Andrew E reviews The Skin of The Teeth

Gruemonkey’s Andrew E reviews the new 2019 comedy, drama/thriller ‘The Skin of The Teeth”. Written and Directed by Matthew Wollin.

Synopsis: After his date takes a shocking turn, a man is plunged into a surreal interrogation of just who and what he is.

What did I think?

The movie starts in a suave way, the characters John Burstner (Donal Brophy) welcomes Josef  King (Pascal Arquimedes) his date for the evening. They indulge in a home cooked food and we learn the pair have met once before on a one night stand. The date appears to be going well with an unsettling undertone of something not feeling quite right. When Josef takes some drugs hidden in John’s bedroom he begins tripping out, without giving away major spoilers the movie takes a turn of the unexpected. The way this is set up and filmed is perfect for keeping you guessing the whole time. A real trip… (I’m hilarious)

Josef played by Pascal Arquimedes delivers brilliantly in the most bizarre of settings. This film required real talent to navigate the highs and lows of the drugs having been taken by his character. Pascal does so perfectly and is believable. His character jumps from jittery, to insane, to scared to happy, to panic all one after the other…

Another incredible performance is by actress Chuja Seo. What she and her character do is unlike anything you have seen on film before.

Donal Brophy does a good job as making you feel insecure in his presence. I took away (this may sound odd) a predator about to pounce and I like that Donal was able to give that vibe in a strong and appealing way. There is also something sensual and dare I say sexual about his portrayal all at the same time.

Matthew Wollin seems to be inspired by a David Lynchian vibe, and he comes close to achieving it. The Skin of the Teeth maybe doesn’t have a Lynch style budget but does very nicely with what it has.


What did I like?

The initial police interrogation scene is both hilarious and oddly brilliant. I applaud the scriptwriter and actors who make that scene play out to perfection. The moments talking about sexual positioning is outright hilarious and uncomfortable all at the same time!

There is something appealing about the whole film, and I am not sure why. It doesn’t have a massive budget, it doesn’t have incebile settings or locations (only really two). But with one of the oddest scripts I have been taken through of late, it stood out as a real game changer. Showing you really don’t need a massive budget to make something incredible. It is a mind-bending romp that has you literally saying “WTF” throughout. It is shot well and there are no trappings of poor acting or sound or quality issues – it is very slick in terms of its execution.

What didn’t I like?

The film feels a little long. There is a bit of editing that could have been done to drop five or ten minutes for the runtime and make the story jump faster and have more of an impact.

GRUEMONKEY RATING: 4/5 Gruemonkey’s!


The film has played and been officially selected at the following festivals: NewFest, Outfest Fusion, Twin Cities Film Fest.

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