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Biggest Unanswered Questions In Skinamarink

"Skinamarink" isn't like other horror movies — in fact, it isn't like other movies in general. It's a true stylistic anomaly. Made for a miniscule $15,000, the film is the brainchild of director Kyle Edward Ball, best known for his YouTube channel "Bitesized Nightmares." The channel's content, as well as Ball's lengthier work, is based on his own childhood nightmares as well as those submitted by people online (via Deadline). Eventually, this resulted in a short film known as "Heck," the precursor to what would eventually become "Skinamarink."

The plot, what little there is, focuses on two kids — Kevin and Kaylee — who find themselves in a disturbing situation. One night, they awaken to discover that their father, as well as the doors, windows and the toilet in their house, are all gone. Left with nothing else to do, the siblings camp out on their living room couch and floor for days watching cartoons. However, things take a turn for the malicious when a sinister voice begins beckoning to the kids, telling them to come upstairs.

With a premise this bizarre and a style this minimalist, the film definitely leaves the viewer with many unanswered questions.

Spoilers ahead for "Skinamarink."

Did Kevin really fall down the stairs?

As "Skinamarink" begins, we are immediately immersed in the bizarre tone and visuals of the film. This largely consists of atmospheric shots of a late-'90s suburban home, complete with an old school television and kids' toys. These items are used largely by Kevin, one of the two children that the film follows for its majority. During the film's opening scenes, we're given a faint glimpse of Kevin's typical evening rituals: watching old cartoons and playing with his Legos. However, the film's first major incident occurs when, in the middle of the night, Kevin appears to injure himself while sleepwalking.

We say "appears to," as that's what we're told shortly afterward by Kevin's father, who's calling someone on the phone to inform them of it. In a brief call, he mentions that Kevin fell down the stairs and that thankfully he won't require any stitches. However, this is quite dubious as, given the film's bizarre format, we aren't definitely shown the incident in full. All we hear is something resembling a slamming sound and Kevin crying, followed by footsteps which could be his father or Kaylee. Did Kevin really fall down the stairs or is this the first sign that Kevin, as well as Kaylee, are subjected to abuse from their father?

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Where is their mother?

As previously mentioned, following Kevin's offscreen injury, his father proceeds to call someone up to inform them of it. We're never explicitly informed via dialogue or subtitles who the person on the other end is, though we can take a guess. A likely option would be Kevin and Kaylee's mother who, based on the phone call, isn't currently around. This is also somewhat indicated by the slightly informal, yet somewhat awkward, tone of the father's voice on the phone. However, this does raise another interesting question, where exactly is their mother and why isn't she living with them at this time?

There could be a few reasons for this, the first being that she's potentially dead and it isn't her on the phone at all. However, a more likely theory is she's still around but either divorced or separated from her husband, who may be abusive. This theory is mildly substantiated by Kaylee's jaunt into her parents' bedroom, where she's met by a version of her mother and father sitting on either side of the bed. Her mother talks to Kaylee with similar language that a parent would likely use when informing their child of an impending divorce — such as "Your father and I love you very much."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

What's the significance of Kevin's Legos?

Throughout the film, we're shown various different period-accurate toys that Kevin and Kaylee are playing with. As explained by Kyle Edward Ball, via an interview with Fangoria, his mother had held onto many of his actual childhood toys — all of which are used in "Skinamarink" for accuracy. With this in mind, it's interesting that Kevin's Legos are the toys we're often shown the most, and which he plays with the most. Now, many kids had Legos during their childhood, but why did Ball opt to make them such a focal point of the film's visuals?

The answer could once again be linked back to the idea that one or both of Kevin's parents are abusive. Legos as a toy are fairly freeform, allowing for ample customization and the ability to build whatever you want to. For a child whose parents are either malicious or in the process of separating, a simulated sense of control could prove quite comforting. Additionally, as the film proceeds, the Legos begin to take up more space and are eventually scattered all over the carpet, as Kevin slowly loses more and more control. This could also explain why Kevin and Kaylee hunker down near the television and watch cartoons — it provides them with a sense of comfort.

