Perfect Skin – UK, 2018

‘His masterpiece. Her body.’

Perfect Skin is a 2018 British horror thriller film directed by Kevin Chicken – making his feature debut – from a screenplay co-written with Dusan Tolmac. The movie stars Richard Brake, Natalia Kostrzewa and Jo Woodcock. The soundtrack features music by The Prodigy.

Katia, an eastern European ex au pair adrift in London is drawn to and befriends Bob a seemingly friendly tattoo artist. His life, however, is spiralling out of control and in his final attempt to fulfil his dream he kidnaps her, intending her to be his muse for his lasting work of art. Her body will be his canvas.

The film’s website describes it as “A unique and thought provoking modern classic that exudes feelings of trepidation and intrigue from the outset, echoing classic British chillers  – 10 Rillington Place and Peeping Tom, Perfect Skin is a twisting two hander that grips as compulsively as Hard Candy. A dark and thrilling tale of unfulfilled passion and ambition that slides into obsession.”

 Reviews:

“As compelling as the film is, there are minor flaws in the storyline, most notably in the final act. That certainly doesn’t diminish the fact that this is an outstanding independent film. Brake’s riveting performance, the direction, and the work of cinematographer Jim Marks make Perfect Skin absolutely mesmerizing.” Michelle Swope, Dread Central

“The film is a lot better than the premise would have you believe and it’s a surprisingly polished effort from a first-time feature director. It will definitely test how squeamish you are and the gritty realism of it, makes it all the more frightening. Perfect Skin is an engaging and horrifying film that will draw you in and refuse to let you go.” Pip Ellwood-Hughes, Entertainment Focus

“Horror fans looking for something a little more sadistic than the average mainstream film will enjoy Perfect Skin. This movie is likely going to get pushed aside by most as another gritty exploitation or “torture p*rn” film, but they’d be missing out on Richard Brake’s fantastic turn in this piece. Also, anyone with a fear of needles or hooks should stay far away! This won’t really convince anyone to get a tattoo or piercing anytime soon.” EJ Moreno, Flickering Myth

“Granted there are elements of torture, Bob taking ownership of Katia’s very flesh in the name of art, but her treatment is never overtly cruel. There’s a method to the madness and once you get on-board you fully understand and appreciate where Chicken is coming from. Setting the story within the world of tattooing adds a compelling element of grungy alternative atmosphere to proceedings, backed up by the aesthetics of our lead players.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

“It has excellent work from the quietly creepy Richard Brake – a familiar bit-part baddie perhaps best remembered as Joe Chill, the mugger who shot Bruce Wayne’s parents in Batman Begins – as the obsessive, over-controlling needle artist and Natalia Kostrzewa gamely puts up with a lot as his fairly unsympathetic canvas-cum-victim, but the film still boils down to another chained-up-in-the-cellar abduction exercise.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“What Bob does to Katia – with ink and needles and hooks and implants – is entirely non-consensual, but he is also, in his own bizarre way, equipping her with the tools to be reborn and to take on the world (including Bob) with renewed power, while arrogating to himself the rôle of surrogate father. Katia’s physical and psychological metamorphosis sees her become the Frankenstein’s monster (chains and all) to Bob’s errant patriarchy.” Anton Bitel, SciFiNow

Cast and characters:

  • Richard Brake … Bob Reid – 31
  • Natalia Kostrzewa … Katia Matuszczak – The Cured; short: Demon Within
  • Jo Woodcock … Lucy Dalton – Dorian Gray
  • Tom Ashley … Dominic
  • Jemima Bennett … Daisy
  • Oscar Bennett … James
  • David Christopher-Turner … Desk Sergeant
  • Sartaj Garewal … D.I Rez Kiyani
  • Emma-Jane Hinds … Suzie
  • Cameron Jack … D.I Craig
  • Perry Jaques … Magda’s Boyfriend
  • Jackson Kai … Bar staff
  • Kasia Koleczek … Magda
  • Harry Dave McLaren … Cafe customer

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