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Film / Heartless (2009)

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Jamie Morgan is an aspiring photographer who has very prominent birthmarks on his face (which is shaped like a heart) and arm. He tries living a normal life, but is continually stared at and teased by various people. He receives a summons to a dilapidated flat block and given a chance by the sinister Papa B to be rid of his marks for a price. Jamie takes it and feels much more confident and happy in his life, getting a chance at a relationship with aspiring model Tia. However, he must hold up his end of the deal with Papa B and is forced to cut out a man's heart and place it on a church's steps or suffer the consequences.

A very well done indie film and star turn by Jim Sturgess. While having a simple story, it's very well written and acting and can be genuinely frightening at several points.

Not to be confused with The Heartless, or the 2014 Bollywood medical thriller of the same name.

This film contains examples of:

  • Apologetic Attacker: Jamie when he cuts out the heart of the prostitute.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Jamie's end of the bargain is for him to cut out a man's heart and leave it on the steps of a church on the night of a full moon.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: It's heavily implied that Jack the Ripper was actually working under Papa B's, um, payroll.
  • Deal with the Devil: Done between Jamie to get rid of his birthmarks.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jamie's dad is mentioned to at least vanished or dead.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: For his sacrifice, Jamie finds a gay prostitute on the streets to kill.
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  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The film's major songs were written by director Phillip Ridley and his friends in order to save money.
  • Fate Worse than Death: "Unhappily ever after, mate!", considering what Papa B does to Jamie ...
  • Freakiness Shame: It's revealed that Tia still slept with Jamie despite him still having his birthmarks.
  • Gainax Ending: And how. After The Reveal that Jamie never lost his birthmarks, he also ends up pacing together that the "demons" he saw were just a violent gang obsessed with Molotov cocktails and Belle was just a girl he saw in a news report. Plus the fact he reunites with his father in the end makes it weirder if Papa B really is a demon or was it just in his damaged mind.
  • Jerkass:
    • Perfection.
    • Pretty much everyone that isn't Jamie, Tia, Belle, and Jamie's parents
  • Kubrick Stare: Jamie has a rather unnerving one.
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  • Lizard Folk: The demons, at least until the reveal.
  • Louis Cypher: Papa B, with the "B" obviously meaning "Beelzebub".
  • Man on Fire: Happens three times during the film, even with the ending.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Were there really demons? Did Jamie really see demons? Was it all in his mind? The film is pretty vague about this.
  • Morality Pet: Jamie's father and girlfriend, which helps with helping Jamie pass on.
  • Shower of Angst: Jamie takes one after he completes his end of the bargain.
  • Start of Darkness: subverted, as it never happened. Maybe.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: At the film's end, it's revealed that Jamie imagined all the supernatural elements of the film, meaning that he never lost his birthmarks.

Alternative Title(s): Heartless