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Fantasia 2018: COLD SKIN Review

107 min

"We are never very far from those we hate. For this very reason, we shall never be truly close to those we love."

We open to these words, sailing upon the ocean in the year 1914. A young man (David Oakes) is on his journey of self reflection, as informed by his narration. He is heading to a secluded island to relieve the previous weather surveyor of his duty who is nowhere to be found. However, we meet the grizzled lighthouse keeper Gruner (Ray Stevenson) instead, who is none too welcoming and a man of few words. He informs those in Authority that he is unaware of the previous surveyor's location or well-being and shows no concern in the least.

The new weather surveyor quickly learns there is more to this island than meets the eye.

Nietzsche themes of when one hunts monsters one must be careful not to become a monster wrapped in a Lovecraft setting. Reclusiveness and madness are apparent in Gruner. Being lost in life and cold in nature here on the island of no smiles. Thrilling pace. Bleak Outlets. Beige surroundings. 

Beautiful visuals bathe COLD SKIN from the get go. Very atmospheric with serious overtone and serious men. The fresh face on the island, who  remains nameless until the end, utters a lot of poetically fragrant sentences. Such as in his description of the ship captain who treated him "with the  courtesy of an executioer, he would do anything he could for me."

A curious sort of coexistence based on routine and dire situation. Isolationist survival. The tests of fire forge the strongest iron. But there is more going on in this "Monster plagued Inferno" then simple battle for life. We carry with us our experiences and the persona those experiences produce. Experiences such as obstacles set down by civilization and set down by nature. Testing their capability of compassion and communication.

Aneris (captivatingly played by Aura Garrido) is a friendly amongst the legion of killer "toads", as Gruner refers to them. A threat that comes at night and leaves at dawn shines a light on the complexity of man. This beautifuly crafted, Fantasia 2018 submission is one to remember. 

Monsters on an island. Mental illness. Interesting themes that also play on allegory including; does man even really have predators or do we make them? These Maritime signal technicians will explore that query. The cycle begins, shifts, explodes. But does it ever truly end.

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