Sweetheart (2019)

sweetheart poster 2019 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Strong lead, interesting monster

Loses steam and heart when the other survivors show up

Movie Info

Movie Name: Sweetheart

Studio: Blumhouse Productions

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  January 28, 2019 (Sundance)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

sweetheart kiersey clemons island

Well it could be worse…at least I’m not stuck with my dick friends and a monster…right?

Jenn Remming (Kiersey Clemons) finds herself washed up on a beach after the boat she and her friends were on sinks at sea.  Trapped on the island, Jenn finds herself in a race to survive with need to find food, water, and shelter.  Jenn discovers the island might be deserted, but the sea surrounding it is not.  Something is lurking in the waters that no one has ever seen, and it comes to shore each night with a goal of feeding.  When Jenn’s boyfriend Lucas Griffin (Emory Cohen) and Mia Reed (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) wash up in a raft, Jenn finds convincing them of what she has seen might be as hard as escaping the island.

Directed by J.D. Dillard (who wrote the script with Alex Hyner and Alex Theurer), Sweetheart is a horror monster survival film.  The movie premiered at Sundance to relatively positive reviews.

I just found Sweetheart on a list of Netflix movies to check out.  I like monster movies, but thus far, Blumhouse productions have been pretty ho-hum.  Sweetheart does a much better job with the horror than some of the other films and is a good showcase for its actress.

sweetheart creature reveal flare scene

A great reveal

Movies like Cast Away were made for people like Tom Hanks.  Not everyone has the time, money, or ability to make these type of movies.  Sweetheart is a bit of a mini-Cast Away that is best when it is a film like Cast Away.  The film starts out in the vein of the Hanks movie with Jenn trying to use everything and anything she gets access to in order to survive.  This changes when she finds she’s competing against something inhuman.  That all is fine, but the arrival of the other two survivors changes the tone of the movie in a way that isn’t as strong.

I like Kiersey Clemons attempt to get along on her own.  She holds the movie together and starts to develop into a Sigourney Weaver type of character before she is overridden by her “friends”.  It is part of the point of the movie (she’s is painted as someone who always coasted on her boyfriend’s generosity according to him), and the arrival of Emory Cohen and Hanna Mangan-Lawrence does open up more about Kiersey’s past, but it also feels unnecessary for the path of the movie (and comes off as a “you’re being hysterical” put down)…you could realize that she finds her strength another way.

sweetheart monster swimming scene

Well if it weren’t for the whole “I’m going to eat you in my pit of despair” thing, it would be kind of cute

The creature is pretty good and you get some surprisingly decent looks at it near the end of the film (and in the swimming sequence).  It is a combination of shark and other marine mammals and goes unexplained (which is ok).  I really admire the smart introduction of the creature backlit by the flare which is kind of terrifying.  The only thing I didn’t quite get is that the island seemed rather big and going inland each night seemed like a possibility for the character once she determined she was being hunted.

Sweetheart isn’t a long film and it actually could have been expanded upon.  I think it would have been a better film with Kiersey Clemons alone the entire movie (ok maybe someone could immediately die as seen in the film), and it virtually could have explored all the same aspects without the addition of other characters.  It is worth seeking out for a quick monster movie watch.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response