Knife + Heart

Knife + Heart is a vibrantly realised erotic thriller in which a mysterious killer is picking off young actors on the set of a gay porn film

Film Review by Carmen Paddock | 04 Jul 2019
  • Knife + Heart
Film title: Knife + Heart
Director: Yann Gonzalez
Starring: Vanessa Paradis, Kate Moran, Nicolas Maury, Noé Hernández
Release date: 5 Jul
Certificate: 18

This stylish French erotic thriller plays in the spaces between reality and dreamland, paying homage to the giallo tradition in tone, style, and subject matter while exploring and celebrating queer connections. While the mystery surrounding the murders of young gay porn actors may not quite deliver on its promise, the familial, multifaceted relationships between aspiring porn director Anne (Paradis) and her cast and crew show a genuine love underlying this competitive industry. The film exhibits a playfulness as scenes dart between creatively sensationalised scenarios and the real world, aided by impeccable lighting and electronic score.

Knife + Heart is entirely comprised of LGBTQ+ spaces and characters, and seeing these safe havens violated by the masked killer is troubling, illustrating the police’s lack of protection for Anne’s community. While the narrative arc may ultimately fall flat, the thriller’s vibrant worldbuilding – from the nightclubs’ neon lights to the killings’ lurid details – make it a compelling watch that parodies and pays tribute to the 1970s’ blue films and overblown slashers.

Released 5 Jul by MUBI; certificate 18