By: Nick Ferwerda
Buster’s Mal Heart is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
Jonah (Rami Malek of TV’s award-winning Mr. Robot) is a family man stuck in his ways. He lives at home with his wife Marty (Kate Lyn Sheil) and his two-year-old daughter, he works nights as a concierge at a hotel, and he keeps to the same routine day in and day out. His life, however, is suddenly interrupted by Brown (DJ Qualls), a conspiracy obsessed drifter. This also triggers a critical event that has Jonah running from authorities, as well as another happening known as “the Inversion”.
Now a wanted criminal, Jonah (now using the name Buster) lives in the mountains, breaking and entering into vacation homes, and waiting for “the Inversion”. Buster is tortured by a recurring dream of being trapped at sea, allowing audiences to see Busters past, present and dream world; begging the question “what is actually real, and what is just a dream?”.
You’ll have a ball wrapping your head around Buster’s Mal Heart. Filmmaker Sarah Adina Smith (writer/director of The Midnight Swim, and one of the filmmaking collaborators behind 2016’s horror anthology Holidays) creates a unique and original world through creative dialogue and impressive characters you cannot help but love.
The strong cast deserves equal credit. Malek, continuing his streak of incredible performances, brings Buster to life with his own brand of versatility. Kate Lyn Sheil (You’re Next, The Sacrament) is very good in a twisty, devout role, and DJ Qualls (known for his lanky protagonist in The New Guy and his scene-stealing geekiness in Todd Phillips’ Road Trip) is fantastic as a pot-stirring conspiracy theorist – it’s refreshing to see the actor out of his usual element.
Buster’s Mal Heart is an amazing movie, and a complex mystery/thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda