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Heartless

Heartless 18 rating

Philip Ridley’s stunning comeback film charts a lonely photographer’s battles with demons amid a haunting East London.

Horror 2009 114 mins

Director: Philip Ridley

Overview

Darkness lurks where you least expect it – including the streets of East London. Jamie (Jim Sturgess) is a photographer who has been bullied and alienated all his life due to a jarring heart-shaped birthmark on his face. Accustomed to loneliness, he spends most of his day developing his work in a photo lab. However, his routine derails when he notices demonic figures in his photographs – and, later, discovers dark spirits have been terrorizing his neighbourhood.

Filmmaker Philip Ridley hadn’t made a film since 1995’s The Passion of Darkly Noon, and returns with this Faustian psychological thriller. Genre films usually surprise and shock, but the horror of Ridley’s film is its distinct setting and locality – as well as the symbolic nature of the demons. Sturgess, aided by an ensemble cast including Clemence Poesy and Timothy Spall, gives an astonishing performance as Jamie who is drenched in darkness and discovers its meaning.