In an unforgiving, forgotten rural community sometime in the fifties, with an abusive mother and a father accused of molestation, a imaginative youngster fills his time by fantasizing about vampires, convincing himself that one in living up the road in the form of a widow visited by his brother.
Heavy portents and Deep Symbolism are everywhere, to absurd effect. The unfortunate Dolphin, for example, spends four-fifths of the film dressed in one fetching little black number until she finally gets laid, whereupon she emerges into the sunlight dressed identically, except that le tout ensemble is - ta da - all in white.
That Philip Ridley is an artist of some sort or other is not in question. Throughout The Reflecting Skin he fills the screen with striking compositions, but dwells on them at such length that the end result is as overblown in the visual sense as it is empty in the emotions.
Overblown and empty, willfully perverse and difficult to engage with