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“Reflect” is a metaphysical movie that blends the surreal artistry of “Midsommar” and the psychedelic oddity of “Colour Out Of Space”.

Reflect

Reflect follows five friends as they travel to Sedona, Arizona, on a spiritual obstacle course complete with five courses. With the chance to win a cash prize, they’re also offered an opportunity to truly find themselves.

Director, writer, and star Dana Kippel delivers a film that hits on hard, sensitive subjects, dissecting the characters and taking you on a hypnotizing spiritual journey.

Our main character, Summer (played by Dana Kippel), is stuck in a loveless relationship where she yearns for a gateway out of the repetition and dreariness of everyday life. So she has the great idea to gather her friends Katie (Grace Peterson), Liz (Jadelyn Breier), Annie (Marissa Peterson), and Nia (Ariana Brown) and sign them up for this obstacle course in the desert.

Upon arrival, you can already tell that everything isn’t what it seems with otherworldly forces at play.

Unbeknownst to them, Earth is center stage, starring in the galactic, universal game show Game of Life.

Dana Kippel dissects these characters, looking into their raw, real pasts.

By touching on sensitive subjects like coming out queer in a Christian household, suffering from parental problems, and eating disorders, Kippel makes it easy to relate to these characters, one way or another, and you start to root for them.

When this eclectic group of friends sit down and confront each other’s truths, it makes us uncomfortable watching them tear each other apart emotionally.

The title of the film relates to the idea that these friends are reflecting on the things they hate about each other, but it’s really a reflection of what they hate about themselves.

It also leverages the hatred women tend to have toward each other, lacking trust in other women and viewing them as a competition as a result of how society has pitted them against each other.

There is much to appreciate about Reflect

One thing that caught my eye is the cinematography with Bernie Tarin at the helm. Wide-open shots show off the stunning environments, contrasted with claustrophobic, nightmarish close-ups when confronting our characters.

An interesting array of colors was used, reminiscent of Dario Argento’s art style from films such as Suspiria. I loved the use of eye-catching colors to reflect tonal shifts — popping with greens, purples, and reds.

A transcendent soundtrack with urban undertones at times perfectly marries the cinematography and takes you into the vortex.

Unfortunately, it’s not all flawlessly executed. The film struggles at times in its search for gravitas and deep meaning, to the point where it comes off a bit cliche. At times, it borders on being too preachy during in-depth discussions on the trees and Mother Nature.

There’s definitely an audience that will rabidly devour every minute of REFLECT, but there are plenty of others who will be turned off by what they view as pretentious arthouse fare.

Reflect

For me, the ending was anticlimactic, with nothing really coming to a grand ending to indulge us. I understand the director’s vision, but I wanted more. Others, however, will likely appreciate the peaceful resolution and powerful reflection of a much deeper meaning.

If you’re waiting for things to get darker and for more horror to seep in, you’ll likely be disappointed.

Though this film did not completely resonate with me, it does boast strong characters and an emotionally resonant story. I would not recommend it for all viewers, but the niche audience it’s tailored for should find plenty to love and appreciate.

If you are really into metaphysical, psychological sci-fi movies, Reflect is a must-watch.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3

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