Skip to main content
#
The Independent Critic

STARRING
Fiore Leo, Leighsa Burgin, William Bloomfield, John Martellucci, Michael Capozzi
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Christopher Di Nunzio
INSPIRED BY
Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"
RUNNING TIME
25 Mins.
FACEBOOK PAGE
 "Her Heart Still Beats" Review 
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Reddit
Add to favorites
Email
 TRUE! -- nervous -- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed -- not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily -- how calmly I can tell you the whole story. - Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"

When Ed's wife (Leighsa Burgin) comes home early from work today, Ed (Fiore Leo) becomes overtaken by a strange feeling when he looks into her eyes. Is there something wrong with her eye? Is there something wrong with his own psyche'? As he struggles more and more to understand these feelings, he must attempt to discern whether or not she is truly evil or he is, perhaps, insane.

A short film inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Tell-Tale Heart," Her Heart Still Beats takes the atmosphere and purpose behind Poe's story and transplants it into a different time and setting. The story may seem like it is detouring, but if you're paying attention it really isn't.

Among many wise decisions made by writer/director Christopher Di Nunzio (Viva! Saint Agrippina!), perhaps none was more wise than his decision to maintain Poe's literary aesthetics even while ultimately changing the actual story. The tendency these days is to cater to gorehounds and contemporary horror fans by infusing a film with special effects, ultra-violence and buckets o'blood, but Di Nunzio very much has made a classic thriller in look and feel. There is violence, but Di Nunzio doesn't so much focus on it as he does weave it into the fabric of the story. The violence in Her Heart Still Beats is very much secondary to what's going on within the story and within these characters.

It helps Di Nunzio immensely, of course, to have eerie yet insightful leading performances from co-leads Leighsa Burgin and Fiore Leo. Both performers layer their performances nicely, a challenging task in a suspenseful 25-minute film that demands you to be invested in the story but also can't give away too much of the story early on. The supporting players are strong, as well, with William Bloomfield particularly shining in one incredible scene.

When you consider this is a microcinema project, the camera work by James Sullivan astounds with its blending together of suspense, menace and, at times, a sense of normalcy. Nicholas David Potvin's original music adds intensity to the film's suspense, but avoids overwhelming given the film's relatively brief running time.

With a short film, success is often measured by either developing a cohesive and wholly satisfying story or, alternately, making you crave more time with the story and its characters. Her Heart Still Beats clearly falls into the latter category and is a short film that both pays homage to the brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe and introduces us even further to the talented filmmaking of Christopher Di Nunzio.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic   

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

    our twitterour facebook page pintrestlinkdin

    The Independent Critic © 2008 - 2020