Formless (2021) – Movie Review


Directed by Samantha Aldana.
Starring Kelly Murtagh, Erika Ashley, Gralen Bryant Banks, Bobby Gilchrist.


A New Orleans blues singer struggles to hide her worsening eating disorder.

Ivy (Kelly Murtagh) is a beautiful woman who lives in New Orleans. She dreams of becoming a professional blues singer, performs regularly with her band, and shares remarkable chemistry with her bandmate Oscar (Bobby Gilchrist). Ivy is working hard to seem like she has everything under control, but she’s harboring a terrible, secret shame. Ivy has an eating disorder and her wheels start to come off.

First feature by director Samantha Aldana Report it is a somber look at an isolated person facing a serious problem. When she’s not working her boring day job at a dry cleaner or performing music, Ivy is usually alone in her apartment, trying not to binge, and when she doesn’t succeed, she invariably ends up on her knees in front of the toilet. In her artistic life with her band, Ivy seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough, but privately, the walls are closing in, and where there might be music, creativity, and the opportunity to make her dreams come true, her life is becoming more and more. defined by deprivation, failure, and shame.

If all of this sounds pretty depressing, that’s because it is. While the film is ostensibly a horror movie, Report works best as a somber representation of living with bulimia. The film offers scene after scene of Ivy trying (and failing) to control her eating disorder, and Ivy’s bulimia seems to follow patterns of addictive behavior rather than an attempt to meet an unrealistic standard of beauty. It’s real hard work living like an addict, and Report it is very effective in depicting the daily boredom of Ivy’s everyday life. Unfortunately, it can also be tricky to watch these events play out to their conclusion.

Some of the problems with Report it probably comes down to unfulfilled expectations. Aldana tries to incorporate a body horror motif into Ivy’s binge-purge cycle, but while these effects are very well done, they never feel particularly insightful, and I never quite understood what the extra appendages Ivy imagines appearing in her body.

There is a scene in Report where Ivy is trying to hide evidence of a purge by scooping handfuls of vomit out of a toilet, and it’s a much more horrifying sight to behold than the more aggregated gender elements on display. Report It might be a more effective horror entry if it had leaned more toward the horrific aspects of living with bulimia, but more often than not, Aldana’s camera shies away from the stomach-churning realities of the disease.

Weather Report unsuccessful as a horror movie, it’s an undeniably impressive calling card for this rookie director. The setting of the New Orleans blues scene is a welcome twist, and Aldana does a remarkable job of maintaining the film’s unique (and somber) tone and mood. Kelly Murtagh is in practically every frame of this film, giving an expert performance as a woman in crisis as Ivy’s story follows an increasingly harrowing path.

Report It’s not an effective horror film, but it is an insightful story about a problem that is all too easily hidden. Like a particularly sad blues song, Report I could break your heart

Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★

Caitlyn Crowley

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