"Baghead" is a moody but inferior variation on "Talk to Me"

Baghead (2024)

If given the chance to say goodbye to a loved one who is no longer with us, it wouldn’t just be a horror movie character’s bad decision but a very human decision. Unfortunately, director Alberto Corredor’s "Baghead" (which, technically, should be titled “Sackhead”) is more interested in cranking up those musical stingers and having its titular monster skitter about rather than closely following a character’s journey. Overshadowed by the most recent "Talk to Me," this conceptually creepy but distinctly inferior variation on playing with the dead just doesn’t cut it. 

The film follows Iris (Freya Allan), a young woman who ends up inheriting a London pub, Queen’s Head, from her estranged father (Peter Mullan). The building has a “special tenant,” along with “ancient traditions,” and once Iris signs the deed, it’s all hers. That’s her first mistake. Her next mistake is going down to the basement. Down there, there’s a hole in the brick wall where a finger-twitching witch with a burlap sack over her head resides (because all pub basements need one). Once the old crone (mostly played by Anne Müller when not morphing into someone else) sits in a chair, you have two minutes to connect with a lost loved one, who will return once you remove the witch’s bag. Go over those two minutes and you’re done for. Iris, later joined by her protective best friend Katie (Ruby Barker), experiences the power of Baghead firsthand when a widower, Neil (Jeremy Irvine), drops by, desiring to speak to his wife with some unfinished business. By being the new pub owner, Iris is now the master to whom the witchy thing must obey. 

Though not without exceptions, most of this feels so pedestrian and timed to make one jump at every opportunity (no matter what volume setting you have on your TV). Since this is a horror movie and horrific things must happen, nobody adheres to the two-minute rule very well in spite of a VHS tape labeled “Instructions.” Emotions just have to take over for common sense. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: C

STUDIOCANAL and Shudder released "Baghead" (94 min.) to stream on Shudder on April 5, 2024.