Skew is what happens if Friday the 13th: The Series had a found footage episode. Or, say, the closest we'll come to an adaptation of Stephen King's "The Reaper's Image".

Simon's on his way to a wedding, alongside his friends Rick and Eva; they're driving instead of flying, for--reasons, and Simon's taping the whole journey. (My guess? Shitty wedding present. "Here's a video of what we went through to get here and eat substandard chicken, Marlene.") Things start going weird about a day in: in the middle of a night drive, the trio hits a coyote with their car. The coyote's face looks strange--distorted, blurred, but though it's unsettling it's not in a paranormal way.

The weird part comes the next night, when Simon films them checking into a motel...and sees the same distortion on the night clerk's face. The same night clerk who's found dead a few hours later. Combine that with his off-putting interest in Eva--Rick's girlfriend, who's frosty towards Simon because of something that happened before the movie started--and Simon's girlfriend Laura, who's not answering the phone back home, and everything starts to go bad very, very fast.

Skew is an interesting movie. It really does read like an episode of Ft13, only it's the part before Ryan and Micki show up: there's never any real explanation given as to why the camera starts doing this, or why it's just Simon who sees the faces that way; when Rick or Eva try, on separate occasions, they just see things normally. (The once or twice we see footage that isn't from a camcorder--you'll see--it shows up just as normal there, too.) And it's not just the camera, though that's the start; Simon also sees a man in their hotel room one night, and a horrible-looking figure at a gas station (a horrible-looking figure that becomes frighteningly familiar at the movie's end). He mentions a few times that he feels "pulled" to film things; even worse, the couple of times Simon leaves the room--and the camera--it ends up taping anyway, though he says he's turned it off.

In one of the latter volumes of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Loki--the Sandman-Loki, fey and fire-faced, sharp-edged, mean and capricious--says that the saddest part of the death he's inflicting is that the person in question will never know: how it started, how it turns out. The worst thing, he tells us, for a human is an unfinished story. It's stuck with me over the years, and I agree with him on that one. It's one of the reasons this movie nags at me: why is the camera doing this? Why is it doing it to Simon? What the fuck is that thing in the hotel room, and why do we see [spoiler] looking like that? God knows the footage doesn't give us the answers, not that you really expect it to--though you do, don't you? Because you're being told a story, but not a whole story; maybe 80 percent at best, and that grates at you. That nags.

There are hints of what happened, certainly, but whatever it was and however it started, it's not on tape--which means as far as we know, it's not real. Pictures or it didn't happen, right? There's no proof. We're either watching a guy slowly go crazy and have a variety of hallucinations, ending in a garden-variety Bad Thing that happens every day, or--

--well. Or we're not. In which case, you should maybe reconsider filming your next vacation.
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