Why Does Skinamarink Look Like That? A Guide To The New Horror Movie’s Unique Visual Style

Reddit proved invaluable to “Skinamarink” in other ways. Its r/weirdcore subreddit was yet another source of inspiration for Ball, and turned out to be a shared interest between him and McCrae.

The Weirdcore aesthetic is similar to liminal spaces in its leveraging of “familiarity,” but is more concerned with a particular design and photographic style from the late ’90s to mid-2000s. As the wiki explains it, the style is, “Strongly influenced by the general look and feel of images shared on an older internet,” and combines, “Amateur editing, primitive digital graphics, lo-fi photography, and image compression” to create feelings of, “Confusion, disorientation, dread, alienation, and nostalgia.”

With “Skinamarink,” one of the only pieces of context we’re given is that it’s set in 1995, which like the Weirdcore aesthetic, plays on the nostalgia of its audience. The whole film, with its CRT TV and the wood paneling of Ball’s parents’ house, feels like some nightmare ’90s nostalgia trip. The threads in the carpet, imperfections in the wall, lego bricks strewn across the hardwood. This is the minutiae of our childhood; tiny fragments of a time when our perception seemed so keenly sensitive. The kind of thing that only resurfaces in dreams. But in “Skinamarink” these are dark recollections that tip nostalgia on its head just like Weirdcore — stripping the sentimentality from nostalgia yet somehow maintaining its longing aspect — give the film this disorienting feeling of being utterly terrifying yet, at times, oddly comforting. 

Ultimately that’s where the real terror arises, the ending of “Skinamarink” aside. The fact that we’ve been lured in by these familiar images only to be exposed to something truly evil makes “Skinamarink” feel like a nasty trick, forcing us to walk through a house made of our own decayed childhood memories.

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