Head Count (2018) Poster

(2018)

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8/10
Rating seems weird
ofumalow12 June 2019
Did the filmmakers tick somebody off or something? It makes no sense that this movie has such a low rating, and several dismissive user reviews. (No, I am NOT affiliated with the film.) It's very well-crafted and genuinely unpredictable. Are horror fans so boring in their expectations that they actually resent a movie that doesn't provide the usual routine "kills," or gore? This movie has what most don't: An original narrative. I didn't love the ending, but up to that point was fascinated. It's not that "scary," but it's INTERESTING, and how often can you say that about a new horror movie? Most such are "spoiler-proof," in that the plots are so predictable it really doesn't matter if someone spills the beans or not. But with this film, I wouldn't tell anyone what happens after the twenty-minute point, because it's actually surprising. If you need severed limbs or something, I guess this movie isn't for you, but I found it imaginative and impressive.
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8/10
Cool little indie horror
stephenherman18 July 2019
If you're expecting big scares and big budget you came to the wrong place. But it's still pretty good. I enjoy a good horror indie. Most of them suck but this one was done right for what they had to use.

Unique concept and summoning ritual. Def had some good creepy moments. It's a slow burn for sure which some can't stand, but I personally like that kind of stuff if it's worth it. Acting was good. Visually good too.

Ending could have been slightly better but overall an enjoyable watch. Congrats to the filmmakers on this one.
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8/10
Really enjoyable.
Sleepin_Dragon15 September 2019
I really enjoyed this, I was expecting it to be the usual run of the mill, colourless horror, but it wasn't. More in the horror/thriller genre, this delivered some unexpected shocks, and moments of real subtlety. It does have some of the usual horror cliches, some loud shocks and obvious scares, but what it does so well is deliver some very unexpected moments, ones you need to watch closely for.

Well made, very well produced, I thought they made the best use the budget, clever use of lightning, and very well acted.

All in all, very satisfying. 8/10
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7/10
Finally something different
hlebov19 August 2019
My biggest gripe with the horror genre is that there are never any new ideas, and it's always the same old tropes barely repackaged into different presentations.

I give this movie a lot of credit for trying something different, and in doing so, succeeding in more ways than not. If you're a fan of the genre and don't get your thrills solely from guts and gore, this will be worth the watch.

Another reviewer here said it best: the movie was interesting. It kept my attention, and better yet, it kept me guessing. Pay attention to the details - specifically, the interactions of the characters in each frame - and you'll find yourself engaged. Scroll through twitter while you're watching and you'll miss everything that made this movie great.
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3/10
Took Forever To Develop..Nothing
jelrod-585947 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'm all for slow burn horror films, as long as it builds a storyline worth investing in, yet this movie doesn't even come close to fulfilling that. It spends an excruciatingly long time dragging out the partying teen portion longer than I've ever seen a movie do, and it grows tiresome fast. The first hour is spent listening to every rationalization of events that occur being blamed on a stoner spiking drinks. To make matters worse there is absolutely no character development or growth whatsoever. You sit through this entire film without a single backstory or interaction with these characters. They are all cardboard cutouts from beginning to end. When the cast started killing themselves off I could care less about their deaths, and even then there is no gore or detail to pay off this time we wasted. The only redeeming quality about this film is the acting is pretty solid all around, especially considering the script had to work with. Very frustrating film because it seemed to have potential but the writers couldn't figure out how to develop it into a story so they settled on "teens party until the kill themselves off camera". Save the hour and a half and watch something else, anything else.
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7/10
Solid Premise, but Falls Apart
david_rudy_lee22 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This was a film that I really didn't know anything about, but a trailer did play before one of the movies I saw at my local theater. I then heard on a podcast that this film was coming out this month. I came in pretty blind and to be honest as the trailer doesn't reveal much. I tend to avoid them with fear that it is going to spoil the film for me. The synopsis is a group of teenagers unknowingly summon a paranormal presence during their weekend trip to the Joshua Tree desert.

We kick off with the rhyme that goes with the entity that is in the film. It transitions to Evan (Isaac Jay) who actually fits the description of white skin and green eyes, which I thought was really solid to kick this off. We hear him leaving a voicemail for his brother that he is going to visit, Peyton (Cooper Rowe). Evan has to leave the dorms for the break and we get his relationship with his brother isn't great. Peyton doesn't drink or do drugs, but he definitely loves nature and being one with it.

