HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Heartless Marked For DeathBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Philip Ridley
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Clémence Poésy, Noel Clarke, Luke Treadaway, Justin Salinger, Fraser Ayres, Ruth Sheen, David Florenz, Nikita Mistry, Timothy Spall, Connie Hyde, Nadia Theaker, David Sibley, Imogen Church, Joseph Mawle, Eddie Marsan, Jack Gordon
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess) has been self-conscious about his looks since he was a picked on child, thanks to a huge birthmark covering half his face and shoulder. Though his beloved father (Timothy Spall) is now dead, he treasures the camera that he gave him, and prefers to snap the photographs he makes his living with alongside his brother Raymond (Justin Salinger) using film developed in a darkroom rather than digitally. Today he is out looking for interesting subjects, when he spots something strange in a window of the rough neighbourhood where he lives - but things are about to get a lot rougher...

Philip Ridley's third film in about twenty years was much anticipated by those who had been so impressed by his debut, The Reflecting Skin, and the fewer number who had liked the follow-up, The Passion of Darkly Noon, but Heartless turned out to be more the latter than the former as far as the reaction went. There were not many truly wowed by what he had created here, which was mainly down to how obscure the narrative was, not making it crystal clear whether we were seeing a fantasy world in Jamie's head, or whether there really was something sinister going on to the extent that there were demonic forces at work.

This question was solved in its way by the final scenes, but until then too many viewers were left wondering what the hell was going on, not least because even the stuff that was supposed to be happening in the real world was so bizarre, if not quite as inflected by the protagonist's imagination. In a sense, we were back in the territory of the unreliable narrator, as although we are not privy to Jamie's thoughts, we do see the story through his eyes, and you had to be on his uncertain wavelength to get to grips with what was shown. Ridley was fortunate to secure the services of Sturgess, as without the sympathy he generated this would be offputting indeed.

What sets Jamie over the edge after a lifetime of bullying is when news reports appear about the gang who are attacking innocent people in the area he lives, something that not only makes him worry for himself but for his nearest and dearest as well. He lives with his religious mother (Ruth Sheen) in their flat, and he may not have embraced her faith, but he is influenced by it therefore can well believe that the district he stays in has been infested not with thugs, but with actual messengers of Satan. This is only underlined when he catches sight of the gang members and they appear to have toothy, reptilian appearances under their hoods.

After an encounter with them that gets too close for comfort, to put it mildly, it looks as if what we're offered with Heartless will be a Death Wish with pretensions, with Jamie going out to buy a gun from the corner shop owner's secret weapons stash, something that leads to an amusingly menacing extended cameo from Eddie Marsan as the "weapons man". When the new arrival from across the hall, A.J. (an affable Noel Clarke) invites him out to the pub, it seems as if things might be looking up, and when apparently he secures himself the stirrings of a romance with model Tia (Clémence Poésy), he's even happier, but like so many sympathetic movie maniacs before him, this blossoming contentment comes at a price which includes a ceremonial dagger, too much clingfilm, and his own sweetly goading Tinkerbell (Nikita Mistry). As this is presented in such eccentric style, it's best to enjoy the journey through Ridley's concepts of evil, as the destination is sadly not novel enough to quite satisfy. Not conventional in the telling, but overfamiliar in the story if you can fathom it. Music by David Julyan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1718 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: