Wednesday, October 31, 2012

25 Horror Films: #11 and #10


The War Zone (Time Roth, 1999)

The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley, 1990)

“Who is killing all of our children?”

The Reflecting Skin is an allegory about growing up that is sometimes overwrought, yet the feel and tone of the film is so odd and mysterious that somehow it all works.

Children are often frustrated by their perceived powerlessness, forever waiting for the time to come when they'll mysteriously be granted certain rights that will bring them closer to being "somebody." They live life in the same fashion—openly, playfullyknowing they're under its spell.  

Many adults like to think the world is spinning because they've not yet told it to stop.

At one point in The Reflecting Skin, Seth Dove blows in his hand. The camera cuts to some wheat blowing in the breeze. The childa phantom, a ghosthas grown. And now he has the power to alter the world.

(Some overwrought words for an overwrought film. Speaking of which, did I mention that the child's name is Seth Dove!?)


Tyler said...

Philip Ridley belongs to that group of directors who begin their careers with a film that makes people think they're a visionary and end it by making people wonder how someone so inept ever managed to make something as interesting as their debut. Each of Ridley's subsequent films has been markedly worse. The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995) had its moments, but Heartless (2009) was unwatchably bad.

The captures I took of The Reflecting Skin are from a VHS to DVD copy. As far as I know, none of the current DVD releases are much better.

In case it's not obvious, my lack of commentary of any sort on The War Zone is due to it being a Brown Paper Bag Movie (BPBM).

Tyler said...

PS: The comment about Seth blowing in his hand followed by a cut to some wheat blowing in the breeze is from an old file of notes on my computer. In other words, I can't say with utter certainty that such a sequence even exists in the film!

When I re-watched THE REFLECTING SKIN a few weeks ago to make sure I still wanted to include it on my list, I didn't look to see if this cut was in the film because I hadn't read the note yet. (I don't remember it.) I assume it's there, or something similar; otherwise I wouldn't have written it in the first place...

I'll scan through and check sometime in the next day or two, and delete this comment if I find it.

Tyler said...

I scanned the first 3/4 of it this morning on 4x speed and the last fourth in 2x and didn't see the aforementioned cut, though that doesn't exactly mean much...

Anyway, the caveat has been given.