Skinamarink: The experimental horror being called one of the ‘scariest films ever made’

Horror fans have a new contender for “scariest film ever” on their hands.

Each new year sees the release of a bunch of buzzy new titles hoping to be met with acclaim and approval from fans of the genre.

In the last five years, films that generated word-of-mouth excitement ahead of being unveiled included Ari Aster’s Hereditary, Dashcam in 2021 and, last year, Terrifier 2.

Now, you can add Skinamarink to that list.

The film, an independent release from Canadian director Kyle Edward Ball that cost just $15,000 (£12,000) to make, is currently making waves on the horror scene. It’s now available to stream on Shudder.

To fully explain the plot of Skinamarink would be to spoil its surprises. All you need to know is that it follows two young children, played by Lucas Paul and Kaylee Dali Rose Tetreault, who wake up in the middle of the night to discover their father is no longer home.

The slow-paced film, which has drawn comparisons to surrealist David Lynch classic Eraserhead, feels like a waking nightmare, with the director’s experimental treatment of the material adding to this.

Due to the atmosphere of dread it creates, reviews are calling Skinamarink “the scariest film of all time”.

One such review came from Inverse, who also described it as “easily the most sinister and downright malevolent story put to film in a long time”.

Variety said there is “an ominous entity at work” in the film, adding: “What happens in Skinamarink sneaks up on you so quietly that you aren’t just scared; you believe.”

‘Skinamarink’ will polarise fans of conventional horror (Shudder)
‘Skinamarink’ will polarise fans of conventional horror (Shudder)

However, those wanting a straightforward horror experience should be warned: this film is as experimental as they come, and does not offer narrative conclusion in the conventional sense.

Bloody Disgusting hinted at this, writing that while it’ll “instil unnerving terror” into some viewers, “others will find it too impenetrable to engage”.

Skinamarink is available to stream on Shudder.