Heartless Review

Image for Heartless

Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark on his face, makes a pact with the devil that has fatal consequences.


British writer-director Philip Ridley (The Reflecting Skin, The Passion Of Darkly Noon) makes a film every ten years and saves up weird ideas to fill every frame of his rare outings. Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess) hides his face because of a disfiguring heart-shaped birthmark, and glimpses Hellraisery demons lurking in East London posing as violent hoodies. After a complicated family tragedy, Jamie meets Papa B (Joseph Mawle), apparently the devil, and makes a deal to look normal in exchange for a sinister favour.

Jamie cops off with a model (Clémence Poésy), but bad things happen — with two or three explanations forthcoming. The romance comes out flat and the clever-clever last reel tries too hard, but it also has a lot of good stuff — including Eddie Marsan as a funny/evil minion of hell and a couple of well-timed jump-out-of-your-seat scares.

Effective jump-shocks and a strong turn from Eddie Marsan mask an over-complicated last act.