Wednesday, October 3

Follow-up: Reflecting Skin quietly appears on DVD

To be upfront, I didn't care much for this one. For a film that tells a story of intimate tragedy through the prism of a young boy's fanciful perception, in which a widowed English woman becomes a vampire who appears responsible for a series of murders in the child's mind, there's just too many whimsical touches in its depiction of the "real" world to convey the raw emotions its characters endure. The sell of the harsh reality of life is difficult to accept when reality distractingly looks like Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World. This aspect also dampens the impact of the boy's inevitably doomed fantasies which The Reflecting Skin hangs its rather trite climax on. David Lynch nailed a similar "seething perversion under an idyllic facade" aesthetic to much better effect several years prior with Blue Velvet.

Despite my feelings, this admittedly beautifully shot film desires way better than the terrible treatment given here by Echo Bridge. The source is obviously an old video master cropped to full screen with poor detail, print flecks, and constant sprocket flutter (incessant vertical "bouncing" to the picture). The presentation is hurt further by terrible compression, rampant interlace combing, and a strange anomaly that pops up randomly that turns segments of the picture in "blurred blobs" with surrounding areas unaffected. The color is often the best thing going, but the cumulative effect of the other problems drags down that benefit. The Dolby 2.0 audio is also problematic with dialogue often sounding too low and the score too high. Although this issue does eventually even out along the film's duration. Zero supplements with ten completely unlabeled and "unpictured" chapter stops. Here's a little DVD comparison between several other prior (and superior) releases from "Terror Obsura". (the screen caps at the link contain spoilers)

No comments: you dare tread upon the staircase?

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