Directed by: Daniel Roby | 92 minutes | horror, thriller, fantasy | Actors: Marc Paquet, Marianne Farley, Frédéric Pierre, Jessica Malka, Julie LeBreton, Lise Roy, Joujou Turenne, Raymond Cloutier, Marcel Sabourin, Jude-Antoine Jarda, Anna Beaupré Moulounda, Isabelle Guérard, Fayolle Jean, Chantal Baril, Mireille Metellus
There is hardly any renewal in the horror world. English-language versions of Asian horror work and retelling of classic Hollywood material, the remakes are flying around your ears. Subsequent series such as “Saw” and the rumination of well-known themes also add little originality to the genre. The Canadian horror “La Peau Blanche” (“White Skin”) is not really an exception. The story elaborates on a well-known creepy fact and there is little new to discover in terms of camera work and design. Anyway, director Daniel Roby seems to have done his best to give his own twist.
For example, the plot contains a number of nice attempts to do things slightly differently. Student Thierry has a thing for red-haired women. Their pale skin and the way you can see the veins so clearly makes him sick and he doesn’t like them. His phobia is equally reinforced when his roommate Henri is nearly cut by a red-haired prostitute, but he quickly changes his mind when he meets the mysterious Claire. Claire has red hair, pale skin, and even seems to be hiding something important, but Thierry is definitely converted. Completely fascinated and in love, he goes on the decorating tour, much to the dismay of Henri, who does not trust Claire.
“White Skin” has enough unforeseen twists in store for the viewer to keep them on track. The story contains a sacred house from the creepy world and knows how to convey it in a fresh way. But at the same time, the film doesn’t really surprise anywhere. The plot twists are sometimes liked, but the viewer is never blown off the chair. Moreover, a number of script choices in their bizarreness make the eyebrows just a little too much frown and the climax seems rather random. The plot of “White Skin” has potential, but in the end it was not completely successful.
Director Roby won the prize for the best debut at the Toronto Film Festival for “White Skin” and also won a statue at the Canadian Genie Awards. It all seems a bit too much praise. The acting is fine, the dialogues are – with a few exceptions – credible and the images and music are convincing, but it just doesn’t stand out from the majority of genre films. “White Skin” is nevertheless certainly worthwhile for the not too plastic horror lover (there is not much gore involved here), provided with tempered expectations.