Director Chelsea Lupkin’s “Lucy’s Tale” is a short I hope to see turned in to a movie someday very soon. I think it has so much potential to become a twisted coming of age story about the birth of evil, as well as a story about body insecurity, sexual awakening, and the horrors of modern bullying. “Lucy’s Tale” suffers from a pun of a title, but once you get past it, Lupkin delivers a narrative that I wish was a hundred minutes and went further in to the story of Lucy.
Lucy is a young high school girl dealing with body issues. Considered under developed for her age, she’s suffering from insecurities about her looks, especially as she’s suffering heinous bullying at the hands of a clique at her school. One day when she notices she’s beginning to grow a tail, she begins to look for ways to get rid of it. But things soon get interesting when she realizes she’s also harboring subtle supernatural abilities as well. Is the tail just a deformity, or is it the sign of the beginning of something extraordinary?
There are not a lot of hints as to the back story of Lucy’s family, as much of the narrative is focused on Lucy, but the tail becomes symbolic of her growing maturity, her blossoming in to womanhood and the inherent body dysmorphic disorder she possesses. The moment she begins to accept what will be and embraces her appealing traits, “Lucy’s Tale” becomes a lot darker and much more horror based. I like to think that Chelsea Lupkin’s short is the origin of pure evil, and the more Lucy matured, the more she’d become a force of darkness.
This is alluded toward in a scene where Lucy is watching Brian DePalma’s “Carrie.” Along with a great script and stellar special effects (by Anthony Giordano), there’s also the great performance by lead Irina Bravo, who successfully sucks us in to the tale of Lucy. She’s not only an empathetic protagonist, but her gradual transformation also signals that she’s going to become a vicious antagonist with her growing grasping of powers embedded within her. “Lucy’s Tale” is a top notch coming of age horror short, and I’d love to see it in feature form, as I think it can be sit alongside classics like “Ginger Snaps” and “Carrie.”
The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival runs every year from January 31st to February 3rd.