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Film Review: “Mosquito State” Is a Can of Raid Away from a Total Flop

Written by: Adam Vaughn | August 25th, 2021

Film poster: “Mosquito State”

Mosquito State (Filip Jan Rymsza, 2020) 1 out of 4 stars.

How unfortunate that director Filip Jan Rymsza (Dustclouds) releases his newest horror/thriller feature in a manner that comes across as disheveled, confused, and at times simply idiotic. His Mosquito State starts out with beautiful imagery (and admittedly consistently has) just waiting to be supported by a tension-building, dramatic, and even horrifying screenplay. The result, however, is a film with cringy dialogue, uncertain character development, and an overall disappointing direction.

Mosquito State follows Wall Street analyst Richard Boca (Beau Knapp, Semper Fi) as he is bitten, and then inhabited by, a mosquito while attending a Wall Street business party. As Boca struggles to balance his Wall Street life, analyzing strange and chaotic patterns in stock data, he also finds himself furiously inflicted by an ever-growing population of mosquitos, suffering from grotesque injuries as a result. As time goes on, both Boca’s work environment and mosquito problem escalate, causing him both mental and physical distress as they worsen.

Beau Knapp in MOSQUITO STATE. Photo Credit: Marzena Stoklosa/Shudder

The film’s ultimate flaw is how poorly and utterly lazy the writing is, starting with basic, uninspired conversations in the very first scene. Knapp’s portrayal of Richard Boca runs as a stereotypical meek-man-gone-crazy trope reflective (but certainly done better) of films such as Taxi Driver and Joker. As the story progresses, Boca overcomes repulsive changes from his mosquito bites, particularly on his face. For some unexplained reason, almost none of the various characters Boca interacts with notice those changes, save for a few moments from Boca’s love interest, Lena (Charlotte Vega, American Assassin), and his secretary (Audrey Wasilewski, About Fifty). Furthermore, Boca’s relationship among the mosquitos detaches the audience from the promise of horrific imagery and instead seems to hint at an almost superhero-esque potential from Boca, which leads to nothing relevant by the end of the film.

One thing Mosquito State does have going for it is beautiful mise-en-scène and color. While this may be the film’s clear strength, it is certainly not enough to distract the audience from the overall flop of the story and the mediocrity in other elements. Sadly, even the mise-en-scene starts to deteriorate as the film progresses, and the color, interestingly enough, becomes a distraction more than an empowering addition to the scenes. Overall, Mosquito State’s visual success does little to debug this film’s messy narrative situation.

Charlotte Vega in MOSQUITO STATE. Photo Credit: Marzena Stoklosa/Shudder

Adam Vaughn is a graduate of the Film & Moving Image program at Stevenson University, with a focus in Cinematography and Production. He also has a minor in Theater and Media Performance. Adam works as a freelance photographer and videographer, focusing his craft on creating compelling photographic and cinematic imagery. Adam is excited to join the Film Festival Today team and explore the world of cinema and visual arts.

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