Torn Hearts (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Torn Hearts (2022) Review

Horrorific content by n_degus on May 20th, 2022 | Movie Review | Slasher, Survival, Blumhouse, Madness, Confined, Maniac

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Follows a country music duo who seek out the private mansion of their idol and end up in a twisted series of horrors that force them to confront the limits they'd go for their dreams.

Torn Hearts was directed by Brea Grant (12 Hour Shift) and stars Katey SagalShiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead, Red Riding Hood, and Dead Girl), and Joshua Leonard (Depraved, Unsane, and Madhouse).

Torn Hearts (2022)

Brea Grant's Torn Hearts makes a compelling case for country music as a horror genre, distinct from the fellow outcast rock n roll or metal that the horror genre is more familiar with. The film's exploration of love and loss within a horror context is anchored by a brilliantly unhinged performance by Katey Sagal.

Jordan and Leigh are the Torn Hearts, a talented country duo on the rise. But, according to Leigh's boyfriend and Torn Hearts manager, they're already well on their way. So when Jordan gets a lead on the legendary and reclusive Harper Dutch location, the Torn Hearts skip the studio and head to her mansion, hoping to convince the country music icon to record a song with them. Instead, Harper invites the pair inside and promises to help them, but instead traps them in a series of tests and torment that reveals her true motives.

Grant's brisk, straightforward direction immerses viewers in the cold, ruthless world of the music industry. The music is catchy and well-produced; the Torn Hearts earn our sympathies from their first performance. Their aspirations to stardom are constantly surrounded by people who may seem friendly but could be hiding ulterior motives. They must be careful of who they trust and be aware of the potential danger that lurks behind every corner.

Then there's Harper, who is very different from the bubbly newcomers. Harper is experienced and knows all the early traps Jordan and Leigh find themselves in. Harper's years of tough experiences have left her a paranoid alcoholic with a dark past. She also has her own hidden agenda, making for a tense stand-off. Sagal's performance is the best part of the movie; she easily switches between a kindly mess and a cruel mastermind. This makes her psychological games with Jordan and Leigh so upsetting, and it's also a believable reason why they try so hard to escape. The pressure is always on for these people to succeed, driving them crazy.

The three main women exhibit many dark qualities throughout the film, which keeps the viewer engaged until the end. Jordan and Leigh slowly become more and more controlled by Harper, leading to the exposure of many dark secrets between the three. Even though the aspiring musicians fall victim to the predictable traps in their quest for fame, Grant's dark sense of humor makes it easy to look past that. The fact that it builds to an unpredictable ending, with a message that hits like a knife twist, is also to the film's credit.

Worth Watching?

The drive for fame is hardly new in horror; it's often a key element highlighting how gruesome the consequences can be. Grant uses a familiar idea and sets it within a very different world, then zooms in on a specific aspect of celebrity with pitch-black humor and psychological scares. It's a fun movie that's made better by its music, worldbuilding, and three great lead actors. But it's Sagal who really steals the show with her committed and crazy performance.

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