Baghead (2017) is a micro-budget short fantasy/horror film from ShortsTV and TriForce Creative Network, The Pitch winners, Alberto Corredor and Lorcan Reilly.
The duo triumphantly received a budget of £3,000 after successfully pitching their vision for their innovative short film concept in front of a team of experts who came on board to co-produce the project. With the funding and support behind them, Baghead became a reality, serving up a sinisterly superb short filled with a double helping of frights and delights.
Kevin (Oliver Walker) is plagued by the loss of his loved ones and is left with unanswered questions that only the deceased can answer. He seeks the truth in the basement of a grimy, run-down pub where he comes face to face with a shapeshifting witch known as ‘Baghead’ who may hold the key to the answers he dares to unlock. Is Kevin playing with fire or will he come to terms with what he is set to uncover?
Baghead centres on the theme of grief within a horror context. Corredor and Reilly invite the audience to challenge the notion of mortality, questioning what would you do if given the chance to re-connect with a loved one from beyond the grave?
Baghead is a slick short that utilizes the horror genre to its strength. It’s a highly professional offering that merges an eerie atmosphere with classic British domestic drama and a slice of dark wit. In a relatively short time, we experience spine-chilling tension which transcends into intensified emotions with an irrational unpredictability at play. Once Kevin’s motivations are revealed, it’s as if a ticking time bomb has gone off, leading events into unknown territory where anything could happen, proving compelling to watch.
Oliver Walker is convincing in the role, playing Kevin in a state of anguish; he provides him with a sense of desperation and violent urges when we learn the circumstances that have brought him to Baghead. A pop/rock power ballad, titled ‘Adieu’ sung by April plays over the end credits, which brilliantly compliments the hurt and despair conveyed by Kevin’s character.
Reilly’s script is sharp, he has created layers within the characterisations portrayed on screen which is fundamental to the storytelling, especially when there’s a limited time to get that story across. With this, he leaves stacks of potential to develop the story further, if a feature is the route the filmmakers may want to take in the future. As well as Kevin’s story there is so much scope to delve into in terms of the mythology of both witchcraft and shapeshifting, which looks visually imaginative on screen.
The build-up to the introduction of the witch (Pat Boothman) is gripping and intriguing, allowing for a fist-clenching sense of dread. The direction then alters bringing in intensely dramatic scenes of loss, confusion and revenge.
The dingy setting and dark, gloomy lighting provides a sense of claustrophobia. With the core action taking place in a confined setting, it draws the viewer to remain in the moment as the scene escalates, not losing its grip until the credits roll.
Featuring an engrossing storyline, phenomenal FX (particularly the witch’s appearance), strong performances, transfixing mythology and a level of comedic irony, Baghead is a layered short film that deserves to be screened on the horror festival circuit. Corredor and Reilly have done themselves proud, capitalising on the opportunity they worked hard for and doing an impeccable job with it.
Baghead recently played at Arrow Frightfest in August 2018, with future screenings at Horrorhound, Dragon Con, Mollins and Manhattan Shorts in the pipeline.