What is the evil entity?

Partway through the film, something resembling an antagonist enters the picture, first revealed through a haunting voice only heard offscreen. This voice seems to belong to the mostly unseen entity that is menacing Kevin and Kaylee throughout the events of the film. Its actions range from removing the doors and windows to sticking objects up on the ceiling to changing objects at will. At one point, Kaylee is even beckoned upstairs by the entity and shown a distorted vision of her parents. Following this, the entity steals Kaylee's eyes and mouth, resulting in one of the film's only true jump scares when Kevin sees her.

Following this, the entity doubles down on tormenting Kevin, even forcing him to cut his own eye with a kitchen knife. What appears to ensue is the entity killing or torturing Kevin and then repeating it on loop like a skipping vinyl record. At the film's conclusion, we're finally shown a mild glimpse of the entity, which seems to manifest as a haunting white face hidden in a dark void. The entity, once again, tells Kevin to go to sleep and Kevin responds by asking it what its name is. It doesn't reply and the film ends, opting to leave Kevin, and the audience, with no concrete answer as to what the entity truly is.

Was the 9-1-1 call real?

After his incident with the kitchen knife, Kevin is left crying and sobbing in pain until the entity commands him to sleep. Following this, Kevin is finally able to call 9-1-1 on the phone and actually manages to get hold of someone. The person on the other end begins asking Kevin the appropriate questions regarding where he is and if he's okay. Kevin, clearly emotionally and physically drained, tries to explain his situation to them, but sadly to no avail. Kevin proceeds to drop the phone before the entity changes it into an old Chatter Phone toy with a clown face.

Whether or not the call is real is never confirmed, as no cops or authority figures ever arrive to save Kevin. This heavily implies that the entity only allows Kevin to make that call in order to give him false hope. When Kevin asks how and why it changed the phone, the voice simply responds by saying it can do anything. This includes, as it soon elaborates, taking Kaylee's mouth away because she wanted her mom and dad.

Where did Kaylee go?

Kaylee, much like Kevin, is never fully shown to the audience aside from brief glimpses here and there. Her ultimate fate, much like countless other aspects of the film, is kept intentionally vague, with only a few concrete details to work with. The first is her interaction with what we can presume to be the evil entity's distorted versions of her missing parents. Following this, Kaylee has her eyes and mouth stolen by the entity and ends up disappearing for the rest of the film. Whether or not she's actually dead is never confirmed, leaving us to wonder where exactly she went.

Aside from the jump scare involving her now-mangled face, Kaylee is not shown on screen again ... or is she? Here's where things get a wee bit murky, as this — like many other moments — can be interpreted a number of different ways. Just before Kevin's final interaction with the evil entity, we're shown a figure sitting on the edge of the bed like earlier in the film. Now this could again be their mother, given Kevin's subsequent cries for her. However, this could also be our final image of Kaylee, before she fades away for good, potentially hinting at her demise.

Where are they?

The biggest and by far the most complicated question coming out of "Skinamarink" is where exactly Kevin and Kaylee are. While the film takes place in what we're led to believe is their house, even this aspect of it is quite dubious. Bear in mind, the inciting incident of the film is Kevin's tumble down the stairs, the cause of which is kept intentionally vague.

It could be possible that Kevin's head injury might be far more severe than his father indicated, potentially causing him to be in a prolonged coma. Part of the evidence backing this theory up is the film's ending, wherein we're shown that 572 days have passed since this began. Another detail backing up this coma-induced nightmare purgatory theory is a line from Kyle Edward Ball's previous short film, titled "Heck." At the conclusion of the short, the main character notes that he believes they are very likely in hell. Whether or not this detail was meant to carry over into "Skinamarink" isn't confirmed, but it does line up quite logically. Ultimately, the film wants to immerse the viewer in such a way that it makes them feel as if they are also trapped in this unending childhood nightmare — and it definitely succeeds.