Deerskin by Quentin Dupieux

Down and out, and possibly facing a midlife crisis, Georges decides he wants to change things up. The first thing on the agenda comes from a unique purchase, a deerskin jacket. Obsessed with his new ‘killer style’, Georges begins to film the jacket and have conversations with it. Eventually, the two come to the conclusion that their ultimate desire is to have the Jacket be the only one left in the world. As a result, Georges begins to pay people to give him and swear off the use of jackets under the guise of it being in a film. However, as the townsfolk begin to become wary of him and his request is meant to anger, the Deerskin obsessed man turns to violence to realize his dream.

Deerskin Poster New Horror Film From Quentin Depieux
Deerskin Official Poster

Quentin Dupieux, AKA Mr Oizo (Yes, the lovable yellow techno Muppet), makes his second absurdist horror film with Deerskin. His first film in the genre coming via Rubber, about a tire with psychic abilities. However, the directors most recent film is a bit of a departure from the bizarre narrative approach that made Rubber a bit of a cult hit among fans. Notably, the feature focuses on the mental decline of its subject over relying solely on the absurd premise to draw in the audience.

Carrying the apt subtext of ‘killer style’, Deerskin creates a lot of comedic charm with the odd obsession the protagonist has for the clothing style. While only starting off with the jacket, he slowly collects a whole wardrobe of the material, and his sense of superiority attached to his image wonderfully reflects both midlife crisis and a peculiar kind of insanity.

Complimenting the comedic tone is Dupieux’s pacing, which was established in his previous effort Rubber. While this may frustrate some viewers, it allows a lot of time for the audience to soak in the absurdity of the situation and the obsessive nature of the characters. As a result, the point to which the production turns to horror comes rather late, almost questioning if the genre is even a good description. 

Murder Spree from Deerskin
Killer Style, the fight to be the only Jacket left

However, once the killing spree starts, the film really picks up, capturing a murderous spree all in the name of being the last jacked standing. The mix of point of view and wide shots of the chaos is also really slick, leaving a strong impression.

While the success of the film lies largely in Queintin Dupieux’s unique approach to narrative and visual storytelling, the performances really heighten the production. As is common in a Dupieux flick, even the bit actors are imbued with a sense of awkwardness, but the two lead actors of Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel thrive in the absurdist approach. Consequently, the madness on display, as nonsensical as it gets, is backed by performances that feel committed to bizarre scenarios, bringing a needed grounding realism to the script.

Fans of Dupieux are bound to get a kick out of his latest film, those who are just aware of Rubber may also find some enjoyment in a production that follows a similar pace with similar dead-pan humor. As a long time fan of the director, Deerskin offers a nice mix that showcases the directors various talents. It may not be as fast as Wrong Cops, as surreal as Rubber, or as abstract as Reality, but it balances all the elements I have come to love from a Dupiuex project, making for a well-rounded film that balances horror, comedy and drama in a delightful way.

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