Spine-Chilling 'Skinamarink' Fan Theories That Make More Sense Than The Film Did

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Vote up the best fan theories about this inscrutable, experimental horror film.

Two children wake up in the middle of the night to discover their parents are missing, along with every door and window in the house. The lights begin to fail, and a strange voice starts calling out to them from the dark.

So begins Skinamarink, a nebulous and nightmarish experimental horror film that managed to break into the mainstream in 2022, despite a scarce budget - and even scarcer plot. Instead, Canadian filmmaker Kyle Edward Ball favors shot after lingering shot of dark hallways and corners, creepy children's cartoons, and constant static.

Of course, in the absence of a linear story (or much of anything else save for some absolutely hellish vibes) some viewers took it upon themselves to construct meaning around the film. In case you also want Skinamarink explained, here are some of the best fan theories about the film we could find.

Vote up your favorites, and for more about Skinamarink, be sure to check out these fan reactions.

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Photo: Skinamarink / Shudder

  • 1
    54 VOTES

    Kevin Is In A Coma

    From Redditor u/Termmie:

    [Kevin] goes comatose after he falls down the stairs, and we stay inside his comatose dream for 574 days. Kevin's brain begins to deteriorate as he is stuck inside his subconscious. He forgets the layout of his house until he can only remember the TV. He forgets what human faces look like. Eventually he forgets his name.

    Everyone here is looking for some f*cked-up tragedy like someone murdering the entire family…  But... Imagine seeing the tube pulled out of a braindead 6-year-old because he tripped down the stairs by accident. No foul play. Nothing. Just an innocent accident that maybe could've been prevented.

    Imagine the horror of living every day as the parents with that guilt and loss, that YOU did nothing wrong that ENTIRELY NORMAL day, but what seems to be freak bad luck.

    Now imagine being in a coma ... living inside somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness for a year, having no control over what terrors your brain will make for you, forcing you to live inside a nightmare, and having no ability to wake up because you have no control over your body… all because of an innocent fall.

    There is no reason or justification for tragedy. People think there has to be a reason for suffering, but there isn't. That's the horror.

    54 votes
  • 2
    25 VOTES

    The Family Is In Purgatory

    Posted by Redditor u/BiblioMom:

    The plot to me is the mother was unhinged and killed her family. Hence why they don’t want to talk about mom and why the kid yells mom after the blood splatter.

    They’re in a sort of purgatory. Stuck. And reliving parts of it over and over. That’s why they’re at 500-something days.

    25 votes
  • 3
    30 VOTES

    The Film Is About Childhood Trauma

    Posted by Redditor u/rednoise:

    This movie seems to be very much about trauma. I won't say that everyone who has had childhood trauma will connect with the film, but for those [who] do and do connect with the film, the trauma is a multiplier. Which, I'd bet people saying it's the scariest thing they've ever seen… a significant amount of them have that experience. It can be a triggering film.

    There's subtext of parental abuse and neglect that leads to a kid's injury or death, the feeling of being violated in a space where you are supposed to feel safe - your home [-] wanting to sink into cartoons to escape the apparent terror around you, hallucinations, loss of support, and abandonment.

     All of those things are present here, are swirling around in the air, never explicitly said, but if you've been put in that position while you were a kid... you'll understand it. Then the movie is just nearly [two] hours of f*cking with you on that level, and that is a terrifying thing to experience.

    30 votes
  • 4
    38 VOTES

    Kevin Never Fell Down The Stairs

    From Redditor u/Foxythekid:

    Does anyone else think the son never fell down the stairs? The film's been sitting with me for the last 18 hours, and one of the things that triggered a deep fear in me was the kid watching the TV in the living room and hearing a door slam open and heavy feet running down the stairs.

    It's such a violent auditory setup, and it cuts to the dad saying the son fell down the stairs. At first I bought into it as maybe hearing the kid fall, but that juxtaposition set up a significantly darker tone.

    From Redditor u/DefenderCone97:

    Yeah, I'm very dubious about it.

    My thoughts are that either the dad pushed him down and/or he was hitting Kevin.

    38 votes
  • 5
    50 VOTES

    The Film Is About Child Abuse

    From Redditor u/MackinawCity2000:

    My take on the movie is that it's told from a perspective of children who have been abused. A child that young does not understand why [they're] being abused, but only … that it's wrong and that it's evil, and the evil here projects itself in an allegory of phantasmagoric shock.

    This made the movie such a tough, sad watch.

    50 votes
  • 6
    41 VOTES

    The House Is Being Terrorized By A Lovecraftian Entity

    From Redditor u/imsightful:

    It does have a linear storyline to me, if we take this not as a dream or irrational fear, but fear of the darkness embodied by a sentient, evolved life form, one that can manipulate objects out of time and even make [incidents] repeat themselves. Something like that, that can do what it wants and is completely beyond us. Sort of Lovecraftian in scale, as one couldn't imagine the size or appearance of a being this powerful.

    It seems by the end of the film that the creature removed the entire house from our dimension or reality. They were able to take Kaylee’s mouth, which I’m nearly certain we see floating later in the house. For whatever reason, the creature enjoys being in control or listened to, so Kevin stabbing his eye saved him in that moment.

    At the end, I feel like the creature took the parents, the children, and the entire home. I wouldn’t be surprised if the police showed up and the house was just gone.

    41 votes