Film: Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon




As the title might suggest this is a rather bizarre and unpredictable fantasy-thriller. It has elements of horror, many very funny moments, and probably the slowest police chase I have seen on film.

Somewhere on the fringes of New Orleans, Mona Lisa (Jeon Jong-seo), a young Korean girl, wearing a strait jacket is shut in a locked room. She has been incarcerated in a “Home for Mentally Insane Adolescents” for ten years, since she was 12 years old.

A full moon shines when she is badly treated by a sadistic attendant who comes to cut her toe nails – and she is suddenly able to summon supernatural powers with a stare that causes her tormentor to undo the strait jacket,  then repeatedly stab herself.



She escapes barefooted, wearing only the undone strait jacket, meeting up with misfits in New Orleans society and is helped by Fuzz (Ed Skein), a tattooed drug dealer driving a car which looks like the inside of a wild disco.

It turns out that by staring at someone, and moving her arms, she can make that person do what she wants. If you mess with her you could end up shooting yourself in the leg like policeman Officer Harold (Craig Robinson) or punching yourself in the face. “I’m not going back to that place” she repeats many times.

Out of touch with the real world, she finds a friend in single mother Bonnie (Kate Hudson, who excels in her role) a pole-dancing stripper at a night club, who takes her home where she meets her level-headed 11 year old son Charlie (Evan Whitten).



Bonnie, a self-confessed bad mother, takes advantage of the friendship. She makes hundreds of dollars using Mona Lisa’s supernatural powers to get money from people making withdrawals from accounts at ATMs. Officer Harold is in hot pursuit limping from shooting himself in a leg.

Charlie and Mona Lisa make plans to leave New Orleans.

Director-writer Ana Lily Amipour (A Girl Walks at Night, an acclaimed vampire movie) in her third feature film has made an entertaining movie in her own style with saturated neon colours, weird characters, and a soundtrack to match.

106 minutes.

Showing at Luna Leederville from October 13th.



Watch the trailer…