Short of the Week

Lovely Monster

The “true” story of Sophia, a young woman dealing with a rare and very dangerous condition.

Twenty-one year old Sophia has a rare and dangerous condition: she is a monster. And being a monster has a big impact on her life. Her mother has disowned her. Her friends are all afraid of her. She’s afraid of herself. And the terror translates to the audience. This is a gripping film.

The monster lurks in the background, growing in the depths of the viewer’s mind, ratcheting up the fear. Even so, when the monster is revealed, it is every bit as scary as the one conjured up in your imagination.

Italian director Francesco Calabrese bills Lovely Monster as a documentary. I was taken in. Until the monster was finally shown on camera, I saw it a euphemism for mental illness. As Sophia herself says, she just wants to be “normal” again: able to go shopping, travelling and swimming without the fear of the monster rearing its ugly head.

In this gritty realism lies the film’s social significance. It pokes at the issue of who or what we call a monster. This is still a raw question in Britain, where the film is set, following last summer’s looting and riots.

Horror and mockumentary often sit well together, and this short is no exception.

David is a storyteller, dreamer, vagabond and writer based in Swansea, Wales. He traveled the world hunting for a damn good story and discovered brilliant stories are everywhere. To brighten your day with more storytelling goodness you can (and should) follow David @davidgmasters
  • Sophia Delpizzo

    Thank you for making this the short of the week, regards,


  • Jeffrey Gershom

    This was an awesome short film! The acting was convincing, and it would make a great feature film! I really feel fortunate to have found, Short of the Week. Keep them coming. :D

  • joey joey

    holy cow this was awesome.  acting was Amazing… and beautiful color grade.  thanks for the find.

  • Andrew S Allen

    Bittersweet and beautiful—just amazing atmosphere. Now to weave a bigger story from it…

  • Pascoe Foxell

    I had essentially the opposite thought process to you when watching the film. I was hoping it would turn out to be about something real and serious, and then that off-the-shelf CGI schlocky Alien creature appeared as ‘the twist’ and I was entirely let down. It was nothing close to being ‘every bit as scary as the [monster] conjured up in your imagination’. If the film really wanted to ‘poke at the issue of who or what we call a monster’, like you suggest, then it would have to aim much much higher in its ambitions.

  • David Masters

    Thanks Joey, glad you enjoyed it.

  • David Masters

    Pascoe, I agree twist aside the film could have been about Sophia having a real and serious condition. To me, that’s credit to the film-maker and the acting. I disagree, however, that a CGI monster necessarily means the film is frivolous. Fairy tales have talking wolves, goats, bears and trolls, yet that doesn’t detract from them having a serious social function or message. And everytime I watch it, the monster gives me the jitters! Though, admittedly, I’m easily spooked…

  • Jason Sondhi

    I’ll second David, I was pretty sure it was something horrific, and was worried that the filmmakers would tease us to the very end!

  • Pascoe Foxell

    Oh yeah, I love monsters, and allegories with monsters- Buffy etc. I just thought that their allegory wasn’t a particularly powerful or clever one. 

  • Pascoe Foxell

    Deleted, so it could be a reply to David’s post

  • Pascoe Foxell

    I worded my first post badly- When I said ‘real and serious’ it’s not that I think any inclusion of a monster will undercut a serious message, just that the shock tactics and (to me) fairly obvious design of the monster in the film hurt the interesting buildup of the first few minutes

  • Anonymous

    It’s really a fantastic short.

  • Jason Sondhi
  • Josias Lundager Jensen

    I can honestly say I was blown away. Being a fellow filmmaker I know how hard it is to craft a gripping tale with such a short time span. I was drawn in every second of it, Bravo…!

  • Darryl Holmes

    Im very confused! Lol, I loved the film, and Im showing it to my friends….. but…Ug! I LOVE IT!!!

  • Melissa

    don’t call it documentary when it isn’t, please.
    I was really disappointed of the twist. Really much. The color, the acting, the setup, the locations, the structure, the cut, the music and sound everything was so wonderful.
    This could have been an amazing sensitive short about a psychic disease for example about borderline, or about drug abuse or a traumata or something. But the twist just ruined all the effort. Such a waste, such a pity.

  • Melissa

    but ok. I’ll watch it some times more and try to continue interpreting it like this. Like a true statement about borderline or any other disease for that your surrounding has to suffer.
    Perhaps I am just disappointed because I don’t like personally this overstated and overdone alien/monster stuff.