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Skew (2011)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Skew (2011) My tolerance for the crowd-pleasing "found footage" sub-genre is on a continuous decline with every movie I see that chooses this ever-accessible POV medium. I'm was and still am one of those admirers of the whole "Blair Witch" gimmick and was admittedly affected when I first saw it over ten years ago. Others, such as "Rec 1&2", "Cloverfield", "August Underground", etc, etc, also utilized this voyeuristic method of involving the viewer further into the film to where you, yourself, are almost a character. But like anything else that is repeatedly promulgated on you, it begins to wear itself out and at this point I'm finding it hard to be impressed by these 'camcorder shot' horror films...

Now, in all fairness, one of these types of films here and there may have some cool shit going on (hardcore violence, chaotic intensity, convincing actors) and I refuse to sit here and NOT be evenhanded when it comes to various types of cinema (... sometimes). Nova Scotia film maker Seve Schelenz's "Skew" is one in which I saw a lot of cleverness and creativity looming below the surface, but when all was said and done, I was left far too confused.

It's about a trio of twenty-somethings who are on a road trip to a friend's wedding. One of them is documenting their trip and it becomes known that he is obsessed with his camcorder and compulsively records almost everything that is going on. Throughout their travels, those whom he videotapes (motel managers, cops, tourists, gas station attendants) faces are distorted through the camera. Before long, that person is found dead or, sometimes, murdered.

The friends soon begin to speculate whether or not the camera, itself, is what is determining the deaths of these innocent bystanders... In the end, it is very unclear - at least, to me. I have my own assumptions though they don't quite match up with some of the events shown in "Skew". The momentum of the movie comes from the burning questions that build while you watch it and you figure the pay-off is going to correspond with what you've seen. Now, I'm not going to trash "Skew" by saying that it didn't make enough sense, because I typically enjoy movies that allow you to interpret the clues or "symbolism" for themselves. However, I don't feel like there was enough there for the viewer to make heads or tails of what Schelenz was trying to say with the film's conclusion. It IS quite interesting and it DID leave me wondering once the credits started to roll, though I just didn't GET IT. Who tagged the cop? How did the bus crash? Was it ghosts? Doesn't seem like it...

Overall, "Skew" is an intriguing film with pretty authentic sounding dialog and, actually, a few top-notch moments involving a few good jump scares and one scene showing a figure running through a field that was genuinely creepy! "Skew" is one you may need to see for yourself...

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