Sunday, November 28, 2021


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2019
Director: J.D. Dillard
Starring: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Andrew Crawford, Benedict Samuel
Genre: Adventure, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4
Watch it on Netflix

Synopsis and Review:
Prolific producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Pictures, continue to deliver a series of genre films with a remarkable cadence, something that has found a wanting partner with Streaming platform Netflix. "Sweetheart" is writer/director's J.D. Dillard's second feature, following his debut with "Sleight". The film follows the story of Jenn, a young woman whom we first encounter washing ashore on what seems to be a deserted island. She soon discovers another survivor, but he soon dies. Jenn goes about exploring the island, and assesses there had been people in there before, from some of the remains they left behind (she also finds corpses soon after). As she tries to survive and find ways to sustain herself, she notices that at night some creature comes lurking around the island looking for sustenance. Very soon she is fighting for her own life, when she realizes that creature is looking for her as the next target. As she scrambles to figure out what to do, two additional survivors present themselves, including her boyfriend Lucas. Jenn desperately warns them about what's taking place in the island, but is met with incredulity, until night comes around.
"Sweetheart" is a feature that can be typically defined as a B-movie, since its plot is rather straightforward, and features a group of up and coming actors. In this case, we have a series of survivors on a beach/deserted island battling a creature intent on killing them all. It's a film where we never get much insight into the characters themselves, and even what precipitated the shipwreck to occur. We mostly witness the ordeal and challenges the lead character goes through to adjust to her new reality, and try to survive, much like Robert Zemeckis' "Cast Away", only in this case, the time period is much narrower, and there is indeed a creature intent on killing her. With a concept such as this, the director smartly lets Kiersey Clemons be the host to the action, and while she manages to effectively portray someone who is resourceful (and almost resourceful in a manner that is cued from the "Predator" series), she is less effective in demonstrating the fear of both isolation and from an entity she doesn't even comprehend. The supporting characters that eventually do show up, introduce an element of additional discomfort to the narrative, which could have really enhanced the storytelling, but they're quickly tossed aside. It's a fairly entertaining and somewhat forgettable B-movie, with a solid production team, including Stefan Duscio's cinematography and Charles Scott IV's score.