Fear the Monster Within

February 13, 2022

Suspenseful & Stylistic Score for SHAPELESS from Mandy Hoffman

– Randall D. Larson

Directed by Samantha Aldana in her feature film debut after directing six short films, SHAPELESS is a psychological horror/thriller that stars Kelly Murtagh, Jamie Neumann, and Marco Dapper. Murtaugh plays Ivy, a woman trapped in the hidden underworld of an eating disorder. Ivy has everything a woman would want: she’s beautiful and has an incredible singing voice that has allowed her dream of being a jazz singer in New Orleans become a reality. However, at home, the line between nightmares and reality fractures as her personal demons threaten to turn her into something monstrous.

The movie has been scored by Mandy Hoffman, a composer and music producer known for having a broad stylistic range and unique voice, whose nuanced scores support both story and vision. Her film music includes THE LOVERS (A24) and HALA (Apple TV+), both of which received praise from top film critics. Her music has appeared in such TV series as I LOVE DICK (Amazon), DOLL & EM (HBO), and DUMMY (Roku). In 2019, Hoffman did a 70-piece orchestral arrangement for the rapper/activist Sonita Alizadeh for THE WOMEN WARRIORS: VOICES OF CHANGE, a live-score documentary led by Maestra Amy Andersson at The Lincoln Center with The Orchestra Moderne. She also conducted The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra performing her original orchestral piece The Forest and The Trees at the Wiltern in Los Angeles for the 2018 Future is Female Concert. Hoffman is an active member of both the music and filmmaking communities, often sitting on panels and leading workshops. She is a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures and is a board member of The Alliance for Women Film Composers.

In a review of the film’s showing at Tribeca 2021, Matt Konopka commented on killerhorrorcritic.com about Hoffman’s “chilling score… which permeates throughout,” while Kristy Strouse of filminquiry wrote of “the lyrical way the film melded stunning cinematography, lovely jazz, and a dissonant score by Mandy Hoffman. While SHAPELESS resides in the horror genre, being both internally discomforting as well as externally disturbing at times, it’s also a beautifully communicated picture.” I’d say Hoffman’s score is anything but “shapeless!” 😉

SHAPELESS is now available to rent on Amazon Prime

Watch the film’s trailer:

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