Friday, 5 October 2012

Raindance 2012: Dark Hearts

Sam (Lucas Till) has had enough of his volatile life and heads off to live in Los Angeles with his brother Colson (Kyle Schmid) a struggling artist. The arrival of Sam signifies a celebration of a night out, in which they meet Fran (Sonja Kinski). Colson and Fran hit it off, and a night of passion ensues, but Fran is the property of another man, who states he owns her, he just so happens to also be the biggest gangster in town. To teach Colson a lesson he beats him and Sam up, the beating causes Colson to bleed profusely, and this blood ends up in one of his paintings.  Art dealer Astrid (Juliet Landau) tells Colson that this painting is pure genius, and that he will be a huge success. Colson needs to harness this new strength, but can he get enough blood?

Dark Hearts is essentially Bucket Of Blood (1959) for a new generation, but without the humour, and of course the uniqueness. There is so much in common with the aforementioned movie that it almost mirrors the activities that occur in the film. Sadly Dark Hearts is nowhere near as polished, lacks conviction, and will undoubtedly be forgotten no sooner than it is released. 

To break this down lets look at the strengths, the story is a good one on the whole if you do not look too deeply into it, the characters or at least a few of them are quite good, as are the performers who play them.

Now the weaknesses, and this is a much more detailed area. Firstly the story lacks some severe commitment; areas of the story are picked up, and discarded without any answers given. The whole relationship of Sam is littered with question marks, why did he move to be with Colson? We get a general understanding, but despite being an incendiary device for some aspects of the story, his character is often just thrown away. There is hollowness to many activities, the gangsters are comical, the breakdown of one of the characters is given little focus. Finally there are some severe areas that have no explanation, how Sam and Fran are capable of lifting a couple of bodies like they are a bag of shopping, why Fran is so “loose” with her sexual encounters. It is simply like the author of the screenplay (Christian Piers Betley) had too many story strands to deal with and failed to pick them all up.

Dark Hearts is not a bad movie, if you do not give it any serious thought, treat it as a way to fill time, and it’s fine, but start thinking seriously about any of it, and the holes will appear, and they are massive!

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