BARE BONES: HEARTTHROB (2017)

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HEARTTHROB (2017)

Pretty high school grad Sam (Aubrey Peebles) is struggling with her father’s suicide and using the affections of some of the local boys to ease her pain. She runs into high school valedictorian Henry (It Follows’ Keir Gilchrist) and the mismatched pair start dating. Sam puts aside her promiscuous ways for the charming science nerd, but is unaware that Henry is becoming obsessive and has a jealous side which could turn dangerous…or even deadly…when provoked.

Indie romance/thriller is written and directed with a nice low key style by Chris Silvertson. The film both charms us with the teen romance and chills us when Henry starts stalking his own girlfriend. It works because it starts us off with a cute romance between the two troubled teens and then suddenly gets disturbing when Henry starts to listen in on Sam’s cellphone conversations and decides to literally eliminate his competition. By getting us emotionally invested in their relationship before letting us know Henry is wound a bit too tight, it makes his actions all the more unnerving. Sure there are some elements that don’t quite mesh, like one of Sam’s former teachers (Peter Facinelli) also showing possible interest and the cops never questioning Henry, despite witnesses putting him in crucial places. But overall it works, there are good performances from it’s cast and it combines both tragic romance and disturbing thriller effectively. Also stars Ione Skye (Say Anything) as Sam’s mom.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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