Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Reflecting Skin

Directed by: Philip Ridley

Starring:  Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper

"What's Killing All The Children?" 

"The Reflecting Skin" is set in a town seemingly on another planet, paved with nothing but wheat fields and Amish looking people. It's actually supposed to take place in 1950's Idaho. There's some really eerie shots in this film, many of endless fields and massive wooden houses. The look of this movie at times is almost like the 1948 painting, "Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth come to life. (This is also mentioned in another review I found after I wrote this.)

The film opens with probably it's most gory scene of a frog being creatively blown up. We meet dyed black haired Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) running away from now bloodied Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan) who's later found to possibly be a 200 year old British vampire. She's looks a lot like Emily, the blind girl in Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond". Dove's insane family has a shrine of "war hero" Cameron (Viggo Mortensen), who's currently away at the "pretty islands".  His mother can't stand the smell of gasoline, even though it's the family business. She forces Seth to drink tons of water, similar the child abuse in the novel "Sybil". 
Emily from "The Beyond"
Dolphin Blue

Seth and his friends bully each other and talk about angel's wings being torn off. Kids in the town are disappearing only later to be found dead and the few adults left are going off the deep end. There's a black car full of greasers that runs in and out of town. They appear to be without a destination, driven by a Seth Rogen look-a-like. 

There's a dialogue about the effects of war on the mind, but it's not completely defined. The film's title is derived from a photo that Cameron brought back in his wallet, along with a somewhat masculine looking nudie picture. All the uncertainty unravels the few shreds of trust within the town, causing people to accuse one another of terrible things to make sense of what's happening around them. Seth finds the corpse of a baby and is convinced that it's his dead friend whose wings were torn off because he was murdered. 
Some the shots are similar to "Paperhouse", which came out a couple of years before this movie. I saw that movie once, but I barely remember it. I bought the "Skin" VHS on clearance at Blockbuster video awhile back. I believe it's been released on DVD and also Blu-Ray, but neither really seems official, I could be wrong though. You should definitely check it out, there's not too many films like this one.

You can watch it here in the meantime. 


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