We’re in the midst of a science-fiction boom at the movies, and while that’s great for fans of fighting robots and futuristic dystopias, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we’re not seeing a lot that's new. The genre has largely become a mash-up of well-known conventions and design aesthetics, warmed up and re-served on an annual basis with little originality to keeps things interesting. It’s exactly what makes the arrival of Jonathan Glazer’s brazenly original Under the Skin such a shock to the system.

Starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien creature trolling the streets for human prey, it’s a mesmerizing and haunting film that refuses to concern itself with traditional genre or even narrative conventions. The result is an unforgettable piece of art-house sci-fi that may alienate audiences used to the hyperkinetic spectacle that dominates most screens, but those that are able to slip under its spell will enjoy one of the most striking theatrical experiences this year.