The plan in place was a distribution deal with IFC Midnight and the horror streaming service Shudder, both of which had to move quickly after the leak gained traction.
“I’m not happy that it got leaked,” Ball added when talking to RogerEbert. “Having it get pirated in the beginning was a nightmare, and it caused conflicted emotions in me. Lots of people at Shudder and IFC had to work around the clock to move timelines up and change the release date; they’ve been amazing through this whole process… Am I happy that it blew up as a result of the leak? Well, maybe a little. Am I happy other people, who wouldn’t have necessarily seen my movie, love my movie? Yes, I am happy about that.”
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Of course Skinamarink didn’t just go viral because it leaked online; its content caused the sensation. “Skinamarink is a distinct gem, a living nightmare that’s some of the most exciting, unsettling new work in the genre,” Samuel Zimmerman, the VP of programming at Shudder, told Variety. “Really, it’s the best kind of horror movie, one unlike any other, that announces the arrival of a special new filmmaker.”
Reddit agrees. As early as November last year, there were posts dedicated to Ball’s work. “Skinamarink just scared me more than any other movie in at least a decade,” reads one, its writer adding, “Something about this movie is deeply, deeply unsettling.” On the post are some of the first discussions about plot theories, with Redditors pondering which characters are really alive and which are dead, and what, exactly, is the mysterious entity haunting the children Kevin and Kaylee. To go any further into theories would be touching on spoilers, but some of the best are on the main discussion post following the movie’s official release.
“People have talked about it heavily on Reddit, sharing different fan theories,” Ball told RogerEbert. “And it feels like, in weird ways, this is the movie that Reddit made. I know that’s a loaded term, and I know people have different ideas of Reddit, but it’s always come back to Reddit in a strange way.”
And while that’s somewhat right, Skinamarink’s now more than just a viral Reddit sensation—it’s a real box office hit. Non-horror specific publications like the New Yorker and Vulture have written about it. And perhaps, most importantly, the leak has somewhat faded away as the movie has become available in cinemas and on Shudder. No wonder people are walking past the Na’vi to get a seat at the Prince Charles to see this micro-budget miracle.