Dark Hearts review: watch this interactive horror movie – if you dare!
A spooky sequel to the critically-acclaimed Haunting Melissa app
You don’t need a media studies degree to know that the way we watch our TV shows and movies is changing, from binge-watching on Netflix to hashtagging during X-Factor. Hooked Digital Media is experimenting with launching films as apps, with Dark Hearts the sequel to last year’s critically-acclaimed Haunting Melissa (you don’t have to have seen the first film to understand Dark Hearts, but it helps).
Like Haunting Melissa, Dark Hearts is a well-produced, spooky tale of horror. Your take on it is going to depend on how much of a horror fan you are and how well you take to this new app-centred form of distribution — if you enjoyed Haunting Melissa then Dark Hearts will be right up your street. We’re not taking award-winning or ground-breaking levels of quality, but in most aspects (sound, cinematography, acting, story, special effects) this holds up very well to anything you might find while browsing around on Netflix. There’s some heavyweight Hollywood experience behind Dark Hearts, and it shows through whether you’re a horror aficionado or not.
Dark Hearts, also trades on Haunting Melissa other unique sellling point – some scenes change the second time you watch them, for example there might be a ghostly figure in a corner where there wasn’t one before. It’s good to see the app developers experimenting with ideas that take advantage of the app format. You can also take screengrabs and join the official forums.
Sign up for a free account and you get the first seven episodes included. New episodes are released irregularly, presumably to build up the suspense and anticipation, but from Chapter 8 onwards you’ll have to fork out £0.69/$0.99 per episode or £3.99/$5.99 for a season pass.
There are some imaginative ideas here and we experienced no playback problems, but it’s not going to replace Netflix anytime soon.
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