“You don’t want to wake up, do you?"
That’s what Scarlett Johansson’s character asks at the end of the trailer for “Under the Skin,” and it’s a fitting question given the dream-like nature of the film and its new preview.
Coming out April 4 after debuting at last year’s Telluride Film Festival, the trippy thriller from director Jonathan Glazer (“Birth,” “Sexy Beast”) casts the voice of “Her” as Laura, an alien in human form driving through Scotland in search of prey.
Once she meets men, Laura brings them back to her flat, where in a highly stylized ritual hinted at in the trailer she strips her clothes an article at a time as the men do the same.
But the men quickly start submerging into a viscous black liquid, until they are fully engulfed in a void from which there is no escape. The lesson: Even if someone as attractive as Johansson is driving, don’t get in a stranger’s car.
“Nudity was very important in the film, but I didn’t want to make the film about Scarlett’s nudity,” Glazer said.
“Under the Skin” was shot like an extended episode of “Candid Camera.” Johansson would climb into a van equipped with an array of tiny, hidden video cameras.
As the actress cruised Glasgow, where she was rarely recognized, she would try to persuade strangers to climb in the passenger seat. If the men were willing, they would later be informed that they had unwittingly joined a movie and would be asked to sign a release.
The point of the subterfuge, Glazer said, was to present the real world as an alien might see it.