He arrives at the trailer his brother lives in and scares him by accident. He has headphones on and is meditating. The two decide to go for a hike and end up running into a group of people on vacation. Evan is attracted to Zoe (Ashleigh Morghan) the moment he sees her. She is kind of shy and likes to take pictures. Her friend Camille (Bevin Bru) breaks the ice by asking if Evan and Peyton want to smoke with them. Peyton goes off and is acting odd while Evan tries to integrate into this group of friends.

As it gets dark, Evan is faced with hanging out with this group or going with his brother. Peyton tells him to go with them and to have fun. There is kind of an odd dynamic here as it is 3 couples and Zoe. At a fire while they are telling ghost stories, Evan is up. He is told to go to a website and select one of them. The one he selects isn't scary, but more like an odd rhyme as it's the same from the beginning. The rest of the group goes inside while Evan and Zoe get into the hot tub. They get spooked when they think they see someone watching them from the dark.

From here, people keep thinking they see someone from their group but they will go into another room or outside and see them there. They aren't sure if they are going crazy with all of the drinking and drugs they are doing. Is there an additional person here or are they just partying too much? Evan notices a pattern of circles with items that mostly consist of five.

Now I have to say, I don't mind the concept of this film. I really like that they incorporated modern technology into a film that involves a supernatural entity. The website it is found on is essentially Creepypasta with a different name. It is interesting, because the film could definitely be from almost any era without that and I like that Evan doesn't know any ghost stories so that allows him to introduce this entity. We also get a bit of research as he is trying to figure out if something that is really happening or not.

Something else that I really enjoy about this film is the aspect of the doppelganger. This is really a terrifying concept in that there being a mimic of you out there where your friends might not realize who the real one is. This takes it even farther that they are drinking and doing drugs, so they don't necessarily know what is real and what isn't as their minds are altered. As some who partakes in the drink, I could see something like this happening to my friend's and me for sure.

The lore of the creature is something else that I found to be pretty interesting. I haven't actually looked into it to see if this is something that the film made up or if there is really something like this in urban legends. There is some symmetry to it and I like that everything lines up. Coincidences like this are something that I can sometimes be lower on, but for this I really did enjoy it. What it makes these people to do is something else I enjoyed, but it is something I wish they would have played on a bit more like introduce back-story to make sense as to why they would.

To move next to the pacing of the film, there are some good aspects and some that I had issue with. There's a good set up to this film. I felt it starts pretty creepy when we first see this entity. I don't even mind the couple of abrupt cuts we get from night to day either. My problem is that the film also cuts away from some major things that are happening at the climax and the conclusion of the film. It still builds the necessary tension, even though I did get bored as I wanted a bit more from it. I thought the ending of the film is also good symmetry with the implication.

As for the acting of the film, I think it is pretty solid as well. Jay brings enough awkwardness to his role, which actually makes sense during a reveal about midway through the film. His character does work well with Morghan, who is very similar to him. I like that Evan is an outsider that Zoe is attracted to. Most of her friends accept him, but not everyone. I was a fan of Bru and her quirkiness. Meade is solid as the person who is a jerk of the group while the rest of the cast rounded out the film for what was needed. No one blew me away, but I didn't have any issues with the acting.

Next I'll take a lot at the effects of the film, which I also thought were good. The look of the creature I enjoyed. We don't see it a lot, which I think is a strong move. It looks like it could have been practical with some CGI touch-up. That is probably why I didn't have issue. There are some other effects sprinkled into the film which looked fine. To be honest, there weren't a lot of them overall.

