Film Review: The Skin I Live In / La Piel Que Habito [dir. Pedro Almodóvar; 2011]

A sense of camp horror (or should that be 'a camp sense of horror'?) has lurked in the background of several Almodóvar movies, but here it's allowed to take centre stage in an engrossing, flashback-heavy tale of a plastic surgeon's attempts to create artificial skin. Antonio Banderas is suitably creepy in the lead role and Elena Anaya is a vision of flawless, silver screen beauty as the subject of his experiments, but the real stars here are the style and the ideas. Almodóvar has always enjoyed blurring the boundaries between genres and your enjoyment of his latest effort will almost certainly depend on the extent to which you're willing to follow the leaps he makes from melodrama to sci-fi to psychological thriller and, of course, to horror. It's worth sticking out the twisted ride, especially as there's an intriguing - not to mention provocative - revelation about two-thirds of the way through.


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