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The Reflecting Skin (1990)

2:19 | Trailer
In the 1950's, a young boy living with his troublesome family in rural USA fantasizes that a neighboring widow is actually a vampire, responsible for a number of disappearances in the area.


Philip Ridley


Philip Ridley
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Cameron Dove
Lindsay Duncan ... Dolphin Blue
Jeremy Cooper ... Seth Dove
Sheila Moore ... Ruth Dove
Duncan Fraser ... Luke Dove
David Longworth ... Joshua
Robert Koons Robert Koons ... Sheriff Ticker
David Bloom ... Deputy
Evan Hall Evan Hall ... Kim
Codie Lucas Wilbee Codie Lucas Wilbee ... Eben
Sherry Bie Sherry Bie ... Cassie
Jason Wolff Jason Wolff ... Cadillac Driver (as Jason Wolfe)
Dean Hass Dean Hass ... Passenger
Guy Buller ... Passenger
Jason Brownlow Jason Brownlow ... Passenger


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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's all part of the American dream See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Philip Ridley stated that he hand painted all the wheat yellow because he preferred the look of it See more »


Ruth Dove: Have you been exploding frogs again?
See more »

User Reviews

A beautiful nightmare
4 December 2017 | by rdoyle29See all my reviews

It's not uncommon to see films about childhood that show life prom their point of view and incorporate an element of fantasy in the process, but it's rare that the vision be this bleak and the fantasy so dark. Little Seth has a lot to deal with ... his friends are disappearing and turning up murdered. His father is suspected due to a past homosexual indiscretion. His mother is a crazy person obsessed with the smell of gasoline and the return of his elder brother (Viggo Mortensen) from WWII. His neighbor, a very depressed widow, is a vampire ... and she's probably killing his brother. His dead friend returns as some sort of rotting fetal angel. Friendly leather boys roam the plains in a shiny car.

Dick Pope's cinematography is beautiful. Fans of David Lynch want to see this, yet it has it's own very unique tone.

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UK | Canada



Release Date:

9 November 1990 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Reflecting Skin See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,958, 30 June 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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