Sweetheart ★★★

Automatic 3 stars for being a monster movie made by legit craftsmen (aka not SyFy Channel hucksters or other such careless exploitation hubs) and one that takes place on a tropical island with mostly just one character. It's "Cast Away" meets "The Shallows", with a little bit of "Lost". Great hook!

But it never earns any additional star value because, though adeptly filmed, well acted by Kiersey Clemons, and scoring pure goosebump-evoking moments once or twice (like that abyss she discovers, for one, or the flare in the dark night sky that reveals the monster in silhouette out in the ocean), its payoff in the second half is a letdown, with a pretty weak monster design, pretty weak showdown with the monster once all the cards are on the table, and pretty weak shying away from any potential mystery (there are clues that maybe more is going on than we realize on multiple fronts, yet they all just kind of trail off into nothing).

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