The Movie Waffler New to VOD - BAGHEAD | The Movie Waffler


A young woman inherits a pub with a dark secret.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Alberto Corredor

Starring: Freya Allan, Jeremy Irvine, Ruby Barker, Peter Mullan, Saffron Burrows, Julika Jenkins

Baghead poster

David Koepp's 1999 horror movie Stir of Echoes suffered from being released so soon after M Night Shyamalan's phenomenon The Sixth Sense. Some even labelled Koepp's film a knockoff of Shyamalan's, despite the two films having been in production at the same time and Stir of Echoes being an adaptation of a Richard Matheson novel from 1958. Director Alberto Corredor's Baghead may suffer from similar comparisons to 2023's Talk to Me, with which it shares a remarkably similar central concept. Corredor's feature debut is actually an expansion of his 2017 short of the same name, which makes you wonder if Corredor was an influence on Talk to Me's creators.

Baghead review

Both films feature a device that allows for brief communication with the dead, with a time limit that must never be run over, lest terrible things be unleashed. In Talk to Me it's a ceramic hand, while here it's a centuries old witch who dwells in the basement of a Berlin pub. If you want to contact a dead person you visit the boozer and give the witch, who wears a potato sack over her head, a personal belonging of the deceased. "Baghead" then swallows said trinket before removing her sack and appearing in the form of the dead person. You can only speak with the dead for two minutes before Baghead starts to grow powerful until the sack is placed back over her head and she's banished back into her cavernous home behind a wall. Hell of a concept!

English youngsters Iris (Freya Allan) and Katie (Ruby Barker) are destitute, having been evicted from their rented flat. Things seem to pick up when Iris receives the news that her estranged father (Peter Mullan) has passed away, leaving her the pub in Berlin. It's very much a fixer-upper but Iris decides to hang onto the pub and make it her new home, as she has nothing going for her back in England. When a desperate young man, Neil (Jeremy Irvine), arrives and asks Iris if he can speak to his dead wife, she presumes he's demented. But when he offers her £4,000 she's happy to humour him. Once  in the basement Iris witnesses the horrifying truth about what she's inherited.

Baghead review

Like Talk to Me, Baghead cleverly exploits our apprehensions regarding what awaits us on the other side when our time in this realm is up. Horror movies are generally about the dead tormenting the living, but Baghead flips this idea on its head. There's a skin-crawling cruelty in the notion of bringing someone back to life for a mere two minutes for the sake of satisfying our curiosity. The dead people we see temporarily revitalised here are completely unaware of their demise until it's revealed to them, and we're left to consider the horror of how they might process this knowledge as they spend infinity on some other spiritual plane.

We all have questions we might like to ask our deceased loved ones, but Baghead suggests it's kinder to let the dead rest. The device of only being able to communicate with the deceased person in question for two minutes is a smart allegory for how we tend to avoid getting into deeper conversations with our loved ones for fear of what might be revealed about our relationships. Characters here are left wondering if the disturbing things they hear coming from the mouths of the dead are simply Baghead taunting them or a genuine reflection of the deceased's true feelings towards them.

Baghead review

For about two thirds of its narrative, Baghead is a gripping existential horror movie that confronts the sort of questions that preoccupy both believer and agnostic in equal measure. It's disappointing then to see it concede to mainstream genre expectations with a hokey final act that rushes to a clichéd climax with a murderous toxic male chasing the heroine through a burning building. Its ending may cause you to shake your head as you leave the cinema, but the ideas raised by Baghead's central concept just might haunt you on your train ride home.

 is on UK/ROI VOD now.