I’m doing another catch up from last year which I had a chance to see before it was added to Shudder. I had gotten a chance to see My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To at the Chattanooga Film Festival but since it was out on video on demand at the time, so it wasn’t a high priority. I’m glad that I was finally able to watch it. I had heard a lot of buzz through the the first part of the year.
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is the feature debut from writer/director Jonathan Cuartas. This is a strong debut from someone that has an interesting viewpoint. He even has a new and interesting take on a vampire story. The way he ties it into not only family but also how it feels to be a caregiver for a sick loved one. That offers an interesting look at everything, because being a caregiver is tough. It gets harder when the person gets worse after some time.
The cast is scant and basically just three people. It stars Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, and Owen Campbell. Each of the leads have heavy stuff that they have to deal with in their roles. Each of the leads play a sibling in a family. Fugit and Schram play the older siblings that take care of the younger sibling, played by Campbell. The younger sibling is chronically ill and the other two are the only ones that he has. The care slowly causes strain on the relationship between all of the siblings to become more severe.
The practical effects for the movie is really subtle and well done. The score from Andrew Rease Shaw is fantastic. The music helps the movie have an eerie atmosphere. The set design adds a new level to the story. There are little things in the background that gives you an insight into how the characters live.
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is a fantastic movie that doesn’t let one aspect of it to over take any other aspect. You can actually stream this movie on multiple different apps. I chose to watch it on Shudder, but it’s on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video. I give My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To 8.5 buckets with a spigot out of 10.