The Reflecting Skin

Watch The Reflecting Skin

"Sometimes terrible things happen quite naturally."
  • R
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.7  (9,272)

The Reflecting Skin is an independent horror film directed by Philip Ridley and released in 1990. Set in the late 1950s in rural Idaho, the film explores the surreal and often disturbing experiences of a young boy named Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) as he navigates the challenges of growing up in a small, isolated community. The film begins with Seth's mother, a religious fanatic, accusing their neighbor, Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan), of being a vampire. As she becomes increasingly unhinged and paranoid, Seth begins to experience strange events that he cannot explain. He witnesses a group of young boys tormenting a local woman who they believe is a witch, discovers an old photograph that suggests his brother's death was not an accident, and becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman who he believes is an alien.

Throughout the film, Seth tries to make sense of these bizarre occurrences while also dealing with the more mundane difficulties of adolescence, such as bullies and his strained relationship with his father. He develops a close friendship with Dolphin, who reveals herself to be a complex and troubled person, and the two of them share a mutual fascination with death and the macabre. Viggo Mortensen plays Dolphin's estranged husband, Cameron, who returns to town unexpectedly and disrupts the already uneasy balance of the community.

The Reflecting Skin is a visually stunning film that incorporates surreal imagery and dreamlike sequences to create a haunting and unsettling atmosphere. The cinematography, by Dick Pope, is particularly noteworthy, with its use of desolate landscapes and striking color contrasts. The film's soundtrack, which features music by Nick Bicât and an original song by Julee Cruise, adds to the eerie mood.

Despite its horror elements, the film is also a coming-of-age story that explores themes of grief, loss, and the search for meaning in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving. Jeremy Cooper gives a remarkable performance as Seth, capturing both the innocence of childhood and the darkness that haunts his character. Lindsay Duncan and Viggo Mortensen also deliver strong performances as Dolphin and Cameron, respectively, adding depth and complexity to their roles.

The Reflecting Skin premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990 and received critical acclaim for its unique and haunting vision. Although it was not a commercial success, the film has since gained a cult following and is regarded as a cult classic of independent cinema. Its blend of eerie horror, stunning visuals, and emotional depth make it a truly unforgettable viewing experience that is not easily forgotten.

The Reflecting Skin is a 1991 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

The Reflecting Skin
Where to Watch The Reflecting Skin
The Reflecting Skin is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Reflecting Skin for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (9,272)