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Skinamarink Creator Kyle Edward Ball Adhered To A Rigid Set Of Rules (& The Film Is Better For It)

The movie "Skinamarink" has become something of a viral hit that Polygon claims to be this generation's "Blair Witch Project',' and from the looks of the creepy trailer (via YouTube), they may be absolutely right. To pull off such a spine-chilling affair, unlike the array of other scary options available, director Kyle Edward Ball had to follow certain criteria to achieve the feature's unique approach.

When it comes to low-budget horror movie-making, "Skinamarink" absolutely fits the bill, as it was shot on a budget of just $15,000 (via Inverse). The production took place in the director's childhood home with a cast consisting of a family of four, focusing on the two kids, Kevin (Lucas Paul) and Kaylee (Dali Rose Tetreault). The narrative follows the two children as they wake up one night to find their dad missing. But that isn't the only issue, as all the doors and windows have also disappeared (via IMDb). Kyle Edward Ball utilized a low-resolution format and limited lighting to achieve the tension and dread felt throughout the pulse-pounding horror motion picture.

The chillingly effective manner in which the film is presented didn't happen by accident and achieving such a distinctive approach required a certain set of guidelines that had to be properly followed every step of the way.

Skinamarink's scares didn't happen by chance

There was a method to the suspense witnessed in the slow-burn horror feature, and Kyle Edward Ball wasn't shy about revealing his master plan regarding how he was able to create the unforgettable experience. "I set rules in place that I wasn't allowed to break. We never see someone's face. We avoid showing people on screen for too long. Whatever dialogue is delivered is always delivered off-screen. We never go outside. We never leave the house. We're always in the house," the director said in an interview with RogerEbert.com. "There's also no music in the movie." Ball even stated that this process began earlier than one might expect, saying, "I set these rules in place before I even got the script going, just so that I would have a [foundation] to build on. I actually found it freeing to be working within a set framework."

Overall the plan seems to have been a success, as "Skinamarink" has earned impressive scores on Rotten Tomatoes and praise from critics. Variety called the movie "Terrifying," and Rue Morgue wrote in its review that it "takes you back to being a little kid lying in bed in the middle of the night, listening to strange noises coming from elsewhere in the house and wondering what their frightful sources might be." The film will release in theaters on January 13, 2023, before it makes its way to the Shudder. With the extensive preparation and excellent execution, not to mention the wide range of acclaim, it seems that "Skinamarink" should be a solid contender to make the list of horror movies to see in 2023 and will most certainly be another fine addition to the lineup Shudder has to offer true horror fans.