Movie Review: Sweetheart (2019)

Synopsis: After her boat sinks in a storm, Jennifer Remming is stranded on a small tropical island. She is fortunate to be alive. However, she quickly discovers her life is in danger from a human-like sea creature that come ashore every night to feed.

Who's in it? The movie stars Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Benedict Samuel and Andrew Crawford.


Review: After three straight nights of watching episodes of The Simpsons, I was determined to find a horror movie to watch with my wife. I was a little disappointed to see Netflix's selection was a little thin. However, after some consideration, I wound up picking this film. After watching it, my opinion of it was a bit mixed.

I'll start out by saying I loved the premise. It was simple yet effective and the fact Jennifer (Clemons) was trying to survive a man-eating monster while trapped on an island that had limited places to hide created a situation with the potential for non-stop suspense.

I also liked the decision to keep the audience in the dark a bit when it came to the monster (Crawford). Less information is usually better in films like this and the fact I was left guessing about what the creature was and even what it looked like, helped make it more scary than it might have otherwise been.

Unfortunately, while the movie seemed to have a lot of potential because of these two things, I do think it feel a little bit short of fulfilling it.

Part of the problem, I think, is Jennifer desperately needed a backstory. Normally, this isn't something I would normally care that much about. But, in the case of this particular movie, it would have helped put her ordeal into some context as far as her survival skills go. Not knowing this information made it a bit more difficult to figure out just how much trouble she was in.

I also think the movie would have been considerably better had it just been her on the island throughout instead of the later addition of her boyfriend, Lucas (Cohen) and friend, Mia (Lawrence), mostly because I feel those two really didn't add much to the film except unneeded drama. I also thought the part about them not believing her about the creature because she once lied about a mugging was kind of dumb especially since, once again, there wasn't any way to put it in any sort of context. In fact, the way they seemed to go out of their way to manufacture unneeded confrontation made me wonder if they were secretly working for the creature.

Another thing that bothered me about this movie (probably more than it should have) was the way she seemed to make no effort to get rescued. Sure, she would try to fire a flare gun whenever she heard an airplane. But, that was pretty much the extent of it. There was no effort to signal potential rescuers with a bonfire or by spelling SOS in palm leaves, etc. And, when she did attempt to leave via a raft, she set sail toward where the monster was hiding rather than from the other side of the island, where I think she would have at least had a head start. Yes, she had to worry about the monster. But, it only came out at night so it's not as though she didn't have time to at least make the effort and use a little bit of common sense.

Final Opinion: As I said, the film had a good premise and, with better execution, could have been a suspenseful horror film. However, that just wasn't the case and, while it wasn't the worst horror film I've watched, I do think it failed to live up to its potential.

My Grade: C

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