During Collider Movie Talk this morning, Perri Nemeroff suggested that her “Best Hidden Gem” of 2019 was Head Count. It was a horror film that no one else on the panel had seen and that she said was on Netflix. So I added it to my list on the streaming service for later viewing.
That viewing turned out to be this afternoon and I found the film to be a decent horror film with some clever tricks on the tropes of the genre.
Evan (Isaac Jay) was visiting his brother but instead ditches him for a group of students for a weekend of drinking and drug use. Unfortunately, a round of telling scary stories lead to Evan accidentally summoning a creature by saying its name five times. The creature tormented these kids without their knowledge for much of the time they were together.
While the story itself was nothing too original, I did like the way the story progressed and how the film takes its time with some of the main characters. It avoids much of the gore scare in favor for more of a psychological fright. The creature was a shapeshifter and played with the heads of these characters to get them paranoid and anxious.
The drugs are an easy excuse for the odd things happening and, before they realize what has happened, the creature had hidden within the group in plain sight.
Elle Callahan directed the movie, her feature film debut, and does a very good job. The film feels as if it is a small story, but never feels cheap, as some horror movies do.
The ensemble actors do an admirable job despite not having anyone that I recognized. None of them feel as if they standout in a negative way, which,a gain, is something that some low budget horror films have happen.
The film builds to a frightening finale that leaves a lot of questions in the air.
The movie was fine and I liked watching it. Horror fans would most likely enjoy the film, but those who are not into this genre would most likely not be changed over by Head Count.