Director – Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Cast – Steve Zissis, Ross Partridge, Greta Gerwig, Elise Muller, Jett Garner
Release Year – 2008
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Baghead was an interesting experience for me because I really did not know what to expect. I first heard of this film a few years ago but I never thought about giving it a watch because it really did not seem like a horror film to me. Well, as time went on I kept coming across this flick, and after finally giving it a watch I can say that it is not a true horror film…but it does have enough elements of horror for me to include it in my arsenal of reviews. Baghead is not a film to take seriously, and despite this being a low-budget indie watch it was a borderline-positive experience for me despite it not delivering much horror.
After attending a screening of a well-received indie film, four struggling actors/writers decide to take a weekend trip to Big Bend, California, where they will stay in a cabin and write a feature film starring themselves. After brainstorming they come up with the perfect idea for a film; a horror film where a group of people are stalked and killed by a man wearing a bag over his head. The idea is a good one, except for one byproduct of their ingenious idea…they are now being stalked by a man wearing a bag over his head.
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a true horror film, so if that is what you are looking for then Baghead will not do the deed for you. Basically, this is an Indie comedy film that has some elements of horror in it to keep the story going, and to provide some “fun” for the viewer. The plot shows that the only real horror is what happens as a result of the storyline the friends wrote, with the overall focus of the film being their relationships with one another. So why would I review such a film if its not really a horror film? Well, the horror that is given to us is actually pretty OK in execution, and the fact that I keep seeing this film on horror lists was another reason that I added it to mine. Simply put: you being a horror fan may come across this film, so I reviewed it.
The idea of a man wearing a bag over his head stalking a group of people is nothing new, especially if you have seen Friday the 13th Part II, but I figure it was thrown into the film to make the horror “fun” for the viewer. We get some good character play between our four protagonists, and some fairly good comedy as well. The comedy was subtle, but it did have me chuckle out loud on a few occasions. My biggest gripe with the film was that it never really went anywhere with what was going on. The horror was used just to move the film, but the character play never went anywhere, even after the “twist” during the final act. I could write more, but this story is so darn simple I would just be blowing smoke.
Jay and Mark Duplass wrote and directed the film, and their direction helped make Baghead a pretty fun watch. Their camerawork was very reminiscent of independent college films, and I enjoyed it given it is something that I rarely see in the genre. Their execution of the conflict and tension between the characters was good, and as I mentioned earlier…the horror was actually pretty well done for a film not trying to be a horror film. Sadly, no one is killed in this flick, and while the killer looked pretty damn sweet he never got to deliver the goods to me.
Overall, this is an OK watch if you know what you are getting into. Baghead is not a devout horror film, but a Indie comedy that throws in horror to add some “fun” to the stagnant story. If you are looking for a horror film with some comedy I would say to head elsewhere, because Baghead is a comedy with some horror.