Runtime: 90 Mins
Writer / Director: Elle Callahan
Starring: Isaac Jay, Ashleigh Morghan, Bevin Bru
Watching HEAD COUNT felt like I was reading this spell-binding ghost story that pulled me in to the point where I lose track of time.
It starts off slowly, moving confidently and assuredly that you wouldn’t guess this was Writer/Director Elle Callahan’s first gesture. The story builds, characters slowly reveal over the course of the movie – even the horror creeps up on you, favouring subtle scares over CONJURING-esque jump scares. It’s refreshing.
Add to this the naturalistic cast filling out the awkward group of twenty-somethings and you’ve got yourself an interesting little indie horror, one photographed well and quite tense.
It lost in me the last act, to be honest. Storylines, relationships – even the mythology – it’s all rushed to the point where it deflates the tension and takes the punch out of it. Furthermore, the film runs on to three different endings, running like the writers were so into what they were writing that they just couldn’t contain themselves or the characters when it really needed an edit.
I really liked the first half of Head Count – it’s atmospheric, eerie and the cast all feel fairly real. It’s just a shame that the end races to a climax when it should’ve showed more development and restraint.
J’s Verdict – ☆☆1/2