6 days ago
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Stopping My Heart
Serial killer Jonathan Chambers (James Binkley) is set to die by the electric chair. Sheriff Berger (Robert Englund) is the only person outside of the prison staff that shows up for it. Needless to say, it doesn't go off perfectly. It takes a long time for one thing, and then a lighting strike also messes with things. After what was a good while, Chambers is at last pronounced dead. Doctor Hitchens (Michael Cram) wants to do the autopsy at the nearby hospital that is due to be shut down for good any day now. While transporting the corpse, Sara (Meredith Henderson) has decided to sit in the road in hopes of being run over. She is a teen who has been going through a rough time in high school, so has decided to end it all. With it being a stormy night, Breger barely sees Sara in time, but does still manage to hit her and dislocating her shoulder and hurting her leg. Loading her up with the dead body, not sure they would actually do that but whatever, the two touch arms and part of Chambers tattoo somehow moves to Sara's arm. At the hospital, Sara ends up sharing a room with classmate Walter (Nathan Stephenson). She tries to convince him that they need to get out. Meanwhile, Chambers has somehow come back to life and is going back to his old ways of ripping peoples hearts out.
Heartstopper was a little bit of a surprise for me. I knew going in what it was about, at least a rough idea of what it was about, so I wasn't too surprised by the plot. At times I was feel a little bored with it, so there is that downside to it. The feeling never lasted very long though. How Chambers was able to do things was never really explained. Either he wasn't completely human, which is why he wanted a different host body, or he was using some sort of magic perhaps. It didn't bother me that this wasn't explained. In fact it didn't really matter why. It was enough that for most part, his powers were defined. A couple of things would bug me though. How easy he was able to rip someone heart out was one thing. Sure it looks cool but with that rib cage in the way, it would be impossible to do. Then director Bob Keen, know for his effects work, seemed to forget about blood a lot of the time. Chambers hands wouldn't be bloody at all after ripping a heart out, or wouldn't be soon after. After walking through a lot of blood on the floor, no blood would be found on a clean floor from people's shoes or feet. Usually I let things like that go if it only happens once or twice. Sometimes I don't even notice until someone else points it out. This time though it happens a lot seemingly so it started to bug me.
The effects aren't too bad. A few hearts get ripped out, of course. I thought these scenes were good but the heart itself looked a little too fake at times. There is a lot of blood to be found, and there are a couple of different kind of kills. A face melting scene turned out to pretty good as well. What kept me interested in Heartstopper, and what ended up selling it for me, was the acting. I really liked the two leads of Meredith Henderson and Nathan Stephenson. It was nice having a seasoned actor like Robert Englund in there as well. He isn't in this movie a lot, but has a few scenes. James Binkley takes his role as the killer very serious. There was no jokes or one liners that I noticed. The acting probably didn't win any awards, but I really enjoyed them all.
I didn't find Heartstopper to be a great film by any means. It had more than its share of problems, and nothing great about it stood out. While I enjoyed the acting the most, I can't say that it was great acting either. There was a scene that reminded me of something I was told at work. We were told if anyone ever came in and start shooting up the place, no matter where you are, play dead. I wanted to know if I was on the other side the building should I still play dead, and was told I should. This bugged me because I would think the person doing the shooting would know if they had been in that room already. A scene in Heartstopper sort of plays out that way. Our main characters find themselves in a room where the killer has already been, and play dead when he comes back in. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think he would know how many people he had killed before, or maybe he just wasn't really paying that much attention. If you are looking for a somewhat gory film that isn't too bad, give Heartstopper a shot. It is currently on instant watch on Netflix, if you have that, so it is an easy way to see it.
3 out of 5 I like my heart right where it is thank you very much