Now with that said, this film has some good aspects for me. I thought the concept of this entity was solid and the story that is presented is good. Not realizing there is an extra person with them is something that is unnerving for me and them not really realizing it due to drinking and drugs is solid. There are some issues with the pacing and cutting out some major aspects of the film. This actually makes it feel disjointed to me. The acting though is solid and the effects that we do get are as well. The soundtrack of the film really didn't stand out to me; the selections did seem to fit for what was needed. Overall I'd say this is a film could have been much better so I have to say that I feel this is slightly above average.
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3/10
Interesting idea...
ghostwithmostt4 October 2019
Poorly executed. The film had my full attention until about half way through when I realised nothing has really happened. Too much "anyone want a tequila shot" and not enough action.
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3/10
Boring
markhoulihan5-623-20991519 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There's a good creepy build up with the hot tub scene. Then it just falters off path completely. Doesn't go anywhere. You can't really tell which character is who because none of them have a personality. So when you're supposed to pick up "the doubles" you really can't because they all look the same anyway. Then the ending is just a complete let down. The creature sets up all these interesting suicide traps around the house only for the teens to pick themselves off in completely different random way. Overall, good premise, really piss poor execution. Oh and the monster looks cheap
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4/10
Scary, Unique, Good quality! So why is it a 4? One of the worst endings ever.
tkaine34 June 2019
"HEAD COUNT" 🌠🌠🌠🌠

This movie in the beginning had me very angry at the few reviews I read stating it was horrible and regrettable to watch. The pace moves along nicely and the storyline is up to par with acting that holds together well enough to keep you engaged throughout the film. Sound effects and music were well placed and the jump scares came at surprising moments so they never felt cheesy or fabricated. The videography was well crafted albeit a few angles were off kilter like the beginning of the jacuzzi scene or when they returned to the rocks on the 2nd day. But this movie was going in the right direction and it had a pretty unique twist, Unfortunately when creating something new if the writers are not focused enough to intricately peace together every little detail so that the ending makes sense while maintaining the mystery it all just falls apart in the last scene which will frustrate anyone after 90 minutes and this flick is a prime example of that. So close but no cigar for this one.
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8/10
Very good movie that could have been a 10
captainpass14 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry, but I disagree strongly with most of the reviews on this site. I found the first hour or so of this movie to be top notch in every way: Great writing, great character development, very realistic depictions of how partying young people talk and relate to each other, great camera and lighting work and a slow build toward dread. For example, the choice of Evan and Zoe as sort of a "chance-encounter" couple was made believable by the awkwardness they displayed well after that first meeting. Moreover, the attitude evidenced by the other members of Zoe's social circle to Evan was very believable as well, and helped the plot along: This is, after all, a movie about the introduction of an "alien" element into the lives of these people.

On the whole, I was consistently surprised by the tendency of this movie to avoid the usual "slasher teen movie" cliches and tropes found in most movies of this genre. There is a great example of this maybe 40 minutes in where one of Evan's protagonists is trying to call him out for being overly nervous. There is a knock on the door at that moment (so, looks like it will head to cliche territory). But the way it is handled is actually very clever.

