Torn Hearts: What to Know About Blumhouse’s Country Music Horror Flick

Posted 2022/05/24 3 0

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Blumhouse has just released a fresh take on the horror genre. Torn Hearts is a cautionary tale of the music industry’s dark side in which two rising country stars meet their idol with potentially deadly consequences.

A female Nashville country music duo seems to be tired of playing to half-empty bars, and one of the women strikes at the opportunity to meet a true country music legend. The only problem is that this legend lives in a run-down mansion and has been reclusive since the death of her singing-partner sister marking the end of her career. The two young women seek to partner with their idol on a new song but quickly find themselves in over their heads as the former star shows her true colors.

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A music industry-based horror film is a relatively niche and untouched subgenre. However, judging from some of the reviews, the film seems to be a fun yet dark hit. Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Torn Hearts: Trailer

From the beginning of the trailer, we can see this film is not messing around. As the main antagonist and country legend Harper Dutch taps on a coffee mug in sync with a voice-over praising the protagonists for having “that extra something special,” there is a montage of bloody handprints on a column, blood-spattered gold records, weapon-wielding young women, and a slowly growing pool of blood coming from underneath a closed door. The montage ends with one of the young country singers stabbing someone with a knife.

The trailer then shows the two young singers, Leigh and Jordan, playing in a bar, after which Leigh states that she is “tired of playing to mid-sized crowds in Nashville” and that she wants something more. Fate seems to answer her call. As Jordan is perusing the home of a man she met in the bar, she sees a photo of Harper Dutch proclaiming, “Leigh and I are obsessed with the Dutchess Sisters.” She somehow procures Harper’s address, and the two girls show up at her home unannounced.

It seems the two girls impress Harper as she agrees to sing a song with them, but we are left to wonder about Harper’s mental stability as she “celebrates” the agreement by smashing a guitar on the table. The trailer flashes the words, “Their path to stardom…is a journey into hell.” The remainder of the trailer shows the girls piecing the past together and suggesting that Harper killed her music partner and sister Hope Dutch with flashes of fingers in jars, gunshots, and blood splatter.

Torn Hearts: The Cast

Katey Sagal plays the potential murderess and deadly character of Harper Dutch. The Los Angeles-born actress is best known for her roles as Peg Bundy in Married… with Children and Cate Hennessey in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, where she played the wife of the late John Ritter.

While Sagal is known for her comedic acting, particularly in sitcoms, this seems to be her first foray into the horror genre. She is, however, no stranger to the music industry. Sagal has released two albums over her career.

One of the rising country music stars, Jordan, is played by Abby Quinn. The Midwestern actress dropped out of college and moved across the country to Los Angeles to break into acting. She has been in several movies and television shows, including Black Mirror and Little Women. However, Broken Hearts seems to be her first breakout starring role.

The other of the young singing duo, Leigh, is played by Alexxis Lemire. Lemire starred in the Netflix LGBT comedy The Half of It, but this is her first major role and certainly first horror film gig.

Torn Hearts: Reviews

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Torn Hearts was released on May 20th, 2022, and as of opening night has maintained an 86% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has garnered some excellent critics’ reviews as well.

One top critic praised the innovative use and combination of the music industry with the horror genre while also giving kudos to Sagal’s acting. “Combines country music’s frequent themes of love and loss with horror’s twisted pursuit of fame, delivering a mean thriller anchored by one playfully unhinged performance by Katey Sagal,” wrote Meagan Navarro from Bloody Disgusting.

Other critics nod to the film’s feminine energy and critique the misogyny often found in country music. “Torn Hearts layers its somewhat rote plot points with context about the harsh misogyny of country music, points Sagal’s performance drives home,” another critic said.

However, one critic from Roger-Ebert claims that the film and its plot are mediocre, while Sagal’s performance is what makes it bearable. Critic Katie Rife uses the term “hagsploitation” to describe the film — a film that “leverages a famous middle-aged actress’ star power for a horror film about the grotesque nature of aging.” She then likens it to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, which many people might consider high praise.


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