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Let me fill you in on the plot. We see a young, troubled guy known to the world as Alex Borden, played by Christopher Denham. By troubled, I mean a pretty rough childhood which, at one point, involves him and his brother viewing their dad blow their mom's face to smithereens with a shotgun. Serves her right for getting too far away from the kitchen Alex has been a smart guy all his life but, at the age of twenty-five, his intelligence begins increasing by the minute. This dude reads books in minutes, learns how to master chess in a day's time and can even understand women. Actually, I'm kidding Nobody's that smart. Eventually, Alex learns that he can see events that have taken place in the past and, towards the end of the film, can even see into other dimensions, which is where the crap really hits the fan.
This Good Will Hunting Gone Wild tale could have easily been a disaster if it were not for the TLC given by the people involved. The look of the film really enhanced the quality for me. Headspace looks like it cost five to ten million to make and I would bet my dead rabbit Penny's water bottle that the budget was nowhere near that amount. Headpsace recently took home the Best Cinematography Award at the New York Horror Film Festival and with good reason. The film is colorful, shot well and looks magnificent over all.
Another element that boosted the quality of the film for me was the casting. It seemed like every five minutes, some blast from the past was popping up. We have Olivia Hussey from Black Christmas, William Atherton from Ghostbusters, Sean Young from Bladerunner and Dee Wallace-Stone from The Hills Have Eyes. I could keep going but I think you get the idea. These seasoned vets not only make the film more fun because of that, "Oh I remember them!" factor but, they also bring some serious acting chops to the table. Newcomer Christopher Denham definitely holds his own as well and he's interesting to watch as he manages to find a balance between the nice guy next-door and the freak with the expanding brain. I mean, I liked the guy throughout the entire movie but I wasn't sure if someone should spend time scouring the Earth for the best doctor available or just drag him in the back yard behind the shed and put him down Ol' Yeller style! It was a nice dynamic.
With all this being said, the bottom line is that I really respect the filmmakers of Headspace for truly caring about the material. They set out to make one of those B rated monster movies that we all remember as kids and they nailed it. It was like watching USA's Creature Double Feature night with the only difference being that it was Tuesday and there was only one featured Creature Feature as apposed to two featured Double Creature Features. Huh? Anyway, those films were never this well done. Bravo!
Overall, I really enjoyed Headspace and feel very comfortable recommending it to everyone, even the casual fans of the genre. One thing to the gore lovers though; these characters spend a lot more time talking than chopping so, if you're looking for a blood bath, try something else. I highly suggest watching the film in the dark on a Saturday night with a big fat bowl of popped corn floating in butter. It's that kind of film!
When Denham's head is blitzed, as it is periodically, he acquires even more skills. He beats his older brother, an artist and chess master. He has some form of ESP. He can read memories and acquire the past experiences of others.
The problem is that he can't seem to keep his mouth shut. He tells a friendly couple that they have deceived one another and alienates them. His therapist, Olivia Hussey in an embarrassing performance, is no help. A priest wants to enlist him in a program for drug addicts. Monsters begin following him around. The monsters begin to dismember people that Denham has touched in passing. Why? There are some things man was never meant to know, or women either, for that matter.
The tale doesn't really come to a conclusion so much as it just ends. Well, I'll tell you how it ends, and then you tell me how it makes sense.
Denham was about to stab two friends to death because he saw them transformed into monsters, but the police put a bullet into him and he winds up restrained in a hospital. Olivia Hussey visits him in his hospital room, assures him that everything will be alright. Then she slides her hand down his body and grasps his family jewels, then leans over him, bleeding from her eyes and mouth, and evidently cannibalizes him or at least bites him to death with her newly grown fangs.
Utterly without sense or point. Don't bother watching it unless you like meandering faux Steven King stories with supernatural episodes banged into them with a sledge hammer.
Headspace tells the tale of a young man, Alex who is plagued with severe headaches. The headaches worsen upon a chance meeting with an ace street corner chess player/artist. As the headaches increase one evening he passes out on the floor as a fiend is at his apartment. His friend gets him an ambulance and once at the hospital tests are ran on him to see if he has any neurological issues.
