Skew, a low-budget POV horror that ought to satisfy viewers still hungry for more of what last year’s V/H/S had to offer, opens with a quotation from Balzac to the effect that photography, not limiting itself to documenting reality, actually takes something away, somehow diminishing the subject.

When Simon (Rob Scattergood), one of three twenty-or-thirtysomethings on a road trip en route to a wedding, finds that his camcorder makes unsettling revelations about the people around him, the question then becomes whether the camera is only conveying something invisible to the naked eye, or is actually creating the misfortunes that dog the trio on their trip.  The camera becomes an obsession for Simon, to the point that he is unable to tear himself away from it and feels compelled to film every moment of his day.  Companions Rich (Richard Olak) and Rich’s girlfriend Eva (Amber Lewis) are made increasingly uncomfortable by Simon’s fixation and claims of fleeting visions, a situation made more volatile by his ambiguous feelings toward Eva.

Skew is usually more engrossing than a moody, shakily photographed study of three foul-mouthed underachievers ought to be, and manages a mild, attention-sustaining eeriness.  3 out of 5 stars.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Skew is:


3. Animal rights militant.  As in Deer Crossing, roadkill can only mean an albatross and trouble ahead.  Skew goes as far as to feature two albatrosses, a coyote and a deer, both hit by automobiles.  The occupants of the offending vehicle must pay.

2. Anti-family/anti-marriage.  Simon blames his parents for depriving him of his childhood memories by not taking any pictures of him.  Unmarried, childless cohabitation is the order of the day.  A tourist trap display of the world’s most humongous pot and dish represents articles of domesticity as absurdly imposing behemoths.  Traveling to a wedding becomes the occasion for the characters’ doom.  Rich, an atheist, says he only believes in the here and now and in family and friends before being murdered by his friend.

1. Neo-Luddite.  Technology is evil and haunted.  Cameras kill, buses crash, and cars slaughter wildlife.  Reality television, by filtering life through an electronic lens, is in fact a paradoxical proposition in that it skews reality in the act of documentation.