My reviews of the Skinamarink movies in chronological order:
Skinamarink: Wasn’t wild about it. Just didn’t really have any reason to care about what was happening. Also I thought the 70s aesthetic opening immediately followed by “1995” was silly. Pretty boring. I get what Ball was doing and I don’t begrudge it, but it didn’t land for me. I respect that Ball managed to get it made and released nationally though. I love stories like that. Audacious but I didn’t resonate with it.
Skinamarink II: Had too much of a Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II thing going on. I appreciate trying to make something that’s in conversation with the original but they should have played it straight. Apparently the new kid being named Andy is a reference to Toy Story, according to the IMDB.
Skinamarink III: Rewound – man, do horror prequels ever work (for directors who aren’t Mike Flanagan)? It was cool they got the house from the first one but this one is a little too by the numbers. The CGI cameo with “Kaylee” was very uncanny valley. People always think of the Skinaman when they think of this series but we don’t even see him at all in the first two movies, and he doesn’t show up in this one until halfway through.
Skinamarink IV: The Curse – Sorry for spoiling this if you haven’t seen it. By now there was only one unanswered question so obviously the Entity was going to turn out to be the mom from the first one. Disappointing VFX when we finally see her. Could’ve been 20 mins shorter. Otherwise this one is only notable for Hana Kasber in one of her first movies. It’s surreal to see her in this, but it’s not, like, “oh you can tell she’ll go on to be this huge star and play Dua Lipa in that movie and everything,” though. She’s just a kid in this movie and she’s a pretty good actor.
Skinamarink V: The Return – The previous couple movies were also attempts to catch lightning in a bottle but it gets really bad here. This is basically a remake of the first, with a new cast. Teases the Kevin reveal for too long. Best soundtrack of the series though.
Skinamarink (2033): It’s good that it threw out all the convoluted continuity in the previous couple, and just continued the story from the first two and had the Skinaman show up. Getting the same actor for Kevin was also a win. It turns into a straight up slasher movie in the second half. Didn’t love it. There’s that scene where like everyone’s friend’s cousin swears to God “they’re gonna do a crossover with Home Alone!” which I thought was a bullshit opinion at the time but yeah obviously it doesn’t feel as farfetched now.
Skinamarink Lives: Really obvious reshoots after test audiences hated the original cut. Of all the post-soft reboot ones, this is probably the best. It’s still kinda soft in the middle, and suffers from trying to do too much, but other than those couple scenes in the middle, it zips along with a runtime that doesn’t overstay its welcome. The rec room scene is still terrifying.
Skinamarink: The Child – The first of the direct-to-digital Skinamarinks. I appreciate that they tried some new stuff here. The effects for the toy train set scene just looked goofy, even taking the smaller budget into account. By this point the continuity was just a total mess. Also this movie was, like, REALLY made before 2042. There’s a couple scenes where you really feel it. The scene where a kid in a suburban house drinks tap water is pretty upsetting already but now obviously yeah it’s super upsetting.
The Pond: A Skinamarink Story – including this for completeness’s sake. A fun little ride that doesn’t add up to much. The scene in the cabin is still genuinely creepy but the movie doesn’t capitalize on it and loses steam when it should be picking up. Doesn’t have the Skinaman but it’s not, like, a proper Skinamarink movie so that makes sense.
Skinamarink: The Other Side – A cheapie rush job that was clearly made to retain the rights to the Skinamarink franchise. The original script wasn’t written to be a Skinamarink movie and it definitely shows. The franchise elements are just grafted on. Awful. Also this was yet another movie that treats the 80s and 90s and early 2000s as one blob, so there’s people in 1995 going around with mp3 players. The script was by Hart and Wire, who also wrote the screenplay for “Rory Best” where a little kid is playing Roblox in 2005.
Skinamarink Forever – We’re well and truly into the decline here. Some French guy plays the Skinaman in this one, instead of Doug Green, who made the role his own over the years. His absence is keenly felt. It’s hard to believe he wasn’t part of these movies from the beginning.
Skinamarink vs. M3GAN – Fun if you switch your brain off. Ralston Camp knew what kind of movie he was making. Takes too long to get to the fight. Too many post-credits scenes, including the one with Annabelle. The crowd lost their minds at that, in the theater I saw this in.
Skinamarink World – TwinWarnaCo liquidated after this so it’s probably the last one we’ll see for a while. Really shows the bloat of the Skinamarink Universe by this point. The movie itself tried capitalizing on nostalgia too much. You can’t go home again. Marketing campaign was good.