Upon the doctors findings they discover that he is using the frontal lobe to an amazing degree, to a point that he is able to remember things by the slightest glance. Shortly after this Alex begins to have visions that he remembers as a child having of people dying and creatures! These creatures begin to manifest themselves into our world and begin to kill anyone in contact with Alex. Can Alex find the key to these creatures and whats causing this and what is his link to this mysterious chess master? I was rather entertained with this film. It has a very solid cast and an interesting story and has a couple of nice gore set pieces but nothing extremely nasty (except for a shotgun blast to the head sequence that was cool). This one is more of a mix of psychological horror/monster movie which I cannot recall the last time I seen one quite this way. Shades of From Beyond can be seen throughout in this film as well as we deal with things in another dimension and enlarged frontal lobes.
This movie is one that you may have to watch twice to catch everything and some things you may not get completely however unlike the film Calvaire (which did a lot of that to little success) this movie overall can be made heads or tails out of and will not have you totally scratching your head in the end.
Other than some lulls in action and some weird peeping tom sequence that really did not seem to fit into the story other than a chance to show a sex scene this is a solid rental title and for some a possible purchase. Another low expectations going into flick that will entertain if you do so. I give Headspace: 6/10: above average, a nice horror/thriller that will provide a nice 90 minutes of entertainment for those interested in a change of pace mental creature feature flick or for those who like to watch horror movies dealing with the mind.
Thats it for now but remember the creatures of the mind can sometimes be worse than the creatures in the flesh!!!
there were so many things very wrong with this film. it had great potential, but just didn't follow through.
the film appeared to be quite clever for the most part, the rapid increase in intelligence for Alex. the people around him getting picked off by big bad beasties. it all being connected to his childhood. etc etc. but then just as we get this kind of explanation as to whats happening, it goes haywire and Alex ends up just being a nutcase.
my major problem, and the movie actually could have worked if this had been handled better, was that for the whole movie the beasts were real and separate entities from the people they were killing, but at the end he saw them as hallucinations/his friends. what the? make up your mind. and if they were hallucinations the whole time then for f***s sake, someone come up with a movie that isn't 'all-just-a-dream' or 'all-in-his-head'
The great thing about watching this film is that it's never clear where it's going, and director Andrew van den Houten does a good job of building up the mystery without ever giving too much away at once. I'm deliberately focusing more on the good elements of this film simply because the majority of horror movies coming out recently are tired and derivative, so it's nice to see one that tries its best to do something original. I guess the main negative element of the film is that, while the story plays out well, there's no real resolution to the film, and while messages such as 'ignorance is bliss' stand out from the story, no actual messages are played with much. The director has assembled a strong cast of lesser known stars, which help to provide the film with a lot of cult value. Unknown actor Christopher Denham does well in the lead role, and he's backed up by such cult stars of the past as Sean Young, Olivia Hussey, William Atherton, Dee Wallace and, best of all, Udo Kier; who lights up the screen with a cameo performance mid-way through. Overall, Headspace might not be completely successful; but it's a great attempt, and I'll be keeping my eye on what van den Houten's does next.
The main story is about a young man who keeps getting smarter each day. The neurologist confirms he is using more of his brain than any person on record. He has terrible visions, hallucinations, migraine headaches, and passes out.
The main part of the story involves him playing speed chess against a chess-master. He loses at first but then reads books in seconds and learns every strategy ever conceived at chess and has several rematches with his newly found friend who admires his genius.
The movie starts to get darker as people around him start to get killed and he believes the monsters in his dreams are now crossing over to reality.
The rest of the movie is pretty standard and throws some plot twists that really are quite forgettable at best.
I would recommend this for a rainy day or late night when you have insomnia if you like horror and scifi but don't expect an great movie.
Frankly, the film doesn't make a whole lot of sense in less than a half hour. If you have a free afternoon, watching this on cable might be OK, but don't waste your money purchasing this.
If someone who has seen this could explain the final scene with Alex and his final doctor, Olivia Hussey, I would love to hear it. Again, that was another scene that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the film.
I received this film as the result of a contest at Killer Reviews (where I have since become a staff member). I had never heard of the director, never heard of the film, was a bit wary of the so-called "awards" listed on the back. I knew who Dee Wallace and Udo Kier were, but didn't know if that was enough to make a movie work. In short, I had expected this film to be watched once and filed away behind a copy of "Point Break" or "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days". I was wrong.
The film starts with some short shots that fade in and out (which I didn't care for but they end after the intro). Then, in the first ten minutes, we get the goriest scene in the movie and one of the better gore scenes in a horror movie I've seen lately (let's just say it's like the suicide from the remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but better).
The gore is toned down after that (which is too bad, because many times -- especially the restroom scene -- were just begging to be bloodbaths). But where the blood stops a deep and complex storyline begins, that you may not be able to figure out in your first viewing. Some aspects are guessable but the entirely film demands close attention if you want to even catch a fraction of the underlying plot.
