The Horror Show

Facebook Twitter Google

by J.D. Dillard

I gotta tell ya’, I’m a fairly big fan of Blumhouse productions. Some of them are definitely tired retreads with lots of cracks and splits that barely keep the vehicle on the road, but there’s been plenty of excellent roadrunner, burnin’ rubber selections from Mr. Blum and his pals, such as Creep (2014), Happy Death Day (2017), Sinister (2015), Get Out (2017), Us (2019), Upgrade (2018) — I could go on, but I won’t. If you’re reading this review, chances are you’re already aware of those titles and more from them.

One of the cool things about the Blumhouse team is they produce smaller, indie horror and thriller films that frequently become box office gold. That’s what we have here with Sweetheart, one of their smaller productions, in the hopes of box office gold.

Sweetheart tells a story of survival set on a supposedly deserted island in the middle of nowhere. The main character, Jenn (Keirsey Clemons), is thrown from the sea one bright morning, along with a friend. The friend doesn’t take long to follow the call of the beyond, and Jenn soon finds herself all alone on the island... at least that’s what she thinks at first. So, it’s not long before she’s fighting for food, shelter and fire by day, and by night, facing off against some unknown evil force that calls the island home.

Survival stories are cheap to make, for the most part, and so they don’t usually get big budgets like Castaway. So, this has limited resources, but it uses those resources to their utmost potential in most scenes. Good directors and production crews make it work, know what I mean?

Jenn is a sympathetic character and you do feel anxiety for her when the shit hits the fan every night. Having a solitary character for most of your screen time is risky. Who knows if the audience will connect with that one character and there ain’t no more to throw on the screen to change their mind or mood at that point? Your entire production now hinges on one actor. However, as you can see from the list of the cast, things happen later and she’s not so alone anymore.

I’m not going to give away spoilers like the twists and turns, the internal struggles Jenn experiences as the terrors ratchet up, all the challenges she faces, the multiple near-death experiences, or what the fuck the thing is on the island. What I will tell you is that this is a very well done, indie horror flick that uses the now clichéd story and settings in novel ways. It’s one of those films that you think you’ve seen a hundred times and you know what’s going to happen almost every twist, but you’d be wrong.

Sweetheart is definitely worth the scant hour and twenty-two minutes of your life if you like good survival movies.

Nickolas Cook, HMS

The Horror Show Menu.