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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

The Indie Bible

Friday, December 8, 2023

Why "Mono" is a comedy-horror film

Yesterday, I watched the very entertaining and aptly-titled film “Mono”. It brought back interesting memories of my time in a boarding high school. I remember those four years with mixed feelings. There were moments of comedy, joy, sadness, rebellion and always, always, the underlying feeling of “I want to go home”, which was the title of the very first poem I ever wrote, during my first weeks as a form one student -  a “mono”.

What makes "Mono" a comedy-horror film? The comedic elements are very clear. Upon reflection, I picked out the following horror elements:

TRAPPED: It’s right there in the name. Boarding. No going home. No escape.

MONSTERS: Two monsters are portrayed in the film: physical monsters (bullies) and psychological monsters. Psychological monsters are usually brought to life by the physical monsters and are outlined in the Psychology Today article by Karl Albrecht, The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share: “These fears include extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego death."

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEATH – Thankfully, there are no physical deaths in the film but the psychological deaths or ego deaths are many. Albrecht explains ego death as follows: “… humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one's constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.”

The film’s TRAILER shows us some examples of ego deaths

“Whatever your parents taught you stays at home.”

Corporal punishment.

One's food being taken by the older students.

“Why are monos taking window seats?”

A concerned mother asks her son: “What happened to your face?”

Being insulted by those in authority: “Your head is full of porridge.”

I was in high school when the first ever radio station to play rock music was begun. Perhaps, my experiences in boarding school helped me to appreciate this music that I had never heard of before. Bands like U2 with their anthemic songs. Like “Pride (In the name of love):

“Originally Bono wanted to write a song about Ronald Reagan’s arrogant pride in his military power, which inevitably led to heightened nuclear tensions during the Cold War. However, after reading biographies on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, he decided to focus on the pride ingrained in the causes of the African-American Civil Rights movement, and the comparison between the violent and nonviolent approaches each leader took.” (

Female rock stars like Alanis Morrissette who through songs like “You oughta know” (1995) made it okay to express dissatisfaction:

And I'm here, to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away

It's not fair, to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

You, you, you oughta know

Playful, fun yet thought-provoking pop-rock songs, reminders that life is complex but life is still good. Songs like Hanson’s “Mmbop” (1997) and Desree’s “You gotta be” (1994)

You have so many relationships in this life

Only one or two will last

You go through all the pain and strife

Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast

Oh, so hold on the ones who really care

In the end they'll be the only ones there

And when you get old and start losing your hair

Can you tell me who will still care?


In “Mono” we get to see the beginnings of relationships that may last a lifetime. The beauty of this film is that it has potential for so many spin-offs: the main characters in their last year of high school, the main characters in their first year of university, the main characters as adults, the main characters as old men losing their hair, recalling their days as monos…J

One of the characters that stood out for me was the female literature teacher who positively impacted the monos. She challenged them without breaking them, chastised them without belittling them.

Listen as your day unfolds

Challenge what the future holds

Try and keep your head up to the sky

Lovers, they may cause you tears

Go ahead, release your fears

Stand up and be counted

Don't be ashamed to cry (Yes, there was a scene where two monos cried).

You gotta be

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser

You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger

You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together

All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Herald what your mother said

Read the books your father read

Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time

Some may have more cash than you

Others take a different view

My oh my, eh, eh, eh

It’s no wonder that the monos respected this literature teacher so much that they…well, you have to watch the movie to find out! J