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Mosquito State Film Review

★★

Directed by: Filip Jan Rymsza

Written by: Filip Jan Rymsza, Mario Zermeno

Starring: Beau Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesy

Shudder Film Review by: Chris Olson

 

Mosquito State (2020) Film Review


Mosquito State Film Review
Mosquito State Film Review

The Fly meets Wall Street in this creepy body-horror from filmmaker Filip Jan Rymsza, whose intense psychological take on the 2007 credit crunch is presented as a data analyst’s personal breakdown.


Beau Knapp plays Richard Boca, the aforementioned data analyst for a powerful brokerage firm in New York. We meet him at the beginning of Mosquito State, at a company party laden with Cristal and hedge-fund types blowing off steam. Richard isn’t your typical banker type though, more Quasimodo than Gordon Gecko, his hunched and awkward appearance is the butt of many a company joke but seems to land him in good stead with Lena (Charlotte Vega), who is working at the party. The pair head back to Richard’s High-Rise esque apartment (he owns the whole floor) for what looks like a hook-up, only to be spoiled by Richard’s intense reaction to finding out one of his investment wines (he doesn’t drink them) has corked.


Oh, and he’s managed to bring a mosquito back with him on his neck.


The film then descends into a dry middle section, whereby the looming financial crash runs parallel with Richard’s apartment being overrun with mosquitoes. The “bloodsuckers” metaphor is not lost on the audience, who are continuously swarmed with close-up egg-laying and Richard’s body going increasingly towards looking like the Elephant Man - with enormous bulges appearing in various parts of his body.


Whilst the aesthetic of Mosquito State is slick and appropriately slimy in equal measure, this is an indulgent approach to storytelling.

An irritating sound design consisting largely of obnoxious tracks and high-pitched buzzing is meant to instil a foreboding atmosphere but is just annoying. Knapp and his character’s beautiful mind are given too much freedom to chew the scenery and suffers from a severe lack of acting interaction. As viewers, we watch as he moves through the stages of becoming a mosquito (impressively animated at the film’s commencement) in a manner akin to us watching insects in a dirty box. The most engaging scenes are, without doubt, the ones with Vega in, who brings the film a much-needed sense of emotional investment.


Not without its moments of impressive spectacle and artistic ambition, Mosquito State largely suffers from irrelevance. The 2007 setting removes all of the peril (nods towards Trump notwithstanding) and the central character’s brilliant-but-flawed trope never connects in any meaningful way, resulting in at best something you can put up with and at worse something you want to swat away and spray with a lethal poison.



AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON SHUDDER, 26TH AUGUST




 




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