Saturday, October 16, 2010

Head Trauma

A homeless man returns to his deceased grandmother's home to fix it up in an effort to save it from being demolished. However, he is plagued with strange visions of a repressed memory, and tries to piece together the mystery and remember what has happened to him.

Similar to Salvage, Head Trauma is a low budget, shot on cheap digital horror movie that manages to somewhat set itself apart from the trash heap by virtue of its general competence. It's mainly entertaining and not overtly bad, although it has the same major flaw as Salvage. Namely, that it unmistakably indicates from early on that its heading towards a twist ending, which you will likely guess well in advance, but still has to jog in place for a while in order to reach feature length.

I think the problem with a lot of these modern microbudget horror movies is that the cheap video quality does not much look like film, but they still try to embrace horror film aesthetics. The lighting/color palette/etc don't feel as rich on digital, or at least not on cheap digital; the filmmakers should be trying to figure out what digital's strengths are and embrace that, rather than try to copy the style of better known horror films.

Still, Head Trauma really strives hard for the atmosphere of paranoid mindfuck movies like The Machinist and I appreciate the fact that, while it doesn't exactly work, it doesn't fail either. It's not a particularly scary film and falls short of its ambitions, but I suspect with a better budget the director could probably make a pretty good one of these movies.

Grade: C+

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