There is a subplot concerning a chess game (or rather multiple chess games) I found to be very interesting. I didn't understand some of the technical dialog in these scenes (discussions of past chess players' defenses) but this really drove home the hyper-intellect aspect of the film and I appreciated that.
Udo Kier appears as the creepy German guy, just like most of his other films. And he makes it work, being a priest in this case. Dee Wallace plays a doctor, but her character does not really stand out much so other than a nod to her earlier horror work it wasn't really necessary to cast her. All the other actors (whose names I don't know) were perfect: there was nothing amateur or independent-looking about this production.
Andrew VanDenHouten is a great addition to the horror world, and is sadly being overlooked due to the mainstream work of such people as Rob Zombie and Eli Roth. Maybe "Headspace" will be for VanDenHouten what "Dog Soldiers" was for Neil Marshall, and in another year or two he will be a name known in the dark underbelly of film.
Olivia Hussey best known for her portrayal as Juliet in 1968, and as Mary in some biblical yawner was nice to look at too. Her bust line seems to have increased along with her age. Must be the water in Argentina.
The latex monsters were poorly done, something circa 1960's Outer Limits. Lots of splashing gore but not much else.
The plot line was hard to follow and the ending was predictable.
If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth checking out, just don't expect anything profound coming from the mouths of the actors.
At the beginning, we see two young boys experiencing a birthday party where their mother(Sean Young)bleeds from the nose. Later, we see a seemingly possessed mother with evil eyes and a nasty growl on the prowl for her family. The father(Larry Fessenden, the director of WENDIGO and the vampire flick HABIT)has to defend himself and shoots her with his shotgun. He later sends the boys off to foster care insisting that they are separated. This may very well be why the strange occurrences start happening when Alex meets Harry, as we later discover that the two are more "linked" than they realize.
All this I have mentioned above could be part of a warped, disturbed mind. The very opening shows blood trickling down Alex's legs as his hair appears in a frizzy frenzy. This could signify that he himself was committing all the murders instead of the beasts. I'm not quite sure, however, because the film won't give us a definite answer. The ending leaves you wondering what the hell is going on. I'm afraid the narrative becomes so chaotic, I was wondering if the madness we see is purposed to create doubt in our minds regarding Alex's sanity or that he just sees what others without his gifts don't.
Dee Wallace has a small role as a doctor attending to Alex's physical condition. I will say that this flick is quite the mindscrew.
TOTALLY disintegrates into an EXTREMELY poorly written, directed, and acted film. PERIOD.
Very sad too; I REALLY, REALLY wish I had read more of the comments and especially the message board MUCH more carefully. Usually I do, but I musta REALLY screwed up on this one : ) I can excuse a film completely for being aimless and even pointless, ***IF*** it at least has style, mood, and is done with SOME bloody competence. It is SO dang funny how some of these film makers snag a bunch of these 'B' actors whom we'd immediately recognize and then they have a combined screen time of about 8 minutes. When will I learn... I felt sorry for Sean Young; she had all of, what..., 3 minutes. Sad...
Anyway, by the end, if you have ANY vestige of intelligence left (which is bloody unlikely) this is one of those cases where you will TRULY be sitting there stunned wondering what the HELL you just did with the last 90 minutes or so...
I'm serious here. Believe me on this one...
I'm not normally hateful or unforgiving when it comes to film and Especially the 'Horror' genre, honestly. But this one fails on almost EVERY level.
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 dilemma 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 phenomenal 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.
I mainly decided to rent this film because, 1) the cover art was creepy, and the back of the box had nothing but praise for the film, and 2) Olivia Hussey and Dee Wallace-Stone were listed in the cast. While the film wasn't a complete waste, it wasn't wonderful either. The storyline to the film may sound interesting, and I thought it did myself. While it is interesting, it's also a little bit cloudy and some things are far too unclear, left without any explanation at all. The problem with this is that these elements in the story need some type of explaining, because otherwise they make little to no sense. The plot is a little convoluted, but this film does have some good offerings too. The cinematography is nice and stylish, and the creature in the film is presented realistically. It's normally difficult to make a monster movie where the monster itself is presented in a way that doesn't throw all logic out the window, and this film succeeds at that. The monster isn't too overdone and it's believable enough.
