REVIEW: Head Trauma
Director: Lance Weiler
Synopsis:After a 20 year absence, drifter, George Walker, returns home to settle his grandmother's estate. As if awakening from a long dream, he finds his childhood home condemned and littered with the remnants of squatters. In the midst of trying to save his past, George falls and strikes his head, triggering an onslaught of vivid nightmares and waking visions. As the horror intrudes on George's reality, his conviction grows that someone or something is trying to kill him. (Source IMDB)
There's nothing quite like the MindF*ck movie. Its a movie that takes you through the demented psyche of a character and if done right it can leave you shaken and provoke some good discussion following the viewing. I'm happy to say the Head Trauma is such a movie.
Head Trauma follows a drifter named George Walker who apparently has been just living homeless for the last 5 years or so. The film begins with George returning to his home town and to a house that was left to him by his grandmother. The house itself has been lived in by squatters for the 5 years since his Grandmother died. The house is a deteriorating, dark, spooky place. As George tours the house upon arrival he finds clothing, photos, drawings and furniture that has been left behind by squatters. His flashlight piecing the dark and hinting at what might have happened there and what might still be there. His first night in the place he hits his head and from that point on he becomes increasingly disturbed and haunted by a figure wearing a heavy winters coat. The story culminates and reveals why George has been drifting along all this time and who the coat wearing character is that haunts him.
This film is directed by Lance Weiler who is one half of the duo that created the Last Broadcast which was a shaky cam docudrama that inspired the Blair Witch Project. Here we get to see what director Weiler can do when he has a scripted horror film to work with and he doesn't disappoint. Even though this movie is done on the cheap the camera work and direction proves that Weiler is talented far beyond the limitations of digital filming. I have never seen a digitally shot low budget film that looked this good. Light and dark is utilized to good startling effect here and the haunting character that menaces George never fails to illicit a spooky foreboding feeling when on screen. For the limitations that are inherit in small budget digital film making, Head Trauma shines as an example of what the right people can do when motivated.
While the story is nothing that will shock or surprise the viewer the atmosphere, direction and music carry the film making even a rather obvious ending seem suspenseful. While Head Trauma has its faults it is overall a very good horror film that you won't feel wasted your time. No doubt I'll be making a point to see what Weiler and his team create next. I only hope he gets a larger budget to film something on a scale deserving of his talents.
4 Bloody Axes out of 5