By Brian Costello,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Violence, language, drinking in country music thriller.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Unlike traditional horror movies, women are front and center in this movie instead of being mere objects of affection for the guys and targets for the killer.
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Violence & Scariness
Horror movie violence. Character stabbed in neck with knife -- lots of blood. Face cut open with knife; blood. Blood splatter after character shot and killed with a shotgun. Shotgun blasts. Gunshots. Talk of suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One of the lead characters goes home with a male country music superstar. Talk of them sleeping together after, including a UTI joke.
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Strong language throughout. "F--k" often used. Also "s--t," "pr--k," "d--k," "goddamn," "ass," "damn," "pissed," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The two lead characters seek out a country music legend, who now spends her days as a recluse in her mansion while binge-drinking whiskey. She encourages the two starstruck young musicians to binge-drink with her. The two eventually black out and pass out, waking up with no recollection of how the night ended. Wine drinking. Shot, cocktail, and beer drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Torn Hearts is a 2022 thriller in which a country music duo looking for a big break get more than they bargained for when they meet their idol. Expect horror movie violence with a fair amount of spurting and splattered blood: A character is stabbed in the throat and killed, characters fight and a face gets slashed with a knife, and characters are shot and killed. There's talk of suicide as well as binge-drinking and cigarette smoking. The country music legend (played by Katey Sagal) binge-drinks and encourages her protégés to do the same. One of the characters has a one-night stand with a country music superstar. Strong language throughout includes "f--k."
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What's the Story?
In TORN HEARTS, Jordan (Abby Quinn) and Leigh (Alexxis Lemire) are a country music duo struggling to find their big break in Nashville. After a show, their manager (and Leigh's older boyfriend) introduces them to Caleb, a country music superstar in attendance who's looking for an opening act for his summer tour. After several drinks, Jordan ends up going back to Caleb's place, and discovers that Caleb has a framed photograph of him with Harper Dutch (Katey Sagal), one half of the legendary country music duo The Dutchess Sisters. Harper is idolized by both Leigh and Jordan, but she became a recluse after the suicide of her sister Hope. Eager for the chance to meet Harper and get advice on how to succeed in the music business, Leigh presses Caleb to give her Harper's address. When she gets it, Leigh and Jordan drive out to Harper's isolated, crumbling mansion. Upon meeting Harper, it doesn't take long for them to discover that Harper has a hair-trigger temper and a drinking problem. As they start talking, they also start to join Harper in the drinking, and it isn't long before Leigh and Jordan are wrapped up in Harper's manipulative and divisive head games. They must confront the lengths they are willing to go to in order to find success in the music business, even if it means turning on each other, and worse.
Is It Any Good?
This is a country music-centered thriller that's also a dark commentary on the music business and the lengths some are willing to go to for stardom and fame. Torn Hearts takes the classic "city folks go to the weird/haunted country house" horror story in an interesting direction. Instead of finding ghosts or ax-wielding maniacs, the two lead characters, a country music duo looking for their big break, seek out and find their childhood musical idol. While perhaps not as spot-on as the too-real band dynamics of, say, This Is Spinal Tap, the movie shows, through both psychological and outright horror violence, that playing in a band is the most creatively rewarding way to completely destroy a friendship.
As the reclusive alcoholic country music legend Harper Dutch, Katey Sagal owns the role and makes the most of it. For their parts, Abby Quinn and Alexxis Lemire do much more than keep up with Sagal. In a genre not exactly known for stellar (or even competent) acting or for women having roles that go very far beyond hooking up with their boyfriend before screaming their way into a bloody and untimely death, this movie is refreshing. It would be borderline camp without these deeper messages, but, overall, Torn Hearts is as thoughtful as it is creepy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the roles of women in horror movies. How are women traditionally depicted in horror movies, and how does this movie contrast with those depictions?
What does the movie say about fame, ambition, and the ugly side of the music business?
How does the violence in this movie compare to that of other horror movies you've seen?
- On DVD or streaming: May 20, 2022
- Cast: Katey Sagal, Abby Quinn, Alexxis Lemire
- Director: Brea Grant
- Inclusion Information: Latinx actors
- Studio: Epix
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 22, 2023
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