Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Movies You Watch Because Of Who's In Them

Heartless (2009) British

I picked this one purely because Jim Sturgess was in it. Not that I know his work well, I've only seen him in Across The Universe so I wanted to see this horror show even though it's English (and to them horror must be awful confusing because they just can't seem to get it right). Was this an outright 'make a deal with the devil and you'll always get burned' kind of movie? A cautionary tale about the perils of siding with winners, even if they're evil? Never eat a lot of mushrooms then write a movie? The whole thing is so muddled, even the wiki page had problems trying to explain it, saying a lot of interpretation of what happens is 'left up to the viewer'. That's not our job is it? Aren't they supposed to write a story and make it at least coherent? I dunno, this was so out there I really don't know what exactly to make of it except if you ever believe what a demon says, you're really, really stupid. And this did not need to take 108 minutes to tell us that. Oh yeah, and Jim Sturgess, who sang many of the songs in ATU sings in this one too.

No, this isn't ugly...
Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess) is one of those people they try to make 'ugly' and never succeed. Hollywood (and other countries too I guess) have what is called 'movie ugly', you know, put on a pair of glasses, put long hair into a bun, add no makeup or in this case a birthmark and boom - ugly. I only wish I could be this ugly. He's a photographer with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face (more like a port wine stain, it travels in spots down his neck and arm also but I still thought it was cute, not Quasimodo looking as the movie tried to portray).

...THIS is ugly.
Jamie is starting to see horrid things everywhere. He thinks he's even seeing demons, a gang thought to be teenagers in masks who throw molotov cocktails and burn people up. Soon included in the murders is his mother and a friend which kind of sends him over the edge (I don't think he had a long way to go). His dead friend's phone is in the hands of someone who wants to meet with him: Papa B (Joseph Mawle) and his assistant Belle (Nikita Mistry) who I wish I could get a picture of, she's cute as a button, Eastern Indian with traditional dress about 10-12 years old. She calls Papa B 'dad'. Jaimie is offered one of those deals that normal (read smart) people would immediately walk away from: All he has to do is write some blasphemous graffiti on the walls a couple times a month, and his birthmark will be gone. He agrees. Belle gets out a 'magic' molotov cocktail and Jaime is set on fire. He stays as a human burnt marshmallow for a time, then peels the crud off and he is 'perfect'. Now he needs a girlfriend. Low and behold he meets a girl named Tia wanting to be a model who had been in his and his brother's studio and they begin to go out. 

The liar Papa B
Now Papa B had told him to wait for 'Weapons Man' and said it would probably take up to 60 years before he saw him. Lie. He shows up that very day. He tells Jaime the deal is to find a victim, rip out his heart while he's alive and leave it on church steps before midnight. With a knife his father collected while travelling. When Jaime refuses, Weapons Man calls Papa B and soon Jaime is being pummeled by being thrown against the ceiling, floor, ceiling, floor.... he soon agrees to do it.

Even beat up and with a birthmark he looks
better than me on my best days.
Belle shows up as she cares for Jaime (no explanation as to why) and instructs him on how to find the victim and how to get the heart. Apparently he's the only one who can see her and we get a first taste of 'just how much of this is real and how much is Jaime's head on overload'. He does it and gets the heart to the church steps with seconds to spare.

Back-stabbing Tia
Belle wants to stay with him, now calling him 'dad', and Tia moves in with him and it looks like he's going to have the life he's always wanted. Nope. Papa B is pissed about Belle and though he claims she can live with whoever she wants, there will be punishment. Another murder. This time it's to be Tia.

A happy ending (?!?) with his dad.
Things get really convoluted after that and very hard to keep track. Again, since it's the 'viewer's decision' what is really going on, confusion comes easy. As it turns out, Tia isn't the wonderful girl Jaime had hoped for - she was only trying to get to Jaime for his nephew Lee who needed to get into Jaime's safe to pawn his dead mother's jewels since he was in debt with a guy named She (don't laugh). But she loves Jaime, she claims. His nephew pulls a gun on him to make him open the safe and he and Tia struggle for it, during which she's shot, and Lee gets his from She. Jaime manages to kill She and as he runs away at Belle's instruction, he sees a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Under the blood and wounds, the birthmark is there. We are left, I guess, to wonder if it ever went away at all or if that was just another lie and his brain believed it. He has flashbacks of things after it had supposedly gone and nope, it hadn't. Maybe. We really don't know. We do know he fights of a gang of the supposed demons, running into a closed courtyard of some type where he's confronted by teenagers who throw a Molotov cocktail at him (again) and he burns for good this time. As he dies, he sees himself with his father, and knows he'll soon see his mother, and that his real torture is over. I guess.

In other words, I have no bloody idea what this was supposed to be about, represent, or mean. Ah well. Jim Sturgess still has a nice singing voice and it was good seeing him in something again.