The Moya View

Skinamarink: Stumbling Badly in the Childhood Dark

IFC Midnight

Storyline via IMDB:

Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. To cope with the strange situation, the two bring pillows and blankets to the living room and settle into a quiet slumber party. They play well worn videotapes of cartoons to fill the silence of the house and distract from the frightening and inexplicable situation. All the while in the hopes that eventually some grown-ups will come to rescue them. However, after a while it becomes clear that something is watching over them


IFC Midnight

Being somewhat deaf, the audio horror of Skinamarink (on Hulu) gets lost on me, even when close captioned. What doesn’t get lost- the growing sense of dread that comes from things vanishing in the dark, not being able to do anything about the horror noises beyond your walls, all the things that can kill you and can’t see.

IFC Midnight

The title is taken from a children’s song that has mutated into assorted versions over the last hundred years and has appeared in movies and as the theme song for Canadian kid’s program The Elephant Show. It’s the kind of song the two children, who are caught in the vanishing house, would sing in the dark to comfort themselves. It’s a song about parental love and vice versa.

IFC Midnight

Skinamarink was filmed in a deliberately dark and murky style It exists windowless, in high grain, at the edge of sight detection, mostly in the dark, in nightmare space. The main illumination is mostly the glow of a television in a dark room. Things are never shown completely, only feet and ceilings in short and dizzying tracking shots. Everything is heard but never located. Where did it go? is Skinamarink most dominant question.

IFC Midnight

For the first half hour all this murk and dislocation is seriously creepy, sometimes unsettling, but never really horrifying. This is a young child’s point of view, expanding and then contracting as the dark world shifts from unfamiliar to familiar, to acceptance

IFC Midnight

Eventually all the repetition stops becoming novel and just becomes a directorial style.  Only the occasional color parts, which represents a coming to knowledge of the world beyond, remain interesting and tantalizing metaphoric.  It promises a solution to the kid’s constriction and imprisonment, even though we may never know the answer.  

Skinamarink gets a split down the middle rating of 2.5 out of 5 or a C+.

IFC Midnight


Directed by

Kyle Edward Ball

Screenplay by

Kyle Edward Ball

Produced by

  • Dylan Pearce


  • Lucas Paul
  • Dali Rose Tetreault
  • Ross Paul
  • Jaime Hill


Jamie McRae

Edited by

Kyle Edward Ball



  • Mutiny Pictures
  • ERO Picture Company

Distributed by

Release dates

  • July 25, 2022(Fantasia)
  • January 13, 2023(North America)

Running time

100 minutes







IFC Midnight





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