Willard's Review of Headspace
Director: Andrew van den Houten
Writer: Troy McCombs
There is always a certain urge, controllable, yet always persistent in everyday thoughts that deviates from the norm, sets itself at a distance and realizes the ridiculousness of common event. The urge, it takes it's shape as a distortion, an unrealistic fascination that changes our perception of a constant moment. This quandary of the human mind is a focus of the horror genre.
It takes a lot of guts, so to say, to step into the horror genre, but not a lot of wit. Anyone is capable of tricking someone else, easy to pop out behind a closed door, simple even to cue the wolf's howl on a dark moonlit night. The movies, then, that truly stand out in horror, are those that not only stay on a well-founded formula, but continue the internal analytic deviation in the voyeur's eyes by stretching the limits of what is believable.
Then, there are the movies, such as Houten's HeadSpace, starring Christopher Denham, that go and above and beyond the dilemna of how to make a monster unbelievably horrific, but to make the story real, to take back that previously forsaken realm of storytelling. Without abandoning the human emotions of empathy, sympathy, and character attachment, HeadSpace delivers a full force horror entourage. The most actually interesting thing about the story, aside from the numerous sub-plots, is that the story on paper, might even sound believable for a moment. The only thing bringing us away from the dangerous precipice of the "normal" belief suspension commonly used in film, is that it is indeed, only a movie.
The story follows Alex, a mid-20's inner city male. The striking yet correlated traits of confused innocence, uncouth arrogance, selfless helplessness, stand out amongst the youthful characters he surrounds himself with. He is a homesitter, and artist, who collects unemployment, and drinks himself silly some nights, while still maintaining certain hidden truths about his life and future. The trouble begins one day while playing chess in the park, but by the time the story ends, we're taken into a world where we are all just pawns to a game of life and death played in realms we do not belong.
My advice for approaching this film, is to pay attention to nuance. The dialogue is phenomenol for character development, the most crucial part of a horror/slasher film, and the plot that intertwines religion with metaphysics and science, is genius, but don't forget to watch everything else. The score is great, although not the best, and the cinematography is simple and effective.
Producer: Marius Kerdel
Actors: Christopher Denham, Erick Kastel, Mark Margolis, Olivia Hussey, Udo Kier
Score: Ryan Shore
Cinematographer: William M. Miller
Editor: Edwaldo Baptiste
*****UPON REPEATED VIEWING: THE MOVIE IS NOW CONSIDERED A 9/10*****