With any good horror short, the devil is in the details...and boy, do we get details. BAGHEAD opens (after a short, introductory scene) with our protagonist walking into a pub, presumably near to or after closing time — but the first, most noticeable aspect is the choice of palate or hue for the film rather than the characters and settings. We get a dreary blend of pinks and a grimy yellow that do the opposite of adding charm and cheer; instantaneously suggesting a poisonous atmosphere. The dialogue that follows immediately confirms those suspicions, meaning (for me) that the scene was well set. Barely two minutes in and I found myself nodding in film-snobbery appreciation.
The following scene introduces us to a chilly, numbing score, the plot, and a poignant backstory that has brought our lead (Kevin, played by Oliver Walker) here. What follows is a tense, tumultuous, and terrifying interaction between the protagonist and the Baghead; a creature something akin to a soothsayer or creepy clairvoyant — able to let the spirits of the dead possess her to sort out the sins of the departed.
Delving deeper into the plot would, unfortunately, be entering spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that this is, in my humble opinion, a near-perfect short film. All the boxes are checked, all the i's dotted and all the t's crossed. It's creepy, smart, well-acted and brilliantly shot, cut, and edited — there’s even a dash of dark humour that got me grinning. Just enough is left to the imagination without leaving gaping plot holes, which is often an issue for me with any short film (or feature-length for that matter).
I could go on and on singing praises, but instead, I suggest that you make an effort to catch this while it is still on the festival circuit. BAGHEAD was, in fact, funded after winning The Pitch, a filmmaking initiative by ShortsTV and TriForce, which gives filmmakers the opportunity to pitch their short film ideas to a judging panel for the chance to have their short film produced and receive £3000. Since then, the short has gone on to win a number of deserved awards, around fifteen at the time of me writing this review. I'll post the full list after the trailer for those interested at taking a look.
In closing, BAGHEAD is everything a horror short should be and more. Add it to your lists and if you can't make a screening, wait for it to hit Amazon Prime or some similar service as it will surely be available after finishing the circuit. Easily a full five stars. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid.
Alternative Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7938420/videoplayer/vi1222818585
FESTIVAL WINS THUS FAR:
Paul Naschy Award @sitgesfestival
Best International Short Film @Nocturnafest
Best Short/Director/Audience Favourite @Cryptshow
Best Horror/ Best Short @DragonCon
Audience /Jury /Young Jury Award @horrorfestival
Best Short Film #AtlantaHorrorFilmFest
BRONZE @ManhattanShort (Oscar Eligible)
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.