Willard's Review of Heartstopper
"You have the right to shut the fuck up!"
Directed Bob Keen, best known for working on Dog Soldiers, Event Horizon, & Hellraiser, directs his best in Heartstopper, a supernatural horror slasher starring Robert Englund, Meredith Henderson, James Binkley, & Nathan Stephenson.
Heartstopper was one of the best movies I've seen in a while. But at first glance, it was just a normal slasher rehash of Jason and the Friday the 13th series. Possibly Robert Englund's best movie or career move since the Nightmare On Elm Street series, this movie almost certainly eclipses in that popularly acclaimed title if you even go by the standards of cinematics such as believabillity, cinematography (for the most part excellently handled by David Mitchell), and acting. The plot is similiar, and heavy in it's dutiful commitment to the unoriginality of yet another supernatural serial killer in the already oversaturated market. Let's face it though, there's quite a high bar for Heartstopper to meet. To say that it overqualifies is an understatement.
In this movie, we begin with the obvious necessities in horror, the threat of extreme danger in the form of an inmate who has killed quote; "A gazillion" people. It's fairly obvious by the casting of Robert Englund as the sherrif in charge of his execution, the danger is going to be more extreme than we might be ready for. There is a man who we normally fear in charge now, and we feel safe. Seeing the killer, Chambers, in the electric chair is an early satisfaction that this movie will make up for in short time.
Next, the character development happens so rapidly, we are almost rooting for the villain for a while. But surely as we get to the scene where the killer's power is revealed, we soon understand that his obsession for human hearts is more than a superficiality or gimmick, it's his superpower. But more than that, it's a metaphor for the wrath of the epitomized sin of humanity, exhibited in the killer's own admittance of motivation, as well as his supposed hidden motive of self-disgust.
The camera stays active, although trapped in the halls of an old insane asylum for the duration of the film. But it seems like most of the camera work is done offscreen, where our imaginations are oft lead to go astray in confused assumptive attempts to make sense of what literally seems like at first to be hell on earth.
The characters who seem weak, are the ones left at the end, and by now they are strengthened to their maximum giving the heartfelt acting towards the end an extra charge of imminent importance in the wake of the extra-excessive gore effects used in absense of a substantial need for an exagerated plot. It's simple, it works, and it's scary.
As for that old scare factor, though, less attention is put on it than normal for this type of fare. Most of the times that I jumped out of my seat were actually from just the raising tension when I was suspending myself in midair ready to shout "NO! DON'T GO AROUND THAT CORNER!" Thankfully this was a DVD release, and I wasn't blocking anybody's view behind me in a theater.
Get your budget dollars ready next time you visit the DVD store. Looking for a showstopper? Get Heartstopper. Your gauranteed to miss at least a beat.
"Well, most would call it the stuff of nightmares, I'm afraid."