The Reflecting Skin (1990)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  9 November 1990 (UK)
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A young boy tries to cope with rural life circa 1950s and his fantasies become a way to interpret events. After his father tells him stories of vampires, he becomes convinced that the widow... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameron Dove
Dolphin Blue
Jeremy Cooper ...
Sheila Moore ...
Ruth Dove
Luke Dove
Robert Koons ...
Sheriff Ticker
Evan Hall ...
Codie Lucas Wilbee ...
Sherry Bie ...
Jason Wolff ...
Cadillac Driver (as Jason Wolfe)
Dean Hass ...
Jason Brownlow ...


A young boy tries to cope with rural life circa 1950s and his fantasies become a way to interpret events. After his father tells him stories of vampires, he becomes convinced that the widow up the road is a vampire, and tries to find ways of discouraging his brother from seeing her. He must deal with an abusive mother, a father with a charge of molestation, a band of youths creating havoc, and an unforgiving environment in general. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes terrible things happen quite naturally


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense violent behavior, and for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 November 1990 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

L'enfant miroir  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The industrial/experimental band Coil used the line "you've been exploding frogs again" on their album « Stolen and Contaminated Songs » (1992). See more »


Sheriff Ticker: Did your father ever touch you anywhere?
Seth Dove: Yeah.
Sheriff Ticker: Where?
Seth Dove: In the kitchen.
Sheriff Ticker: Anywhere else?
Seth Dove: Anyplace outside the kitchen?
See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie. Unusual atmosphere
19 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Really a good film. Definitely worth finding. I guess the only place you can score "The Reflecting Skin" is ebay, but I would recommend shelling out the few extra bucks. It's worth it. It would spoil the film to give away too much. And director Philip Ridley interweaves everything together masterfully. I mean MASTERFULLY. When you watch it you'll know what I mean.

Young Seth lives in rural America at the end of WWII. Kids are getting killed in the town. Seth and his friends are convinced his creepy neighbor lady who always wears sunglasses and is pale and British, is the culprit (and that she's a vampire). Seth's brother (played by a young Viggo Mortenson) comes home from the war and promptly falls in love with the neighbor lady. Of course, this horrifies Seth. And stuff even starts to happen to his brother to confirm his suspicions. But there's a reason. You probably shouldn't know more. There are a couple of different plot threads. They are all haunting. Especially the backstory involving Mortenson, which I found chilling. One monologue to the British lady about his experiences in the war he tells with absolute innocence (when you see it you understand, given the time period) is blood-curdling.

The scenery/cinematography is amazing. Lot of remarkable imagery. Stuffs that REALLY sticks in your mind. Not just the images of little kids bounding through wheat fields (which there are plenty of) but the way the houses seem utterly rooted into the landscape. The way the whole atmosphere has a strange, haunted feeling. Great stuff. Highly recommended. Nothing TOO terribly frightening, but LOTS of creepiness. Actually, the whole film is just plain creepy.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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