Without the built-in awareness that comes with theatrical releases, direct-to-video movies have to work extra hard to generate interest with their box synopsis. That said, it’s a bit ridiculous how Artisan’s box for “Second Skin” follows the Robert Zemeckis School of Trailering and gives away nearly every turn of its story. To make matters worse, the film is one of those thrillers whose very existence is based on its twists getting a jolt out of the audience.
But even if so many of its developments weren’t spoiled by overeager copy writers, this piece of product wouldn’t get much of a rise out of audiences. This is not so much due to incompetence (though, embarrassingly, director Darrell James Roodt’s name is spelled two different ways in the opening credits) than the film’s overall familiarity. In what appears to be a stroke of bad luck, Natasha Henstridge’s improbably named Crystal Ball is hit by a car outside of a used bookstore owned by one Sam Kane (Angus MacFadyen). An amnesiac Crystal becomes friends and then lovers with Sam, but before long their shady pasts catch up with them. The cast, which also includes Peter Fonda as a baddie, does a decent enough job, and Roodt keeps the action moving briskly enough, but the film never generates any suspense, and the twists not only go in expected directions, but pop up in all the expected places.
Per the norm with direct-to-video releases, the DVD is a dry, barebones affair with only a trailer and talent biographies counting as supplements.
Specifications: 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen; English and French 5.1 Surround; English closed captioning.