Set in 2007, the film introduces Richard (Beau Knapp), a talented yet highly obsessive data analyst who works on Wall Street. Richard is passionate about details. He generally keeps to himself as he lacks people skills and struggles to have decent conversations with anyone. Richard is well known within his company for creating code and software applications which he and fellow staff members use to monitor all activities relating to the stock exchange.
One night when his company are hosting an event, Richard manages to strike up a conversation with a young woman named Lena (Charlotte Vega). Their conversation and first impression go so well that he invites her home to his penthouse, where the two continue to talk and learn more about each other. But sadly, their moment together ends awkwardly, and Richard goes to bed all alone. Shortly after, he discovers that a small mosquito seems to have bitten him. He becomes curious about this one mosquito and begins a personal experiment which soon leads to him breeding mosquitos inside his apartment. Richard begins down a strange and dark path of madness.
Mosquito State is filled with strong visuals and imagery right from the starting credits. There are several moments of stunning cinematography and lighting which I appreciated. The choices made captured the awkwardness and creepiness perfectly, creating uncomfortable moments and tension. Performances were a strength I enjoyed. The top performance by Beau Knapp as Richard certainly would not have been an easy journey for the actor to pull off, but the result is tremendous. The side performance from Charlotte Vega is also engaging and lovely on-screen.
But the truth is, Mosquito State’s plot is dark, creepy and at multiple times quite bizarre, and honestly, I had no idea what would happen next or how it would end. It’s a story that doesn’t warrant repeat viewings, but I was hooked quickly and drawn in by the film’s drama, uncomfortable moments, and storyline. Granted, this film won’t be for everyone, but it is highly different and creative, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and that alone is praiseworthy.
My only major disappointment with the film is ultimately the final act and ending, which feels vague, and opinions will vary from viewer to viewer. Based on the film’s journey, I found it somewhat disappointing that the movie either struggled with its ending or refused to give its viewers a proper conclusion. I had hoped for a greater climax or understanding, as the journey our leads had been on was truly pleasing until these final moments.
Overall, the truth is, there has never been a film like this. Mosquito State is certainly different and creative. Thanks to the top performances and stunning visuals, including the filming style, it is all quite engaging. The plot won’t be for everyone, but I felt quite appreciative of the experience. It’s an interesting journey, but sadly, I felt the film’s ending and climax deserved something stronger instead of something which felt rather vague. Mosquito State (2021) is Available on Shudder from August 26th!