Why does that matter? Expectations, that’s why. See, the poster boasts intense colors, an eye-catching layout with a hand holding a bleeding heart as a couple kisses in a tent, and a brilliant tagline- “Date. Mate. Eviscerate.” It is a fabulous poster, but it implies a much visceral and slasher-y type of film than Lonely Hearts actually sets out to be.
What the film is, in fact, is a rather enjoyable pitch-black horror-comedy. But for the horror, one has to wait a long time. That isn’t to say there aren’t unnerving happenings, as most of the movie has a sense of unease to it. It would seem the contestants are not aware that the inside of their tents is being filmed as well. Also, once Patricia brings everyone alcohol to celebrate the end of the first day, everyone begins acting odd, as if under a trance or some such.
“… a rather enjoyable pitch-black horror-comedy.”
Such strange behavior, coupled with Rusty Apper’s absolutely amazing, memorable, and haunting score, ensures that the film plays out in a creepy, somewhat bizarre manner. This nervous tension absorbs the viewer into what’s happening, as they await the big picture to come into focus. It certainly helps matters that Hunt and Mason-Bell have written some very engaging characters. The audience will definitely want to punch Freddy right in his perfectly chiseled features, as he is nothing more than an arrogant, pompous jerk. The good news is he was written to be that way, so the writers did a solid job there.
Kirsty is equally as annoying but in the more vapid, vain kind of way. She does not know what the word “narcissist” means. Patricia’s reaction to that is priceless. Donny and Carol are both sweet, and the viewer will root for them to wind up together. Claire is headstrong and determined but is easily swayed by whatever is compelling the players at night.
These strong personalities are capably brought to life by the actors. Martin W. Payne is very empathetic and makes for a sincerely sweet romantic lead. His chemistry with Dawes feels genuine, and they work well together. When Carol has finally had enough and snaps at the frustrating Kristy, Sue Dawes sells the switch from friendly to angry well. As the cocky Freddy, Mills is very believable, and you will love to hate him.