SWEETHEART (2019)

sweetheart-blumhouse

Directed By: J.D. Dillard
Written By: Alex Hyner, Alex Theurer & J.D. Dillard
Cinematography: Stefan Duscio
Editor: Gina Hirsch 


Cast: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrence 


Jenn has washed ashore a small tropical island and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night.

This is a movie best to go into blind. As it builds slowly even as you know something is sinister from the beginning.

The first half of the movie is almost a one woman show. As we watch the lead figure out survival skills. While avoiding a creature and leaves us to piece together some kind of story or backstory.

During the second half of the film. There are others characters where we actually learn a little history of the lead. Writer/Director J.D. Dillard offers up another genre film that shows an inventiveness. While staying in the conventions. And combining genres of sorts to help refine one another.

The film is energetic yet familiar. Artistic yet basic. Really a creature feature horror film at heart. That is also quite dramatic. One of the stronger elements of the movie is how much is left unsaid though hinted at or shown. Where the film leaves it has a puzzle piece for you to figure out and not completely explain.

It also gives us a heroine and protagonist who we learn wasn’t the perfect or greatest person before her current situation but that doesn’t define her as others might have and she deserves survival just as much as anyone.

The thrills here are kept in step as there are actually quite a few surprises.

It’s nice to see an African American female lead in a genre film. Which seems to be rare. As Kiersey Clemons in one of her few starring roles knocks it out of the park. As again in the beginning it is practically a one woman show and she keeps the audiences attention strongly and is captivating.

As well as it’s unfortunately not common to see an African American director making a genre film that isn’t strongly about race but allows for representation and it’s Nice to see diversity at least once in awhile.

In the end this film starts off as one film then quickly morphs onto another one with the same baggage as the first one.

Grade: B-

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