Heartstopper - Review
Review by Richard Goodwin
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Interview: A Conversation With Robert Englund; Interview: A Conversation With Bob Keen; Trailer.
In a nutshell: A creepy old-school horror film from special effects guru Bob Keen about a psycho-killer stalking the corridors of a medical institute tearing out the hearts of the patients and staff alike.
What we say: The film begins at a penal institution where Sheriff Berger (Robert Englund) is awaiting the execution of serial killer Jonathan Chambers (James Binkley).
After the execution Berger takes the body back to a medical institute for the autopsy. Meanwhile, suicidal teen Sarah (Meredith Henderson) is having strange dreams and finds herself drawn towards the penal institution. Berger hits Sarah on the road to the medical institute and takes her with him.
Once at the medical institute Sarah becomes convinced Chambers isn’t dead and people start turning up with their hearts ripped out. There’s a connection between Chambers and Sarah and she soon realises that Chambers is coming for her. But Why?
After a genuinely creepy opening, Heartstopper quickly changes tack – favouring gore over suspense. The film has a cracking pace to it – barely stopping to draw breath and Keens direction is solid if unspectacular throughout.
Its with the effects sequences, however, that Keen really comes into his own as you would expect from the man behind Hellraiser and Alien. The gory scenes are inventive and gruesome – the heart tearing scenes are particularly brutal.
The acting is generally good with Henderson a believable heroine and Englund delivering his usual dependable performance (it’s nice to see him as the good guy for a change). Binkley just about gets away with it as the creepy Chambers despite being given some pretty awful lines to deliver.
The film will please fans of old school horror but it’s a shame that after such a creepy and interesting opening the film descends quickly into a rather predictable affair leaving a feeling of disappointment. It does exactly what it says on the tin, so if you want lots of gruesome deaths and gore then you’ll be satisfied here.