Baghead Review

While Freya Allen continues to be a great lead actress, nearly every other element in Baghead fails her and gives us a dumb film.

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

Baghead review

PLOT: A young woman inherits a run-down pub and discovers a dark secret within its basement – Baghead – a shape-shifting creature that will let you speak to lost loved ones, but not without consequence.

REVIEW: I always get excited whenever Shudder is releasing a new film to their streaming service that I know next to nothing about. Add in a recognizable actor and I’m ready for whatever comes my way. So Baghead had me interested with its vague title and inclusion of Freya Allan (who I love in The Witcher). The trailer made it look like a creepy look at the living’s relationship with death. And the original short film was creepy as hell! So I then proceeded to go on a journey of intrigue that was completely ruined by terrible storytelling and bad CGI.

Baghead follows Iris as she inherits the old pub that her father owned. She quickly learns that she inherited more than just the bar, but also the shape-shifting creature that resides in the basement. This creature can work as a conduit to the dead and provide a link to those who have passed. As much as Iris may want to just board up the basement and go about her life, her financial situation causes her to explore the mysterious abilities of the dweller. Now imagine every boneheaded decision you can make, and that pretty much sums up Baghead.

I’ll start with the good because it’ll be fairly brief. Freya Allan is really great as Iris and continues to be a formidable actress. She manages to be believable while providing plenty of reasons to care about her in the beginning. I’d love to see her in a horror movie with a stronger script as she conveys a lot with very little. I also enjoyed Peter Mullan as Iris’ dad, Owen, as I always feel he’s underrated. They worked well as father and daughter, and their brief interaction is one of the highlights of the film.

Freya Allen in Baghead (2024).

But things quickly move to frustration as the character of Iris is so unbelievably stupid. Every time there’s a rule set up that Iris is supposed to follow, she seems to immediately forget. They establish early that the bad guy can only harm her in her little hobbit hole, so any reasonable person would stay far away from it. Even then, it’s hard to differentiate between strict rules and those the movie simply decides not to follow. Because there’s one major death that doesn’t make a lick of sense when you think more about it.

The atmosphere is suitably creepy, with a great gothic aesthetic and ear-pounding sound design. I loved the imagery of the hole in the wall and the villain has a cool look at times. But other times they look very generic and overly CGI. Anytime the makeup is shown in full light, it completely breaks the illusion. I also question how their CGI fire can look good at times but then awful at others. They also borrow a little heavily from Barbarian with the villain’s lair so it feels very “been there, done that.”

Unfortunately, Iris makes some remarkably stupid decisions. The rules for Baghead are established pretty quickly and are reinforced throughout the film. So the pure fact that Iris is constantly being tricked makes her a poor lead. There was a certain point in the film where I started rooting for Baghead and had a lot more fun with it. The human characters prove to be lacking in much common sense, so it’s easier to just root for their demise. And that’s rarely what I’m going into a horror film for. I wanted connection and all I got was nonsense.

BAGHEAD IS STREAMING ON SHUDDER ON APRIL 5TH, 2024.

Baghead Review

BELOW AVERAGE

5

About the Author

197 Articles Published

Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.