Quick-Thoughts: Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin (2004)

Screened at The Frida Cinema

Never in my life did I expect cereal to embody one of the most visually revolting images in cinema.

A contrast between two divisions of childhood sexual abuse trauma: succumbing and repression, and for such intense subject matter, Gregg Araki mercifully does right by depicting them with rather merciless execution that comes off as nothing short of a cinematic slaughterhouse on the once presumed destined discoveries from the curious young; the exclusive childhood mechanism of innocence is used completely against itself to an utmost immoral kind of manipulation, Araki putting us momentarily right back into that delicate juvenile headspace of our past as a plausible victim to these atrocities. Some of those unidentified objects we saw in youth are things we were never meant to experience, never meant to grow into either confidently or subconsciously; they very much became permanent inflammations prowling even in the masses of every alternative cover-up we could think of.  

There are worse things, but being told we’re “special” for anything early on is dangerous. Our inception defines a lot about us onward, and yet we don’t exactly get to choose it. 

So suffice it to say, I loathed watching Mysterious Skin, and it almost made me cry because. Pain.

Verdict: A-

“Mysterious Skin” is now available to rent on Amazon Prime.

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