FilmFilm FestivalsMovie ReviewsReviewsTribeca Film Festival – My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To

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JulieGFebruary 14, 201870/1004 min
Studio
Dark Sky Films
Length
1 hr 30 min
Rating
R
Overall Score
Rating Summary
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To is definitely not your typical horror and feels more like a thriller. In the end, based on the film's gruesome subject matter alone, it will most likely only appeal to the more hardened and conditioned horror fan.

Reviewed for Keithlovesmovies by Julie

It may be an unusual title for an unusual story but My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is not your typical vampire horror film. It’s an obscurely unique take on the vampire genre because there are no fangs, no superhuman feats are being performed and no crucifixes though there are copious amounts of blood.

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To follows Dwight (Fugit) and Jessie (Schram) a brother and sister who are burdened with the task of looking after their sick brother Thomas (Campbell). His affliction created a conflict in spite of what Dwight and Jessie face daily – how to get their brother the blood he needs to stay alive. Suffice it to say that those squeamish by the sight of blood will not do well with this film. However, the most horrifying aspect of this film isn’t all the blood but the lives that Dwight and Jessie are forced to live for their sibling’s sake. It’s morbid and violent, but that’s what some of us consider good entertainment!

Shot in a color palette that strips anything vibrant out of the shot; even the blood takes a darker tone. Most of the film is shot inside a dingy, decrepit house that looks completely abandoned from the outside. The décor is old – some of it looks like it’s dating back to the 1950s. There is an eeriness to My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To that is hard to pin down, reminiscent of other films such as Let the Right One In. While not the same type of story, it brings a similar atmosphere and feeling to it – a feeling of constant dread. Thomas may be a character that is more in the background, but his presence is felt on every level. The pacing varies, and for some, it may seem too slow in specific scenes, but these scenes build into the intense physical scenes that dominate the film’s final act.

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is definitely not your typical horror and feels more like a thriller. In the end, based on the film’s gruesome subject matter alone, it will most likely only appeal to the more hardened and conditioned horror fan.

JulieG

Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.

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