Ivy is desperate to pursue her dream of becoming a jazz singer in New Orleans. But when she isn’t performing, she is filled with a crippling dread, and personal demons threaten to turn her into something monstrous.
Shapeless is directed by Samantha Aldana and stars Kelly Murtagh as Ivy; a struggling jazz singer living in New Orleans. The film is somewhat autobiographical, with Murtagh having written the screenplay based on her personal life experiences.
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to the contents of the film. First and foremost, it is clearly analogous, comparing eating disorders and addiction to physical body horror. The imagery and cinematography used to outline this relationship are absolutely gorgeous and we have a handful of very powerful and well-crafted scenes that leave you unable to look away while being deeply unsettling.
But that’s it. That’s all of the horror that you are going to find in the film, and that is what disappointed me. Do not misunderstand; Shapeless is a wonderful, powerful film that tackles very dark and serious content in a very creative way; it’s a masterfully crafted piece of cinema and I loved the immersion and intimacy one feels with the protagonist. It’s a great film. However, it is not a horror film and that left me feeling somewhat cheated.
There are those that—I suppose—would argue that the handful of horror-esque scenes that are dotted throughout the film make it a horror. I would not. A laugh or two does not make a film a comedy nor does a sex scene make a film a porno. There is just not enough here for this to be labelled as a horror film and I dislike it when a film masquerades as something it’s not to attract a wider audience. More’s the pity as the film is—in my mind—more than strong enough to stand on its own as a drama. It’s heartfelt and moving and I wish Shapeless finds its way to a wider audience.
And with that, I’m simply going to end my thoughts on the film. I came to review a horror movie and that’s not what I ended up watching. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and artwork below. Shapeless will be available to Own or Rent from 19th September
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.