There is quite a good amount of gore in the film as well, there's more than plenty of monster mutilations to please all of those gore hounds. The film boasts a mildly impressive cast, including two well-known actresses in the horror genre. The lead, Christopher Denham, who plays Alex is convincing in his role as the troubled young adult. Dee Wallace-Stone has a fairly small role as a doctor, and is also excellent in her short on screen time. And Olivia Hussey, who starred as the lead in my favorite horror film of all time, "Black Christmas", plays Alex's doctor/friend. She is given very little to work with, but she is also wonderful in all of her scenes (which also wasn't a whole lot, I would have liked to see her a little more often). The film's surprise ending caught me off guard, and while it took me a minute to understand what had happened, it was a fitting way to conclude the story.
All in all, "Headspace" is a just about average monster movie. It's not too overdone and is far from being corny, but the plot becomes a little cloudy at times and is hard to follow on some occasions. It does boast some very good actors though, and plenty of monster-murders for anyone who enjoys a good creature feature. I'd say it's about average, but I have to admit it was better than I was expecting. Trust me, there's much worse out there. Worth a rent if you're into this kind of stuff. 5/10.
I snagged this film off of the Sundance Channel for later viewing and, the time having arrived and being in possession of three-quarters of a bottle of Jack Daniels, I figured I could withstand anything. Truth be told, I did not anticipate such a bad movie although I had to pause it half way through to make a run to the corner Stater Brothers for another quart of Jack.
In any event, usually such movies start formidably with some kind of gimmick or hook and then disintegrate in the final reel. However, the wheels came off of this one straight out of the shoot. Forgive the mixed metaphors, but I am working on the last of that second bottle of JD.
I am afraid it lost me at the chess game game in the park; the protagonist shows up, loses a game to the artist, gets a headache, heads to a shrink, and people start bleeding out of their eyes.
O.k., I get it. The guy's a head case.
But as the bourbon took hold, this movie started assuming an alternate persona, if you will. You know, like when you show up at a party, have a few belts, and the revelers' true personalities start to manifest themselves.
Anyway, the scenes started to appear choppy and poorly crafted, the actors became stiff and their lines were delivered woodenly and without lilt. The characters' makeup -- makeup? -- was troweled on and, in the poor lighting of this movie, made everyone look like they had been recruited from a Ralph's parking lot for a student flick. I am afraid poor Ms Hussey fell victim to this process as well.
..then it hit me: the cheesy makeup, the goofy monster costumes, wooden actors, stilted dialog, and clumsy scenes. Ed Wood had come back and is living in the body of Andrew va der Houten.
Poor Olivia Hussey. And too bad Bela Lugosi is pushing up daisies. He coulda brought some real life to this dog.
It should stand as an education tool for how not to make a movie, that would be about its only use.
Some have suggested this is a thinking mans horror movie, ignore them or suffer wasting an hour and a half on this dribble.
Instead of suspense we get a character chopping around the screen depending on what the editor of the movie was smoking...the only reason we don't know whats going on during the movie is because neither do the actors, directors or producer. Even then a 12 year old could have created a better script.
Then we have the evil rubber monster at the end...whoopee doo. If you know anyone who likes this movie then you know they have serious mental issues. Jeez, even Killer Clowns From Outer Space looks like an academy award winning movie compared to this stinker.
But thats the problem with this genre. The very few really worthwhile horrorflicks I've seen, were not even in English.
The problem with Headspace is (1) the incredible meager story which could be summed up in one or two sentences and which is far from original. (2) The pathetically looking 'scary' beasts from hell. I don't believe that with all the Buffies etc being on television on a weekly basis, u can dress up an actor in a rubber suit which was obviously made in the 60s and try to pass that as scary.
The only redeeming quality was (1) the way this movie was shot, although some of the editing was quite out of place. (2) The overall acting which made this film almost bearable to watch.
Just another pointless Horrorflick which u wont be able to remember the day after you've seen it.
OK, we have everything here, poor acting, lame disjointed storyline, poorly managed blood scenes, nothing realistic, nothing makes sense, characters weren't interesting just plain dull or ridiculous. But the biggest disappointment of all was when we finally got to look at the "scary beast", well into the movie it turns out to be some rubber pig-faced recycled costume, it reminded me of those monsters on the early seasons of the Power Rangers, God that's when you realize that your initial gut feeling was in the right, it was a crap movie.....
Someone here mentioned that you usually get these sorts of movies in English language, i could not agree more, any good horror clip that i have seen has not been in English, Thailand has a very good horror movie industry for example, it is also interesting to note that the only people who are giving good ratings to this piece of garbage are either American or English... i think you guys should go have a look at the international section on your local videoshop, you might be surprised of what other people can produce.