2019, Dir. Jessica Hunt & Sam Mason Bell
Reviewed By David Sodergren
Lonely Hearts is a 2019 British horror flick that, in a way, feels kinda like a throwback to 2012. I don’t mean that as an insult – rather, it would fit comfortably in with found footage films of the era like The Tapes, Exhibit A and Evil Things.
The film follows five people on a TV dating show called Lonely Hearts, a sort of ultra-low-budget Love Island. Now, I’ve never seen Love Island. My experience with dating shows begins and ends with Cilla Black’s Blind Date, I’m happy to say, so I’m perhaps not the target audience for this film. I have, however, seen enough Big Brother to know that the vacuous, obnoxious cretins on display are sadly true-to-life.
The film plays out like a satire of reality television, and the performances and dialogue are pretty spot-on for such a low-budget endeavour. The cast, in fact, is a major plus, with everyone giving their all, including some surprisingly graphic sex scenes that account for at least a third of the film’s runtime.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to truly believe in the film’s premise. It simply never looks like something that would be broadcast on tv, unless we’re talking on a late-night slot on Bravo in 2005. Shaky hand-held cameras and poor sound recording went out of vogue with Davina McColl’s Streetmate, guys. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means though, and a terrific campfire question-and-answer game in the last act more than makes up for it, where uncomfortable truths are revealed in a squirm-inducing fashion.
There’s an unsettling folk-horror vibe to some parts too, particularly a treasure hunt sequence. I just wish they’d used the countryside location more, to fully capitalise on it. The horror elements don’t really come to the fore until the last few minutes, in an ending that isn’t really earned and doesn’t make much sense, but is fairly effective nonetheless. Up until that point, Lonely Hearts is more of a satirical erotic drama, which is a small, small genre indeed.
Though it’s not really a horror, found footage fans should certainly get some enjoyment out of this one.
A reality TV show has deadly consequences for five single people looking for romance…The British countryside is anything but idyllic in this spine-chilling and wildly erotic horror offering that will have you on the edge of your seat! Will this be your last date?
Lonely Hearts was released September 17th and is available on DVD and Blu-Ray wide via DarkSide Releasing.
David Sodergren lives in Scotland with his wife Heather and his best friend, Boris the Pug. Growing up, he was the kind of kid who collected rubber skeletons and lived for horror movies.
Not much has changed since then.
His first novel, The Forgotten Island, was published on October 1st 2018 to critical acclaim. Up next is Night Shoot, a brutal throwback to the early 80s slasher movie cycle has just recently been released.
He has several more books in various stages of development.
You can follow David on Twitter @paperbacksnpugs
To find out more about David please visit his official website www.paperbacksandpugs.wordpress.com
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