Movie Review: Torn Hearts

Torn Hearts Director Brea Grant On Making A Colorful Country Music Horror  Movie [Interview]

credit: Torn Hearts

It’s always fun to see older stars we’ve grown up with over the years and still enjoy when they show up in a random cameo or extended role. Katey Sagal is one of those celebrities that people either know or don’t since she was a big star in Married…With Children as Peg Bundy. She’s been in That 70s Show as well and has shown up now and then in other features over the years, and she even started her career as a singer and songwriter. That’s a perfect point to bring up since Sagal’s role in this movie is the surviving sister of a legendary country-singing duo who became a recluse in her later years and has been the subject of many rumors people have decided to spread. When Leigh and Jordan, two aspiring country singers who have been friends for a couple of years, decide to pay an unscheduled visit to Harper Dutch, they find that her house is in disrepair, and her attitude is that of one who just wants to be left alone. However, when they suggest that she follow them on the road to writing another song, Harper’s mood gradually shifts. 

Brea Grant on mixing horror and country music in Torn Hearts | Digital  Trends

credit: Torn Hearts

It’s tough to like anyone for long in this movie since every character’s faults shine brightly. 

Jordan is the singer/songwriter who doesn’t feel she gets enough credit and doesn’t like her friend’s boyfriend. He is their manager and has a general attitude that makes it clear that she’ll do what it takes to make her career flourish, even if it’s a dodgy move. Leigh is the type that wants everything to work out right, is constantly between her friend and boyfriend, and yet at the same time is often seen as the face of the group since she’s so attractive. Their manager is just a step above being a piece of human garbage. When it’s mentioned that they’re about to be asked to go on tour with a famous country star, Jordan is swept up by the same star and finds out that his manager wants the tour to feature only male singers. 

When the two meet with Harper, they’re quickly taken in by chance to speak with their idol. 

More than a few movies make it clear that meeting your heroes is rarely ever a good idea, especially when that idol has been missing in action for so long. But after a night of drunken revelry, Leigh and Jordan find themselves guests of Harper, but strangely, the aging singer’s moods appear to swing back and forth as she tries to pit the two younger women against one another. Building them up to their faces and then tearing them down when she has one of them alone at a time, Harper spurs a physical confrontation in which Leigh strikes first, while Jordan ends up getting the upper hand. When Harper takes Leigh upstairs to tend to her wounds, Jordan is left in the basement, where she makes a startling and terrifying discovery. Not only is Harper not in her right mind, but her sister’s disappearance is solved when Jordan finds several body parts hidden in a dresser. 

Torn Hearts movie review & film summary (2022) | Roger Ebert

credit: Torn Hearts

When Parker decides to snap, it’s a race to the finish. 

Those who have watched Katey Sagal on Sons of Anarchy and various other shows know a little too well that when her character snaps, she gets into it, and there’s no stopping her until that feeling wears out. In this movie, it’s terrifying to see as Harper goes after Jordan and Leigh with a shotgun as she herds them through the house, missing on purpose as they scurry about. When they finally lure her down to the basement, they trick Harper into thinking that she’s seeing a vision of her dead sister, who she reveals that she killed upon finding that her sister was about to go solo and leave her. Now, she feels that she needs to atone for her sin and is willing to take her own life and Jordan’s to make everything right. Sadly, this kind backfires as Leigh has become convinced that she’s the talent between herself and Jordan. 

It’s thankful that no one gets out of this mess alive. 

To make a long story short, Jordan shoots Harper, Leigh shoots Jordan to create her own tragic, but convincing backstory and a mortally wounded Jordan shoots Leigh before she can leave the basement, using Harper’s shotgun no less. So to be certain, everyone gets shafted, save for the country singer who Jordan slept with at the beginning of the movie. In the end, he sings a tribute song that’s the same song that Harper, Leigh, and Jordan get together and sing before Harper turns on the two younger women. And so, a country legend is born. 

It’s a good bit of fun that doesn’t leave any of the worst people alive. 

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