My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To (2020) – Film Review

My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To film review main

Director: Jonathan Cuartas
Cast: Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, Owen Campbell
Certificate: 15

By @Roger Crow

If you’re a fan of the original Hellraiser, you’ll know it centred on a woman who seduced men so she could kill them and let her resurrected lover feed on their corpses. This Faustian theme is one of the oldest stories in the book and has been reworked countless times over the years in all manner of settings. Sometimes, as in Under the Skin, it’s a bold spin on the genre with memorable moments, but more often than not it’s just disappointing.

This latest take is a relatively low budget offering in which homeless types are slaughtered to feed a poor vampiric soul.

My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To film review horror

“Solid and convincing”

The protagonists are siblings Dwight (Patrick Fugit) and Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram). They put all their energy into keeping their little brother Thomas (Owen Campbell) alive. But he craves human blood.

It’s essentially a domestic drama with a nicotine colour palette for the interiors. The brown tinge and dim lighting obviously helps create a mood, and it’s right for the picture, but after a while it’s just so depressing. It might have worked better as a stage play, though I’m guessing the theatre would have been filled with the sound of people shifting in their seats wanting something to happen.

Performances are solid and convincing, but the problem is most of us have been here so many times before with films such as Rose: A Love Story, George Romero’s Martin, and Let the Right One In. In desperate need of a few laughs to lighten the mood, sadly this is almost 90 minutes of misery. It’s well put together and the cast acquit themselves well, but if you’re a horror lover feeling down in the dumps, this is definitely not going to help.

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is available on Digital Download

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