Director - Philip Ridley (Heartless)
Starring - Viggo Mortensen (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who), and Jeremy Cooper (Torture by Hope)
Release Date - 1990
Genre - Horror/Drama
Tagline - "Sometimes terrible things happen quite naturally"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Midnight Horror Collection: 8 Films)
Rating (Out of 5):
A few weeks ago I picked up another Midnight Horror Collection from Wal-Mart for $5. The main reason I picked up this 8 film set was for The Office Killer. Like most of these $5 DVD sets from Wal-Mart, a majority of of the films are shitty. After watching The Office Killer I noticed another film on the set titled The Reflecting Skin. The poster on the DVD stated that this was the first time it was released on DVD and it also starred Viggo Mortenson. Like most movie junkies, I was intrigued by this. I looked around the web for reviews of the film. Most of the reviews I found favored the film, which only fueled my desire to watch it. After watch a few Christmas films, I decided to bust it out and give it a go.
The film follows a young boy, Seth Dove (Cooper), who is growing up in the 50's. Seth lives with his mother and father while his older brother is over seas. His brother joined the military in order to escape his life with his parents. Seth is a devious young boy and loves to terrorize the local English woman. One day, Seth finds his father reading a book. Interested in what his father is reading, he asks. His dad tells him the book is about vampires. Seth then becomes obsessed with the thought that the English woman is a vampire. After making a toad explode on the English woman, Seth's mother makes him go to her home and apologize to her. While in her home, the woman tells Seth that she is 200 years old and that her now deceased husband helped make her young. This only solidifies his theory of her being a vampire. Not long after Seth starts having his suspicions about the English woman, a young boy is found dead in his father's well. The police suspect his father is behind his murder because he once kissed another man when he was younger and because of this, they think he is a child molester and killer. His father, feeling guilty for kissing that other man, dowses himself in gas and strikes a match. Hearing of his father's death, Cameron (Mortenson) rushes home to be with his family. While home, Cameron falls in love with the English woman. Fearing for his brother's life, Seth tries to warn him about the English woman and fails. As Seth is trying to save his brother from the English woman, another boy is abducted by a gang of greasers. The locals think that it is Seth and his family due to his father's past. As Seth frets over his brother's welfare, the English woman hitches a ride in to town with the greasers and is then found dead on the side of the road.
This is one of those films you've got to watch multiple times to completely grasp what is going on. I watched this movie twice and it still feels like I missed something. The acting is actually really good. The film is billed as starring Mortenson, however, he only appears in the second half of the film. This movie does not have on screen kills, death, blood or gore, and therefore, skips on the special effects. As for the story, it is original, however, it is hard to follow and some things I could not make sense of. The whole greasers aspect of the film just randomly happens with no explanation of who they are and why they are killing and abducting people. Also, there is a small fetus that Seth finds in some hay. In the film, Seth says that the fetus is the dead boy who is now an angel that had his wings removed because he was murdered. I think there is another reason for the fetus and that is just the mind of a small boy talking. I watched the film twice to see if I could discover who the greasers are and where the fetus came from but did not. If you have seen this movie and know the answers to this then please let me know because I feel lost. The only explanation that I can think of is these things are happening in the young boy's imagination. If this is the case then this movie sucks. I will eventually watch this again sometime in the near future to see if I can make any sense out of these. I also want to make note of the scenery in the film. The imagery in this film is beautiful. Even though the DVD transfer is piss poor, the imagery is still nice to look at. This film works more as a drama than a horror flick, especially because the entire "vampire" aspect of the film is a "what if" scenario. Overall, if your looking for something to waste time with, then this movie is an o.k. watch, however, I can recommend better films.