Synopsis by Nathan Southern
An alienated fellow enters into a sinister pact that threatens to push him into psychopathic territory in this brutal neo-Faustian thriller from U.K. director Philip Ridley. Jim Sturgess (21) stars as Jamie, a thirtysomething photographer buckling beneath the weight of a stigma: a huge, red, heart-shaped birthmark that masks one half of his face, and has turned him into a social pariah. He inhabits the East End of London, currently racked by crisis -- bands of thugs who rove throughout the streets, spreading violence and terror among the citizenry. As Jamie soon discovers, however, these aren't ordinary hooligans wearing demon masks, but actual demons. The young man packs heat and then considers going to the authorities, but before he can do so, the monsters turn up, attack him, and murder his mother. Then, one of their leaders, Papa B. (Joseph Mawle), approaches Jamie to make a deal: permanent removal of the birthmark in exchange for the performance of some evil deeds. Jamie consents, but has no idea just how vile and cruel those tasks are until he has already signed up. At the time of its release, Heartless was the first feature from Ridley since his 1995 outing The Passion of Darkly Noon.
British, deal-with-the-devil, demon, gang-violence, pact, photographer, Satan
High Artistic Quality