A plot synopsis of “Comforting Skin” might sound like a comedy — and what appears onscreen certainly will elicit derisive giggles and snarky comments during the pic’s more over-the-top melodramatic sequences. But Victoria Bidewell earns respect with her seriously sincere and altogether fearless portrayal of a self-deprecating twentysomething who gains fresh confidence and savors sensual delights when her new tattoo begins to slither across her body while sympathetically conversing with her. Derek Franson’s shot-in-Vancouver indie appears destined for homevid and VOD playoff, but a brighter future may await its star.
After undergoing rehab and breaking up with an older and unsavory boyfriend, Koffie (Bidewell) yearns to find love. After repeatedly striking out in bars, however, she’s in a sufficiently fragile mental state to appreciate (or imagine) the blandishments of her increasingly possessive tattoo. Bidewell gets fine support from Tygh Runyan as her sociophobic roommate, and Jane Sowerby as a party-hearty neighbor, but it’s mostly up to her to carry this low-voltage erotic thriller through some downright silly stretches. Sharp production values belie a reportedly small budget.