New On Netflix: Heartless

[BoxTitle]Heartless[/BoxTitle] [Netflix] [NetflixWatch id="70122643"/] [NetflixAdd id="70122643"/]

A strange and compelling horror-fantasy, Heartless stars Jim Sturgess as Jamie, a twitchy young photographer with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face that’s made him the butt of cruel jokes (and, somewhat ironically, unlucky in love) his entire life. After his mother is brutally murdered by a gang of what appears to be demons, Jamie is plunged into a secret world of supernatural intrigue, where he makes a Faustian deal with an underworld figure that has tragic consequences: he’s stripped of his “disfigurement” and gets to bang the hot Frenchie he’s had his eye on (Clemence Poesy) but is asked to perform some rather gruesome and, shall we say, demonic tasks in return. This crafty, creepy fable starts off as a none-too-subtle social commentary on gang violence and turns into an almost completely different (and unexpected) animal after the first act; think of Donnie Darko mixed with Silent Hill and you’re still only about halfway there. Heartless doesn’t quite pull off the extremely ambitious goals it sets for itself, but it’s nonetheless an immensely satisfying journey/nightmare, with a terrific performance by Sturgess as the tragic hero/fool and an amusing cameo by Eddie Marsan as “The Weapons Man.” Written and directed by Philip Ridley; this is his first film in over 14 years, following the equally bizarre tale, “The Passion of Darkly Noon.”