It’s a rare day in May when I can get the long-suffering Missus Sharky to watch a monster movie with me. Rarer still when she actually enjoys the experience.
Bolstered by a rocket-hot performance from actress Kiersey Clemons, Sweetheart is an absorbing and inventive survival thriller that pits lovely castaway Jenn (Clemons) against a nameless terror from the briny deep.
Nutshell: After a yachting kerfuffle, Jenn washes ashore on a tropical island, along with a soon-to-be-deceased shipmate. Despite some tears and false steps, the plucky party girl proves to be a natural hunter/gatherer, and for a brief movie moment, her basic needs are adequately met.
It gradually dawns on Jenn that she’s competing for resources with a hulking amphibious biped that strolls from the surf on a nightly basis in search of snacks.
Her aquatic adversary sends Jenn back to basics, namely Fight or Flight. When her flotation device fails its buoyancy test, she’s left with the former option.
Time to sharpen some sticks.
Director and co-writer J.D. Dillard paints a fascinating creature feature that checks a number of positive boxes for me. What’s not to love about a resourceful (and OMG beautiful) heroine faced with a formidable, frightening foe, set on a scenic stretch of white-sand paradise?
Dillard’s camera eye emphasizes the wild desolation of the island and Jenn’s desperate measures to hide from, and observe, a creature the likes of which she’s never imagined.
Kiersey Clemons radiates fire, vulnerability, and kick-ass charisma as Jenn, a true survivor who simultaneously finds her inner warrior and rids herself of a condescending asshole boyfriend.
More likes this, please!