Mia (Luna Wedler) is in the prime of adolescence. The fifteen-year-old soon finds herself enticed by the popular crowd at school, acting rebellious towards her overbearing parents all while undergoing some significantly radical physiological changes. Lisa Brühlmann’s ‘Blue My Mind’ is a fascinating coming-of-age film with a subtle body horror edge, making it one of this year’s most distinctive genre offerings.
Blue My Mind is a film that is best going into without any prior assumptions. It beautifully unfolds in a naturalistic style, in terms of the character portrayals, performances and a festering build up that leads to unexpected places.
The Horror Genre is renowned for tackling growing pains parallel with tropes of the ‘monster movie’. The ‘monstrous aspect’ is emblematic, conveying the physical changes that comes with adolescence depicting a scary and confusing time. Horror is the ideal genre to explore girlhood and growing up with the ‘horror aspect’ in place as a way to internalize the changes that occur during puberty and the social pressures associated with teendom.
Most recently, Julia Ducournau’s masterpiece, Raw (2016) did an exquisite job at combining teen angst with provocative horror, balancing realism with a sense of surrealism. Blue My Mind equally encompasses this notion offering an entrancing, dreamlike tone while telling a very relatable story of what it means to be a teenager in modern society. This is where the comparisons do end, both films are tonally different as Raw presents a more confrontational reaction to the events that happen to the lead character. An accurate comparison would be if Raw crossed paths with Catherine Hardwicke’s 2003 indie masterpiece, ‘Thirteen’, in the sense that both provide a gritty realism to the subject matter bringing un-sugar-coated truthfulness to examining girlhood. Blue My Mind is much more gradual with the ‘horrifying’ segments kept at a minimum. That said, with clever camera work, those intentionally squeamish moments do enough to provoke while cutting away at the right points, leaving plenty to the imagination.
Luna Wedler is captivating as Mia, performing a character who is undoubtedly believable as a conflicted teenager, coming to terms with the strange occurrences that keep happening to her. She embodies flawed characteristics that are associated with being an everyday teenager, succumbing to peer pressure, acting antagonistic towards her parents and struggling with a sense of belonging. All these characteristics make her even more compelling, drawing her as a three-dimensional person. Her chemistry with the entire ensemble cast is on point, allowing the audience to invest in her interactions with the characters she encounters.
The directorial and writing choices Lisa Brühlmann has made for the film is incredibly interesting. She sheds stereotypes when it comes to her teen characters, creating naturalistic teenagers rather than overexaggerated caricatures. LGBT themes are touched upon without being exploited for fan service. There is some on-camera nudity and provocative scenes depicted however it doesn’t feel that Brühlmann has shoehorned them in for shock value, the purpose of these moments breathes honesty to the piece, reiterating that, Blue My Mind is wholeheartedly authentic in the subjects in portrays.
Blue My Mind is visually stunning, with Gabriel Lobos’s cinematography capturing a melancholic quality. The film is gorgeous to look at with unwavering blue lighting that enhances the trance-like atmosphere.
As discussed, Blue My Mind isn’t the first film of its kind to explore girlhood and amalgamate it into a horror context. However, it’s very much its own entity supplying an engaging character-driven story, while embodying the beauty of horror. Blue My Mind is a journey of adolescence, capturing its ugliness and wonder in equal measure with an immensely satisfying pay-off.
Blue My Mind screens at the Abertoir Horror Festival on Thursday the 15th of November 2018. Featuring a highly diverse programme, Blue My Mind is just one of the films in the line-up that brings in a different slant on genre filmmaking proving that campy slashers and the more indie, arthouse films can be equally appreciated alongside each other.
For further information, visit: http://www.abertoir.co.uk/