SKIN BABY *** USA 2018. Dir: Ken Cohen. 9 mins
Phyllis Jackson impresses as Rosie, a troubled and grief-stricken young woman who is turned down for a very specific tattoo at her local tattooist but finds an artist willing to do it on the side. The final ink work seems to drive her to commit extreme acts.
This intriguing short spins between a story of a tragic personal loss, a soap opera-style interaction with the dead baby’s father and an extreme gore moment (powerfully intercut with significant moments from her pregnancy). The tonal shift is a little jarring and the dialogue weakens its overall impact, but the subject matter and final scene combine to make for an unsettling watch. Jackson authentically conveys the weary disposition and desperation of a scarred woman taking a last-resort walk on the dark side.
Review by Steven West