Watch at Home 08.06.2019

The Reflecting Skin

Directed by Philip Ridley
Film Movement Classics
96 Minutes
United Kingdom, Canada
Drama, Horror, Thriller, Classics

An instant cult classic when it premiered to sold out screenings at Cannes in 1990, THE REFLECTING SKIN is a darkly humorous, nightmarish vision of the American dream. Growing up in the 1950s in small-town Idaho, 8-year-old Seth and his friends play a prank on the town recluse, a mysterious English widow named Dolphin Blue (Tony winner Lindsay Duncan). After his father tells him stories of vampires, Seth becomes convinced Dolphin is a vampire, stealing the souls of his neighborhood friends one by one. When his older brother Cameron (Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen in one of his first starring roles), returns home from military service in the Pacific and takes a liking to Dolphin, Seth feels it's up to him to save Cameron from his friends' fate. With stunning visuals recalling Edward Hopper paintings and its surreal blend of horror and humor, THE REFLECTING SKIN is a "stunningly beautiful...Gothic masterpiece" (The Guardian)!"

Director & Cast

  • Director: Philip Ridley
  • Starring: Viggo Mortensen
  • Starring: Lindsay Duncan
  • Starring: Jeremy Cooper
  • Starring: Sheila Moore
  • Starring: Duncan Fraser




  • "...Ridley is a visionary, and his haunting film, luminously shot by Dick Pope, exerts a hypnotic pull. Through a child’s eyes, Ridley confronts us with our own primal fear of the dark."
    Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  • "The Reflecting Skin is a strange, at times wonderful film, one that leaves more questions open than answers. Its palate and performances collide in ways that seem unique decades on. While some of the moments are more risible than perhaps intended, as a complete work it's an astonishing slice of strange cinema. Like me you may shake your head and wonder how the hell this thing got made at the time that it was, but like me you'll be very glad that Ridley and co. managed to bring it all together."
    Jason Gorber, Screen Anarchy
  • "Like an irrational but beautiful dream, The Reflecting Skin unfolds with a clarity that's disturbing. It's a true American Gothic, a movie in which breathtakingly blue skies and Van Gogh-gold wheat fields are unlikely witnesses to the horrors confronting eight-year-old Seth Cooper. "
    Steve Davis, Austin Chronicle
  • "An amazing film studded with selfless, luminous performances and shot through with dark humor that risks sheer over-the-top outrageousness at every turn but is so simultaneously inspired and controlled that it gets away with everything."
    Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times
  • "Stunningly beautiful...a Gothic masterpiece."
    Rowan Righelato , The Guardian
  • ""Mesmerizing...more satisfying than David Lynch's WILD AT HEART." "
    The Sunday Times
  • "A stark and startlingly gorgeous film built around dreamlike images, The Reflecting Skin is a singular work, quite unlike any other.’s a masterpiece of fully conceived and realized intent."
    David J. Moore, The Movie Elite