HEATWAVE (2022) is a thriller with LGBTQ+ characters and a murder mystery. On Netflix in many countries for Pride month [June] and on Prime Video and Paramount+ in the US. Read our full Heatwave movie review here!

HEATWAVE (2022) is a mystery thriller with LGBTQ+ characters, an arson story, and murder.  It’s getting a fairly big worldwide release on Netflix in June 2023. Very appropriate for Pride month.

However, make no mistake, despite featuring a love story between two women, it is all about the male gaze. Well, that and a murder mystery full of twists and turns upon more twists and turns. With a runtime of around 100 minutes, it could’ve been a bit tighter.

Continue reading our Heatwave movie review below. Find it on Netflix in the UK, Australia, and many other countries worldwide. Also, it’s already out on Prime Video and Paramount+ (as well as on VOD) in the US.

The spoilers of the official plot

The actual plot of Heatwave is something along the lines of: “Claire is an ambitious young woman working for a successful and rich businessman. She unknowingly begins an affair with his young wife”.

Obviously, this means it’s hardly a shocker when the wife of said businessman turns around and is *gasp* the very woman Claire is in a relationship with. In fact, the plot is completely wrong and Claire has no idea she’s “having an affair”. As far as she knows, she has a girlfriend.

In any case, this is actually a murder mystery, so this official plot is just to sell the story on the idea of a lesbian affair.

Amazing chemistry, terrible execution

The main character, Claire, is portrayed by Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) with Merritt Patterson (The Royals) portraying the role of Eve. While the steamy scenes between the two women are very much male-gaze-oriented, the two do have amazing chemistry.


Be sure to check out the apocalyptic Netflix movie How It Ends >

Trust me, as a gay lady myself, the steamier scenes between Claire and Eve really do not work. Right up until the moment they are all over each other (or kiss at any time), I am buying into their attraction. However, all chemistry goes out the window when any physicality happens.

It’s the strangest thing really and I can only blame the director for that. Good lord man, you had gold and turned it into mush.

Shame, shame, shame!

Heatwave (2022) – Review | Mystery-Thriller

A good 10 minutes of flashbacks

Once the mystery of Heatwave starts to unravel and the many twists and turns are revealed, we get a lot of help. Every time there’s a twist, we see a flashback where it’s revealed. Just in case you didn’t catch the reveal in the dialogue.

It is very heavy-handed and anything but elegant.

I mean, it’s not like there are any huge surprises. We’ve been getting various hints of many things along the way. Also, there are so many twists. By the final 15 minutes or so, they’re basically lining up and presented back to back.

Like an infomercial that just won’t quit; “But wait, there’s more!”

And as the viewer you’re left wondering “Why?”. We’ve already gotten the answers we needed, no need to add even more details that become increasingly weird. But hey, it is a TV movie and it certainly delivers on being very much that.

Watch Heatwave (2022) on Netflix outside the US now

Ernie Barbarash is the director of Heatwave and also, I have to assume, the person responsible for not getting more out of the amazing chemistry between the leading ladies. Previously, Ernie Barbarash directed a lot of Christmas movies.

However, in the past, he also wrote and directed a few horror movie sequels. Including Cube Zero (2004) and Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming (2007). Side note: If you enjoy Cube movies, you might want to check out the 2023 Japanese remake Cube on SCREAMBOX.

Ernie Barbarash didn’t write Heatwave (2022). The screenplay comes from Chris Sivertson who has written a lot of horror movies. In fact, he co-wrote and co-directed All Cheerleaders Die (2013) with Lucky McKee.

A movie that has become somewhat of a horror-comedy slasher zombie cult movie. The two even made the original 2001 movie together as well. Heatwave might be cult-like as a drinking game, but that’s about it, I’m afraid.

Heatwave is on Netflix in many countries now. In the US, you can watch it on Paramount+, Prime Video, and on VOD.


Director: Ernie Barbarash
Writer: Chris Sivertson
Cast: Kat Graham, Merritt Patterson, Sebastian Roché, Cardi Wong, Roger Cross, Aren Buchholz, Kayla Wallace, David James Lewis, Andres Collantes, Chris Cope


Claire has a new job and a blossoming romance, but her life takes a turn when she meets her boss’s wife – and is caught up in a storm of deceit.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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