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Lonely Hearts - Trash Arts Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Jay Creepy   
Friday, 18 January 2019
Severed Cinema review of Lonely Hearts from Trash Arts


Directed by: Jessica Hunt, Sam Mason-Bell
Written by: Jessica Hunt, Sam Mason-Bell
Produced by: Sam Mason-Bell, Martin W. Payne, Jackson Batchelor.
Cinematography by: Jackson Batchelor
Editing by: Sam Mason-Bell
Special Effects by: Katie Johnson
Cast: Martin W Payne, Alice Mulholland, Chris Mills, Simon Natas, Tyne Stewart
Year: 2018
Color: Color
Language: English
Country: UK
Runtime: 1hr 29mins

Studio: Trash Arts


Reality shows eh? Gotta love ‘em for how they've taken away the souls of many folks who watch, and made famous the already soulless. There haven't been too many films in the horror genre that have tackled this unfortunate mammoth of modern day culture. Slashers, Series 7, My Little Eye, the wobble cam epilepsy inducing Dead Set (that was a TV show though), maybe Grave Encounters, well, anyhow, Lonely Hearts is a new low budget UK flick starring Martin W. Payne of A Taste of Phobia, Deep Web XXX, and many more. This Philip K. Dick lookalike also played the master of sci-fi paranoia himself in a short movie as well -- Good lad. This time Payne plays Donny, a vicar who is one of a handful of contestants enduring an outdoors camp for a show -- a singles show. Donny is required to remove his collar “for the ladies” much to his surprised expression. Next up is Fred, played by Chris (A Taste of Phobia, 60 Seconds to Die) Mills, who is a standard cookie-cut loud lad.

Hey guys, I'm Kirsty, I'm twenty-five.” so begins the skimpy girl's introduction vid as she sits on her bed, “What makes me special? Erm, what doesn't make me special, right?” Great. Upon arrival she isn't impressed by having to live in a tent and the amount of dirt on the field.

The rest of the gang arrive -- five in all. We see video clips of them, who they'd like to meet, what makes them happy, that sort of thing. They're all shallow in many varied senses which is of course important to this reality show send up. They settle in at the camp and chat for a while then play some games, well tasks.

Patricia, the lady behind this show, watches back some footage and tells her crew how it just isn't exciting enough. Maybe break out the alcohol. That brings out a bit of nudity and sex. The next day it's a skinny dipping game which makes some of them uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, the investors want more drama. Soon tensions are rising a bit. One girl, Claire (Alice Mullholland) wants to leave but is basically bullied by legal contracts and stuff by Patricia to stay another day.

That night she's taken advantage of by Fred and Kirsty. Claire wants to leave and storms off the site. One of the crew goes with her. He takes her into a quiet place nearby. From then on you realise something bad is gonna happen to a few members of the cast.

Look, I have a problem with who this is aimed at. Reality TV fans will understand the blandness of some of the group and the nervousness of others, but that audience isn’t likely going to seek this out. Others, like myself, who don't watch that shit will be turned off by the awkward and pointlessly long conversations between unlikeable people. I flicked through a few scenes because many of these fools irritated me, and yes, I dig why they were written as such but it had maybe the wrong effect on this viewer.

Eventually when all is done and I reflected on the film as a whole, the acting was solid from everyone, especially Martin, Alice, and newcomer, Sue Dawes. Donny is outstanding, to be fair, in the near enough central role, and Claire goes from cheeky sassy in her promo vids to basically ruined the courtesy of events. The direction and style matched all intentions and delivered, but I really struggled to get along with Lonely Hearts. The brief gore towards the conclusion became a damp squib because it felt as if it had been stapled on with absolutely no build up – or I missed something potentially vital due to skipping moments along in dreary scenes. God, those long monologue feeling scenes...

Long term readers will know my feelings on movies. I don't enter a film for gore or action, or fast MTV editing -- fuck that! -- I enter to grip my teeth onto the waving strap of a good story and be dragged along for the journey. If a film has no story to grab, I latch onto style and the characters. Lonely Hearts had style, and as I stated, a couple of decent characters I suppose (am I contradicting myself here? Jesus, I'm trying to be Devil's advocate because I really wanted to like Lonely Hearts!)

There is however a sense of impending doom which builds up throughout, and the decision to hold off until the bitter and nasty end gives it credit. Or, it will tire out some viewers. It's just that some of the characters undo parts of it so much.

Did I expect some of the tasks and games to be more demanding in ways that would alter the players involved and push them against one another in a more disturbing way? Yes. Could some of those scenes of them all chatting have been shaved? Maybe.

After Sam's short, Test 424 (Deep Web XXX) and his little corner in A Taste of Phobia, I had very high hopes for this full length feature. Perhaps I was the wrong person for this but, hey, not every person is going to walk in, have a gander, and fall in love. I am very truthful without being all out negative. Aside from the acting and the direction, I tip my hat to the ominous music which penetrates certain scenes from nowhere. Nice.

Let's boil down to the skull of the matter; the characters couldn't hold my interest and parts of the script just seemed forced into stereotypical territory which did nothing for me. In the humble opinion of Uncle Creepy, this is a missed opportunity.




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