Production Companies: The Picture Company & Vertigo Entertainment
Director: Alberto Corredor
Producers: Alberto Corredor, Jeremy Irvine, Lorcan Reilly, Bryce McGuire, Peter Mullan, Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman, Julian Seager, Steve Zissis & Mark Duplass
Scriptwriters: Christina Pamies & Bryce McGuire
Main Cast: Freya Allan, Jeremy Irvine & Anne Müller
Release Date: 26 January 2024
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Baghead – Introduction
For a film riding on the coattails of the major 2023 success Talk To Me, Baghead does a fairly decent job of creating its cinematic universe. While many viewers have disliked this new horror, I feel that it’s important to acknowledge how difficult it can be to create ‘scary’ films in a day and age where it feels like everything has already been done.
Synopsis Of Baghead
A young woman inherits an old pub when her estranged father dies and, upon deciding to sign her name on the ownership documents, discovers that there is an unusual tenant in the basement of the building, over whom she now has control.
Analysis Of Baghead
The entity featured in Baghead is revealed to be a reincarnated woman with the ability to communicate with the dead, who was once exploited for her gift, and so now possesses a desire to be let loose upon the world and gain power. I think the biggest mistake that can be made in horror films is the overuse of your ‘monster’ character. If I’ve already seen what the title ghost or demon looks like ten minutes in, chances are I won’t be scared when I see it the next five times.
Now, the power of imagination is so important to horror, and I think that Baghead handles this well. Though it is undeniably silly to look at, having the bag over the creature’s head creates a sense of mystery of what is underneath – especially since each time the bag is removed, we only see the faces of deceased loved ones with which she has ‘brought back’.
The details we experience of Baghead herself, her white skin, her dirty, claw-like nails, and the uncomfortable noise when she swallows down personal belongings to channel the dead, make us eager to know what her face looks like; if the rest of her is horrifying, what must her actual head look like? She’s not going up there with any of the greats, but I think Baghead makes an honest attempt at something of an original monster, although it’s clear this adaption of Lorcan Reilly’s short story was never going to reach great heights of success with Danny and Michael Philippou’s ‘Talk to Me’ being the hit it was last year.
Sounds And Scares
Unfortunately, the film is quite typical in its use (and particularly its overuse) of jump scares. There are points where it is simply overly loud, wherein it does not achieve a good scare, but instead just simply makes you wince at how unnecessary such a high volume is for such a mundane moment in the story. However, it has to be acknowledged that this is simply a given trait for a majority of recent, modern horrors that follow the story of a supernatural being.
I think with horror becoming as mainstream as it has in recent years, there is pressure on filmmakers to cater to this audience who are only viewing the film for cheap scares that’ll make them drop the popcorn or make an annoying shrieking sound that’ll scare the rest of the moviegoers more than the actual jump scare does. That’s not to say that there haven’t always been these kinds of horror fans, but with the promotion of horror media on social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, a lot of younger people are now flocking to horror movies like Insidious, The Conjuring Series, and many more, and I think there is some desire to recreate the formatting of such horror to reel in that specific audience.
Happily Never After
One thing I did like about Baghead was its ending. While not a ‘happy’ one, I feel that it was a satisfying ending, wherein you sort of end up rooting for Baghead, and all these deceased women whose form she takes on, as she makes her way out into the world, presumably for some vengeance and general chaos. Its open-mindedness does worry me that a sequel may soon be in the works, which I don’t think this film needs.
The parameters within which this film works are that it’s a one-off, quite cheesy, but scary and unique horror, that you watch once, discuss with a friend for five minutes, and then probably forget about forever. Leaving the events that take place after the ending of the film up to the imagination of the audience is the best option here, I feel. The scariest parts of horror are always the things we, as the viewer, don’t know, and I think that’s one thing this film does very well and would be tarnished by the presence of a sequel.
Summary Of Baghead
Despite its unforgivably silly name and nature, Baghead is a decent scare and one of the only films to attempt a unique and original concept like this that I’ve seen in recent years. While that doesn’t make it a good film in and of itself, I feel that it’s worth a watch anyway, especially if cheesy horror is your thing. For the general horror viewer, however, I feel it was clear this was always going to be a flop, and not worth the time. But for fans of trendy, slightly trashy horror, perhaps it’s worth a watch.