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Heartbeat (2020)

Heartbeat is a new thriller by writer director Gregory Hatanaka. The story revolves around the search for a serial killer, targeting those involved in the exposure of a company’s corporate corruption.

With the right story, script, director and actors a low budget film can always prove a big budget isn’t always needed for quality. Unfortunately for anyone who watches Heartbeat has none of these.

The story is basic and predictable; anyone paying the slightest attention will guess the twist identity of the serial killer, as soon as they’re introduced. If you put a bad story against a script that feels like it was written last minute, then there is nothing here to grip you. The only fun to be had is picking out some of the truly cringe worthy dialogue, the date scene and films final lines are partially bizarre.

Although the actors can take no blame for the script, there dud performances are truly their own. Not once did it not sound like everyone was reading the lines from cards behind the camera. Each line is almost waded through rather than delivered.

A bad performance can also be the fault of the director. I’m sure there were time restraints due to money, but the whole film is a mess. There are points where actors start a response line to a line that has not yet been said, the line is then said in the middle of their response. Also there are a couple of scenes with gangsters that stylistically seem so out of place, their only purpose seems to be is to wake the audience backup. The fights throughout are more in line with those from the 1990’s comedy series Bottom then of a high stakes thriller. The fight between the lead detective and a crack addict in a bar made me laugh so much I almost started enjoying the film.

A good thriller can set the pulse racing; Heartbeat is more of a flat line. The cat is quite enjoyable; I’ll give the film one point for the cat.

Marks out of 10: 1

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