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Monday, November 8, 2010

[7.25/10] Heartless (2010)



Heartless (2010)

"Heartless" follows Jamie, a troubled young man with a birthmark on his face, which has left him feeling isolated and fearful, hiding from the world outside. He lives in the East End of London, an area notorious for its violent hooded gangs. According to news reports, the gangs are now wearing demon masks. But, one night, Jamie discovers the terrifying truth: the gangs are not wearing masks. They are real demons. And when Jamie's mother is killed by them in a brutal attack, he realizes he can no longer hide away. Jamie vows vengeance and turns vigilante. But the world outside is more of a nightmare than he ever imagined. Director Philip Ridley blends drama with horror elements perfectly, and as a result, his "Heartless" is a surreal experience, a trip into darkness that mesmerizes with its subtlety, dark mood, grim visuals and compelling characters. Jim Sturgess delivers a truly captivating performance as Jamie Morgan - he gives his full range of emotions, making the audience feel connected with his character throughout the film. In fact, he's so convincing in his role, it makes you constantly think and wonder, if what's happening is real, or if he's a mentally disororderd young man, who's anti-social isolated life has affected his brain and made his imagination explode. Joseph Mawle gives a fierce, chilling and downright terrifying performance as Papa B, and he owns the screen in every scene he appears. The little girl, who's devil's little apprentice, but also Jamie's guardian 'angel' is not only adorable, but also very good in her role. Noel Clarke as A.J. has very limited screen time, but he portrays a very sympathetic character. Technically, "Heartless" also impresses. The visuals are gloomy, grim and mute-colored, yet striking and quite appropriate for film's dark mood and even darker subject matter, and Philip Ridley's competent direction is intense and artistically-mounted. All in all, Philip Ridley's latest effort is a unique, different, thrilling and thoroughly gripping character-driven horror drama, that is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air in the genre, and stands out amongst all the crappy horror flicks released recently.

3 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crappy horror flicks is an understatement. I'll have to look for this one.

Jaccstev said...

The most terrifying aspect of this tedious flick is sitting through it and slowly feeling your brain turn to mush. The main character is thoroughly a dull protagonist and the story is a deliberately paced tale that never catches fire and never makes sense. A desperately terrible film!

Nebular said...

@Alex, an understatement, but sadly true.

@Jaccstev, you think it's terrible, I think it's original and subtly frightening. Different people - different opinions.