Wonderfully, powerfully, moving and thought-provoking. It is a rare thing for a horror film to genuinely touch me, but Heartless did just that. It was such an odd mixture of creature-feature horror, a stunningly emotive story and fantastic characterisation that it really defies classification.
One thing I do know, however, is that watching Heartless gave me an experience like no other 'horror' film I've seen. The scare moments were in there, and I jumped in all the right places, but the deeper storyline, so brilliantly given life by Jim Sturgess and Nikita Mistry, was what made this film stand out as one of the best I have seen all year. As a general rule I'm not fond of creature/demon based films, because human beings are a lot scarier to me than something that doesn't exist, but far from being just a quest to scare you, this felt like a film that also compelled you to think, and that is where it excelled.
The characters were refreshingly three-dimensional, and I really grew to care for them, which made the story all the more engaging – I wanted things to be alright for Jamie, I was rooting for him, and the deeper I got into the story, the scarier it became. That is how horror should work, it should suck you in to a point where you feel what the protagonists are feeling; that is how to produce a real scare. Not just in a jump out of your seat moment, but in the moments after the film has ended and beyond, where you think and contemplate what you may have done in the situation.
The direction was excellent and the actual cinematography and use of photographs within the film was gorgeous. The standout element though was by far the superb acting throughout the entire piece. The leads in particular were impressive, but all of the supporting cast were stellar too.
Heartless was a winner for me, because it is a film that I know will stay with me for a long time, and could well become one of my go-to films when someone asks me for a gem.
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