HECKLE (2019) reviews of British slasher horror

   

‘Who’s laughing now?’

Heckle is a 2019 British horror feature film about a stand-up comedian who encounters a seemingly insane heckler, who becomes his stalker.

Directed by Martyn Pick (Evil Never Dies) from a screenplay written by Airell Anthony Hayles (They’re Outside), the Voodoo Films-Haunted Cinema production stars Clark Gable III, Steve Guttenberg, Guy Combes

Edited by Jake West (director of Doghouse; Evil Aliens; Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes; Razor Blade Smile).

Plot:

Stand-up comedian Joe Johnson (Guy Combes) is heckled during a show, which causes him to have an explosive response on stage. Following the incident, Joe is taunted by the heckler who begins to stalk him. As Joe begins to suspect everyone around him, the heckler’s taunts increase and he begins to fear that his life is in danger. Can he stop the heckler before it’s too late?…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“There are elements that I liked and the overall premise was solid, but the climax let it down as did much of its cast. Had it been a tighter, tauter, slasher-style thriller it would have worked much better but Heckle takes too long to get going and under-delivers at its most crucial point.” Entertainment Focus

“We spend so long with Joe and co getting to the heart of the film that once the blood starts to spill, everything is over before it has properly begun. The deaths feel rushed, crammed into the last portion of the film, and don’t really offer much different to what we’ve seen countless times before. Then Heckle switches pace again and draws out the killer’s reveal, and reasonings for the killings, far too long.” The Hollywood News

“Steve Guttenberg’s performance felt very much like a rough parody of Andrew Dice Clay in a silly wig with these weird tonal shifts in the character where he went from normal and loving to demanding and rude. These hiccups do not take away from the experience of the film, however. It’s a simple slasher with a great setup and execution…” Killer Horror Critic

“It’s choppy and hectoring, but some of the performances click – especially Madison Clare as the sort-of final girl and Stephanie Leigh Rose as the bitchy manager who dresses up as Joan Collins in Dynasty – and it does at least have some demented glee going for it.  Not too many actual laughs though.” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …there are plenty of red herrings and garden paths (both literal and metaphorical), although everything here – from the two-dimensional characters to the bland kills – feels perfunctory, while the killer’s identity is all at once completely unguessable, requires an overblown excess of exposition in the film’s final act, and still makes very little sense.” Projected Figures

Cast and characters:

Clark Gable III … Alex
Steve Guttenberg … Ray Kelly
Guy Combes … Joe Johnson
Madison Clare … Evelyn
Louis Selwyn … David
Stephanie Leigh Rose … Catherine
Natasha Starkey … Janine Johnson
Helena Antonio … Laura
Dani Dyer … Lucy
James De’Val … Luke
Jane Ledsom … Pub Landlady
Toyah Willcox … Julie
Daisy Humpherston … Bryony
Samuel Jinks … Young Joe
Henry Osmani … Young Alex
Deborah Osmani … Young Evelyn
Peter Devlin … Teenage Alex
Gledisa Arthur … Teenage Evelyn
Brad Moore … Michael
Nicholas Vince … Brian
Lluis Foguet-Gonzalez … Frank / Drunk Man
Mike Willoughby … Ash Johnson
Chrissy Randall … Sandra
Jack Fairbank … Tom
Rachel Clifford … Interviewer
Fergus Gilmour … Security (as Fergus Gilmore)
Dave Nott … Comedy Actor
Stuggy … Brian
Nej Adamson … Stage Manager
Josh Betts … Heckler
Dave Darko … Gardener
Ethnie Hales … Girl at the party
Dana Hudson … News Anchor

Technical details:

81 minutes

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Trailer: