A mysterious young woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. However, events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.


Jonathan Glazer
1,029 ( 37)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 23 wins & 110 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Scarlett Johansson ... The Female
Jeremy McWilliams ... The Bad Man
Lynsey Taylor Mackay ... The Dead Woman
Dougie McConnell Dougie McConnell ... Pick-Up Man
Kevin McAlinden Kevin McAlinden ... First Victim
D. Meade D. Meade ... Leering Man
Andrew Gorman Andrew Gorman ... Second Victim
Joe Szula Joe Szula ... Man at Club
Krystof Hádek ... The Swimmer (as Krystof Hadek)
Roy Armstrong Roy Armstrong ... Father at Beach
Alison Chand Alison Chand ... Mother at Beach
Ben Mills ... The Baby
Oscar Mills Oscar Mills ... The Baby
Lee Fanning Lee Fanning ... Motorcyclist #1
Paul Brannigan ... Andrew


An alien entity inhabits the earthly form of a young woman who combs the roads and streets of Scotland in search of the human prey she came to plunder. She seduces her isolated and forsaken male victims into an otherworldly dimension where they are stripped and consumed. However, existence in all its complexity begin to change the alien visitor. She begins to discover herself as human with tragic and terrifying consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


When The Female descends down the escalator at around the 10-minute mark, the camera angle switches from behind her, descending the escalator with her to a fixed camera in front of her as she approaches. At that switch, the people in front of her on the escalator are different in than in the prior shot. See more »


[first lines]
Female Voice: [with a mechanical buzz over shadowy morphing orbs] T- D, S- Z- Th, B- T- V, H- T- D- K- G, S- Z- P- B, Ba-Ba- T- T, K- Kuh- Ch, Th- V- Th, Zzz- Sss- Bzz- Ch, B-B-Buh- V-V-Vuh, G-G-Guh D-D-Duh.
Female Voice: [now over a shiney white torus, slowly morphing] B-B-Buh- B-B-Buh, B-B-Beh, B-B-Beh, Bah, N-N-Nuh- N-N-Nuh, N-N-Nuh- No. N-N-Nuh, F- Feel- Field, Fill- Filled- Filts, Foil- Failed- Fell, Felds- Pill- Pills, Pall- Nall.
Female Voice: [now over a watery chestnut-brown eye] Foal- Foals, Fold- Fold, Pool- Pool, ...
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Crazy Credits

In the end credits, Barnaby Smyth is listed twice as Foley Editor. See more »


Referenced in Sardonicast: Us, The Dark Crystal (2019) See more »


Real Gone Kid
Performed by Deacon Blue
Written by Ricky Ross
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd.
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
See more »

User Reviews

Feeling for the alien
12 October 2015 | by jon1410See all my reviews

In the film Under the Skin there is no story line or development of character(as in the book), the almost non-existent story must be created from what we see. Johansson plays a blank,humanoid void of personality, filling in (like us) the blanks of what she knows with what she sees. The stroke of genius was dropping an A-list star into the streets of Glasgow and her mixing with non actors using a Kiarostami-type -10 approach to filming in and from the white van, with all the sounds of the street filtering through. I wonder how much this film traded on Scarlet Johansson's celebrity glamour rather than her acting skills as she seems like a passive observer, almost mute, apart from a few encounters with stranger pick-ups on the streets, where the recognisable husky voice and seductive tone reels another unsuspecting victim into her lair.There are some brilliant,stunning visual effects, making the film realise the the alien presence with the eye image from the spherical globe, to the birth of her human identity in the all-white space, where she dons the victim's clothes and identity. The heroine knows how to drive a car and turn a sentence, and the use of red lip-stick as she kerb crawls.

The chipper lad, the cocksure charmer, the deformed lonely hearts are all lured in by this femme fa tale, siren of film noir luring them( friendless) into the cavern of blackness of her squat.The victims wade into a black intergalactic gloo as she walks on enticingly above. A mystery biker speeding the Scottish highways seems to aid and abet her, or monitor and supervise her. Is he her controller or is he her drone? All is accompanied by Mica Levi's eerie ominous drums and strings soundtrack. We don't know who she is, she doesn't even have a name. She has a mission, some of which she may not know herself. She even kills one victim with a rock when he's washed up on a beach trying to save two people in the sea. I'm not sure how much we are supposed to project onto her opaque performance glimmerings of consciousness, e. g. when she picks up a man at night suffering from facial disfigurement, whose loneliness and longing appear to affect her and she lets him live, then after she takes off for the Scottish highlands, her growing human awareness and vulnerability allows her to experience briefly a relationship and sex which shocks her. She is seen to explore her naked body, to wonder about its effects in a mirror. The ending is both matter-of-fact and tragic.

Glazer made it clear on this project of 9 years, he didn't want to make the novel, but make a film on what it means to feel human. The clever ploy is using the alien gaze to show us our own alienness back to us. How alien we would seem to an alien as how strange an alien would be to us in any encounter. He's on slippery ground. We cannot gainsay the beauty of non-verbal images, but this has no substance without a narrative thread. As a former director of music videos and TV commercials there is a slickness, he creates atmosphere and mood, but lacking dialogue or narrative, what does happen has a certain repetition and tedium, blankness and incomprehension, emptied as the story is of its intellectual content and relevant details. Still its Johansson's best yet. A very anti- Scarlett performance where she takes risks.

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UK | Switzerland



Release Date:

14 March 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Under the Skin See more »


Box Office


$13,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$133,154, 6 April 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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