Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror,Thrillers Heartless (2009) : What Do You See In The Dark?

Heartless (2009) : What Do You See In The Dark?


Written and Directed by: Philip Ridley
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Noel Clarke and Clemance Posey

“The darker it gets the more you see” or is it “the more you see the darker it gets.” this is the twisted root of the problem in “Heartless” the new movie from cult favorite Philip Ridley. A young photographer, Jamie Morgan ( Jim Sturgess),  struggles with the loss of his father and the taunting of his peers in what slowly builds into a London Fairytale.

Jamie was born with a severe birthmark covering most of his upper torso, including a heart shaped patch around his left eye. He feels shame and loneliness  when others stare shocked and repulsed. He dreams of a world where he is perfect in form and he can grab the attention of the stunning model Tia (Clemance Posey).

One night when practicing guerilla photography in the urban ghetto, Jamie stumbles upon a gang of dark hooded vandals. Though the newspapers and TV report them as just young teens causing trouble, Jamie sees them as unworldly sharp toothed demons. Demons that don’t take kindly to being in pictures, and they take revenge by burning Jamie’s mother alive in the street. This sends Jamie spiraling into the dark, as he vows for revenge.  His search soon leads him too the sinister demon lord Papa B.

Seem like a little much?

At this point the story takes a turn. Papa B offers to make Jamie perfect in exchange for one act of chaos, “Like. Simple Graffiti.” the demon suggests. Jamie takes the deal and is born again through fire to a world where he is handsome and loved. But the deal isn’t as easy as he’d been lead to believe.

Philip Ridley is no stranger to these tales, being a fantasy author before starting a career in movies. The story itself shows a lot of potential from the start and the characters are well developed. Also the acting was far superior then I was expecting, though I admit I was expecting very little having not heard of this movie before watching it. It is a very dark movie involving quite a bit of suspension of disbelief. The last part of the movie doesn’t hold up as well with the story getting too involved with side plots and  adding unneeded characters.

In the end it’s hard to hate a movie that takes such risks, yet it’s hard to overly enjoy it. I’m sure that most people will fall on one side or the other. Either they love it, “the darker it gets the more you see” or hate it “the more you see the darker it gets”.


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