Head Count

Head Count ★★★

The usual cabin in the woods is replaced by a villa in the desert in this teen-friendly chiller. The weekending kids are a bit less obnoxious than in most movies of its type, though the tired old clichés are all present and correct: red cups, scary campfire stories and someone announcing the next round of shots in an exaggerated voice, to a response of hollers and whoops. But one of those campfire tales - read by the group's newcomer from a page of creepypasta - triggers some strange apparitions that the friends take a while to realise are their own doppelgangers.

This is a story with a pretty strong, original concept to try and creep you out with. It's one that's not fully explored here, which may be a flaw but it could also be that a second viewing would give you a deeper understanding of its mythology and why events play out in the way that they do. But it also suggests that there's scope for a decent sequel or two without merely having to repeat what happens in this movie.

And that's essentially how I feel having watched it: it's left me wanting more, which is a good thing, but that's in part because this interesting introduction to the mysterious Hisji doesn't reach its full potential.

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