Some of you may have heard the name 'Bob Keen' before. For those of you that haven't, he was the guy responsible for the special effects in Clive Barker's debut movie, Hellraiser, amongst many other films. Heartstopper is his eighth directorial effort, and is a movie with characters that behave like you would expect, and a killer that has a novel and blood soaked way of disposing his victims, which makes for some thrilling visual carnage which is handled brilliantly.
A depressed teenager named Sara attempts to commit suicide by running in front of a car. Fortunately for her, she is only injured before being discovered by the local sheriff. He takes her to hospital, where a serial killer who the sheriff had previously captured is being held. The killer, whose name is Jonathan Chambers, is given the electric chair, but unbeknownst to all, he has previously made a deal with Satan, and comes back to slaughter everyone in the hospital, including the sheriff.
Let me say that this film offers nothing new, but then again, it doesn't have to. It is sometimes a lot of fun, with some brutally gory deaths and an incredibly sinister supernaturally powered serial killer who has some great Pinhead style biblical speeches throughout the movie. The film really does have a true 80's vibe throughout, which of course, is certainly no bad thing.
Unfortunately, while the gore and deaths might be a lot of fun, and the serial killer particularly sinister, that is where the good things end for Heartstopper. The character development is practically zero, the film lulls so much in the middle that I really felt the need to hit fast forward (although I didn't. I cannot see how anyone can review a movie if they have watched the whole thing on fast forward. It is impossible).
The acting feels incredibly forced, even from Robert Englund, who looks a little uncomfortable in his role as Sheriff Berger. While many of the scenes do their best to create an air of tension, the movie cannot pull it off, and just seems to fall flat on it's face again and again.
I don't want to come across as overly harsh, and I will admit to enjoying watching this film a few years ago. It's a shame that on subsequent viewings, it did not live up to that first shot of adrenaline I got when viewing the film for the first time, but for any gorehound's out there, I am sure they will lap up the carnage on show in Heartstopper.
While it may be silly, confusing and not make much sense, if you can look past those things and just sit back, switch off and enjoy, what you get here is a blood soaked slasher movie that is predictable, but has the right ingredients to be a fun film. On subsequent views, the inconsistencies become much more apparent, which is a shame as it really could have been the birth of a new killer and a new franchise.