Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures is a 1994 film by Peter Jackson, and most notably the first film of Kate Winslet.

The story is narrated by 14-year old Pauline Rieper through her Real Life diary entries from the time she meets Juliet Hulme, to when they create their own fantasy world, to when their impending separation causes them to believe Murder Is the Best Solution to their problems.

Based on a True Story. Weird trivia note: the real Juliet Hulme later achieved international fame as best-selling mystery novelist Anne Perry.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Achey Scars: Pauline has a huge one on her leg; Juliet's are on her lungs.
  • Big Fancy House: Ilam, home of the Hulmes.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens to Juliet.
  • British Royal Family: The girls are supposed to write an essay on them; Juliet writes about the fictional royals of Borovnia. Pauline stands up for her by pointing out the assignment didn't specify which royals.
  • The Cameo: The homeless guy Juliet hugs towards the beginning of the movie when she and Pauline are running out of the theater in joy is Peter Jackson.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Kate Winslet goes into this area every now and again.
  • Cure Your Gays
    Doctor Bennett: Chances are she'll grow out of it. If not... well, medical science is progressing in leaps and bounds. There could be a breakthrough at any time!
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: When the doctor tells Pauline's mother he has diagnosed Pauline with "homosexuality," he can barely get the word out.
  • Enfant Terrible: Prince Diello.
    Deborah: Although only ten, Diello has so far killed fifty-seven people and shows no desire to stop. It worries me, Charles!
  • Faux Documentary: The "Visit Christchurch!" film that begins the movie.
  • The Fifties: The story takes place in 1954-55.
  • Gayngst: to the utmost extreme.
  • Girls Love: One of the more disturbing examples really.
  • Henpecked Husband: Dr. Hulme.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: Gina, a gypsy girl from Borovnia.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with a blood-spattered Pauline and Juliet screaming at passerby for help.
  • I Have Many Names: Pauline Rieper, AKA Paul (for short), Charles (role-playing), Gina (preferred name), and Yvonne (middle name/family nickname) and Pauline Parker, after it's discovered that her parents never married, and Hilary Nathan, after being released from prison; Juliet Hulme, AKA Deborah ("Deborrah") as well as the alias she used after she's released from prison. Additionally, Pauline renames her lover from boring ol' John to Nicholas.
  • Ill Girl: Both girls as children, but mainly Juliet.
  • Imagine Spot: The girls imagine very violent things happening to a sanctimonious priest, a smarmy child psychologist, and their parents.
  • In a World: Read straight and played with in the trailer, narrated by none other than Don LaFontaine.
  • Irony: The girls concoct the scheme because they are desperate not to be separated. Only for them to be arrested immediately, sent to different prisons, and when they're released, have a condition of that be that they never see or speak to each other again. As far as anyone knows, they haven't.
  • Love Makes You Crazy And Evil
  • Mad Love: It even has its own banner that explodes in blood!
  • Made of Plasticine: The Borovnians. Literally.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Juliet
  • Mary Sue: In-universe, Empress Deborah and Gina seem to fit all the standard characteristics, especially because both are idealized versions of Juliet and Pauline, respectively.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: In Pauline's mind, the only thing standing between her and living with the Hulmes is her mother.
  • Ms. Imagination: Both Pauline and Juliet by quite a bit.
  • New Year's Resolution
  • No Kill Like Over Kill: Diello, the young prince of Borovnia, who kills pretty much everyone who isn't his parents.
  • Parents as People: Despite being seen as a villain keeping her from Juliet, Pauline's mother really does seem to care about what is best for her but just doesn't know how to handle her. Pauline didn't make it easy for her.
  • Parental Obliviousness
  • Put on a Bus: How Juliet feels when her parents leave her in hospitals for her health while they go on business trips.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship
  • Psycho Schoolgirl Lesbians: They appear to be this in the movie, but Anne Perry insists it was "only" a really intense two-girl friendship. (Pauline doesn't talk to the press.) The actresses were instructed to play the girls as "devoted friends" who were just role-playing love scenes between their favorite characters.
  • Screaming Birth: Juliet enacts one as Empress Deborah giving birth to Prince Diello (a cushion). Pauline is on hand as Emperor Charles assisting the delivery.
    Charles: Deborah... we have a son — and heir.
    Deborah: I shall call him — Diello!
  • Shout-Out: The photo of Orson Welles that floats away on the river is a homage to a scene from The Third Man; one of the photos in Pauline's room is the real Juliet Hulme.
  • Shown Their Work: The entire film was shot on location in Christchurch, NZ. They even filmed where the actual murder took place. According to IMDB, it became eerily quiet when they started shooting, so they moved up a few paces until things felt comfortable. That's the actual tea shop in the park; when filming was completed, the tea shop was torn down so that it wouldn't become a Graceland.
    • Even the actual 1950's Christchurch Girls' High School was used, despite the school itself moving from the City Centre to Riccarton in 1986 and the building having become an art gallery. The building was later torn down after being damaged beyond repair in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: While only peripherally involved in the story, short, stout, Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette Pauline has a tall, blond, glamorous-looking sister.
    • In reality, Pauline was described as glamorous by classmates; a "proud beauty", "like a gypsy". Juliet was considered a snooty Brit with a "perpetual cold" who (they thought) exaggerated her symptoms for attention.
  • Sock It To Them: The movie ends with a murder committed with a brick in a nylon stocking.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Borovnia.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Pauline and Juliet are fourteen and fifteen at the beginning of the film, sixteen and seventeen by the end.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, Pauline is taken to a child psychologist who concludes she's suffering from a mental disorder called "Homosexuality".
    • The real Dr. Bennett was The Shrink, version 2, right down to testifying at length (somewhat incoherently) on the witness stand that the young women were completely bonkers.
  • Title Drop: During Pauline's poem.
  • Unfortunate Names: Pauline Rieper especially after what she does to her mother.

D.E.B.S.Queer MediaHedwig and the Angry Inch
Film NoirThe FiftiesThe Red Balloon

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy