of depicting the terror felt by a child when left alone in the dark for the first time. The director’s boyhood house served as the setting for “Skinamarink,” which was filmed on 8mm film and intentionally processed to look like grainy, ancient home movies. The film’s fake grainy appearance, despite being digitally shot, contributed to the menacing atmosphere. Fans of the movie will undoubtedly try to figure out how director Kyle Edward Ball camouflaged an ominous presence in a shot.
There is a Person Hiding in the Shadows, the Director of Skinamarink Hints
Viewers of “Skinamarink” are constantly on edge since the house in which the action takes place is obscured and its inhabitants are kept in the dark throughout the entire film. Kyle Edward Ball, the film’s director, followed a strict set of regulations while filming the movie, such as never leaving the house or including any music. The director obviously doesn’t trust the audience to spot the face buried in one shot.
During an interview with Inverse, director Alan Ball said, “There is one moment in the movie where there is someone, a genuine person, standing in the shadows.” However, the filmmaker has promised that he will never reveal the location of that particular shot, so you shouldn’t bother asking.
Next, he said, “I thought it would be frightening to drag it down a bit in this image, but not to the point where they disappeared. And that’s the magic: I promise I won’t reveal your secret. Someday, perhaps a video forensics expert will unearth it.” Knowing that at some time in the film, something is standing there staring at an unknowing viewer adds to the picture’s overall creepiness.
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After its premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, “Skinamarink” leaked online and quickly became a TikTok and Reddit phenomenon. As a result of the piracy, people on TikTok and Reddit began sharing movie clips as a “copypasta,” similar to the “creepypastas” that have become popular on the internet. IFC Midnight and Shudder have previously committed to releasing the film on October 31, 2023, for Halloween. Distributors opted to release the picture on a new, spookier Friday the 13th of January after word of the film’s success spread.