No matter the name, the film focuses on the family — in particular, the Hughes clan, headed by Mark (Joshua Close, The Master) and Mary (Selma Blair, TV’s Anger Management). With their young son (Quinn Lord, The Possession), they head to their country cottage for a little R&R.
Shortly upon arrival at night, Mary asks Mark, “Do you miss us?” He replies, “I’m too busy missing her,” referring to their daughter, recently killed in an auto accident. She’s the reason they’ve fled real life for a while, hoping to become closer again.
Be careful what you wish for, because at their door arrive the neighbors — played by James D’Arcy (Hitchcock), Rachel Miner (51) and Alex Ferris (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) — who practically invite themselves over for a meal and come back later for seconds, except this time not for food.
Yes, In Their Skin is your standard home-invasion thriller, but with more of a sense of increasing uneasiness than the subgenre’s usual tries. D’Arcy and company are capital-W weird, yet unfailingly polite as the tennis-sweater thugs of Funny Games — that is, when they’re not apply a choke hold or getting kinky.
Scripted by Close and shot as icily (and artfully) as the cottage’s Canadian locale, the film inevitably ends on the standard note you’d expect, and the villain’s motives are suspect enough to shatter credibility, but for a while there, it’s pretty tense and always well-performed. That’s enough. —Rod Lott
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