Sweetheart (2019 film)

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Directed byJ.D. Dillard
Produced by
  • Jason Blum
  • J.D. Dillard
  • Bill Karesh
  • Alex Hyner
  • Alex Theurer
Written by
  • J.D. Dillard
  • Alex Hyner
  • Alex Theurer
Music byCharles Scott IV
CinematographyStefan Duscio
Edited byGina Hirsch
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 28, 2019 (2019-01-28) (Sundance)
  • October 22, 2019 (2019-10-22) (United States)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States

Sweetheart is a 2019 American survival horror film directed by J.D. Dillard, written by Dillard, Alex Theurer and Alex Hyner, and starring Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence and Andrew Crawford. It was produced by Jason Blum, Dillard, Theurer, Hyner and Bill Karesh.[1][2]

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019. It was released on October 22, 2019 via on demand and digital by Universal Pictures.[3]


After their boat sinks during a storm, Jennifer Remming washes ashore a small, tropical island with her friend Brad, who dies from his wounds shortly after. While exploring the island, Jenn discovers the belongings and graves of a family that once lived there. She later buries Brad’s corpse in the sand, but discovers it savagely eaten and mutilated the following morning.

The next day, while retrieving her newly surfaced luggage, Jenn finds an ominous hole in the ocean’s floor. That night, Jenn fails to flag down an airplane using a flare gun and encounters a giant, two-legged sea monster. For the next four nights, Jenn manages to hide from the monster while also attempting to catch and kill it. As Jenn prepares for the fourth night, the corpse of another mutual friend, Zack, washes ashore mutilated and bisected. Jenn later uses his body as bait, seeing the monster clearly for the first time. For her fifth attempt, Jenn sleeps in a makeshift hammock in the trees to watch the monster arrive. When the hammock falls, Jenn stabs the creature with a sharpened stick and narrowly escapes.

The next day, Jenn is reunited with her boyfriend Lucas Griffin and friend Mia Reed after the two wash ashore in a lifeboat. Jenn warns Lucas and Mia about the creature, but they dismiss her claims. Jenn later discovers Lucas’ pocketknife bloodied. When Jenn makes a desperate attempt to flee without the two, Mia knocks her out with a boat paddle. Later, Jenn regains consciousness, finds herself tied up, and tries to defend her actions. Mia reveals Jenn’s past of fabricated lies, including one about being mugged before the group’s trip. When Mia leaves, Lucas hints to participating in Zack’s demise. Before Jenn can ask what happened to their friend, Mia is attacked by the monster. Lucas leaves Jenn tied up to fight it himself, but fails to save Mia, who is dragged into the water.

The next morning, Lucas and Jenn escape with the lifeboat, the latter discovering the inside covered in blood, presumably belonging to Zack. As the two head west, the sea monster attacks the lifeboat, eventually dragging Jenn away. When Jenn injures the monster, it releases her and drags Lucas to his death. Now alone, Jenn uses her journal to help any individual who may encounter the monster after washing upon the island. That night, Jenn sets some of the island on fire while battling the monster with a series of sharpened branches and bones from the graves of a family the monster killed. Both severely injured, the monster chases Jenn to the shoreline, but collapses from its wounds. Jenn decapitates the corpse and limps away from the blazing part of the island as the camera pans out.



On February 2, 2017 Blumhouse Productions announced that Kiersey Clemons was starring in the film with J.D. Dillard co-writing, producing and directing.[4] On May 9, 2017 it was announced that Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Emory Cohen, and Benedict Samuel would co-star.[5]


Principal photography on the film began in June 2017 in Mamanuca Islands, Fiji.[6]


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019.[7]


According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 94% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 6.96/10.[8]


  1. ^ Miska, Brad (April 3, 2017). "'Sleight' Director Casts Up Survival-horror 'Sweetheart'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Squires, John (February 7, 2017). "Kiersey Clemons Starring in Blumhouse Survival-Horror Film 'Sweetheart'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Donnelly, Matt (September 19, 2019). "Blumhouse's 'Sweetheart' Sets October Digital Release From Universal". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 2, 2017). "Kiersey Clemons to Star in Horror Film From Blumhouse and 'Sleight' Team". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 9, 2017). "Hanna Mangan Lawrence & Benedict Samuel Join 'Sweetheart' From Blumhouse". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Sciretta, Peter (April 26, 2017). "Exclusive: JD Dillard's Secret Blumhouse Movie 'Sweetheart' Details Revealed". Slashfilm. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 28, 2018). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2019 Features Lineup". Variety. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sweetheart (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

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