That said, I found the last twenty minutes, as well as the ambiguous ending, to be rather out-of-sync with the tight writing and careful treatment of the first 60-70 minutes. This movie could have been an absolute gem with a little more polishing. In the end, I was very much reminded of the criminally under-watched "The Grinn" (2017), though that movie carried its tight delirium-induced writing and narrative style right through to the end in a manner that this movie, unfortunately, did not.
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2/10
Trust me. You don't want to see this
politehere4 June 2019
OK, practically nothing happens two thirds into the movie and when something does happen, it lasts for 5 minutes and only a few minutes is left before the credits start to roll. There is nothing scary here. Not a single jump scare works. The characters are not likable either. You're going to watch a few lame teenagers drink alcohol and use drugs in the middle of the desert. They don't even party or listen to music. That sums up 95% of the movie for you. This movie is plain boring and the ending is the most meaningless I've ever seen in my entire life. OK, I actually got what happened in the end, but it still gets the prize for the most meaningless and boring ending in the history of cinema. Someone here said the movie is well-shot and has good acting. Sorry, but being well-shot and having good acting do not save a movie from being boring unless of course it is a drama. We're talking horror movies here. Trust me. You'll be doing yourself a favor by pretending this movie never existed. The only thing good about it is that the people involved in the making of the movie have not filled the IMDb with fake 10/10 reviews like many other movies. I'm giving an additional star for their being honest.
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2/10
Huh? What? Zzzzz? It's still on? Please end!!!
only-ghosts15 October 2019
I am no longer allowed to choose movies because I had put this movie on for me and my girlfriend. I haven't gotten this mad and frustrated at a movie for a while now. I try to not to watch garbage, but this was a dumpster fire. Actually, watching a pile of trash on fire would've been more engaging than this. Avoid at all cost and save yourself an hour and a half of your life. Spend that time doing anything else.
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3/10
Interesting and creepy that falls apart for the end completely.
KingOfHungary3 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
A very interesting take, with legitimately creepy undertones, where the killer is disguised as one of the people in the group intermittently, which when you think about a concept like that, and how it is shown in the movie, gives a chilling feeling. On one hand, you could say that some of the actors are hamming it, but they're portraying college kids, the performances are plausible. Otherwise the acting is fine, the setting is fine. The story works well, up to a very interesting and breathtaking scene where they go back into the house and they find sources of suicidal applications, but this is where the story just derails and falls apart to a frustratingly bad final act. Half the people simply disappear at that point, completely. In a terrible, terrible decision, they decide to actually show the creature in its natural form, and it looks terribly cheap, embarrassing. Then, the movie goes to the end where the rest of the characters simply die off in a rapid fashion, with zero fightback, zero countering, zero attempt at stopping, slowing, or defeating the adversary. This was the key problem that the film has, there is no context to why this is happening, how it could be conceivably ended, how it might be countered, anything of that nature. It just happens, and it's frustrating to have something this interesting just have it appear, kill everyone, and that's that. The very end makes zero sense as well. Why and how is it still there once it killed everyone? What is its purpose going to be? Nobody said his name five times anymore, so it's just going to pretend to be someone else for no reason, and stop killing, because again, he wasn't summoned by anyone alive. And if he is, he is going to what, appear where he was summoned, and disappear from where he is currently living a normal life as the person he is disguised at? It's inexplicably stupid, and was completely unnecessary.
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6/10
Has it's surprisingly scary moments.
inexplicable00718 September 2019
I think this is more well done and inventive than many other horror movies I've seen lately. The movie actually kept me guessing and had it's downright creepy moments. We aren't sure at first what the malevolent entity is but something is definitely amiss. While the acting in some scenes was pretty bad it wasn't distracting which is usually what one sees in low budget horror films. I'd actually recommend this film, the director had some talent and imagination with how some scenes were done but for me the ending was kind of a free for all and rushed. Worth a see.
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7/10
Pretty good flick
coflorida22 June 2019
I don't understand so many negative reviews I can only assume..................... They were seeking the typical..... Bobbleheads running around naked.... and pointless sex scenes... if that's what you want.... don't watch .. Otherwise I thought this was a pretty good thriller....
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3/10
Regrettable
davidwertwyn3 June 2019
"A group of teenagers..." Use the titles opening description to guide your decision making as it applies to watching this film...I wish I had.
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5/10
I really enjoyed this, something new.
michaeljpfitzgerald21 September 2019
This movie is cunningly shot, well-acted, and has a laudable pace.

As often happens when one trailblazes their own mythos, landing the plane on the 'why, and what next?' is definitely this movies major flaw, as well as the quandry of what sort of effects to pursue when one doesnt have a ton of money, and you are hoping to visualize something that is, again, new. So, two issues, but the movie is so engrossing, it's easy to forgive a few regrettable special effects, and a curious, less than fulfulling ending.

Very happy to have chanced on this movie, a happy surprise for genre fans.
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6/10
Good concept, could have been done better...
drm264224 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The concept behind this creature is good. The number 5 gives it power. If you are in a group of 5, it can take control of a member of your group and makes the person kill themself. It also seems to be able to shapeshift into other people and can control people if it is one of the 5. The execution isn't quite there at the end. Once there are less than 5 people shouldn't the monster lose it's power? The end with Evan didn't make much sense. If there are less than 5 people how can the creature take control of him? And why, oh why did no one attack the creature?! When Evan saw it by the fire, towards the end, it really didn't make sense that he didn't rush the thing. The monster was as weak as a normal human, otherwise it wouldn't have to use tricks to get them to kill themselves. If they cut it's head off it would probably die. At least have some of the characters fight back. It's just poor writing to make them all suddenly become paralyzed with fear, shouting hysterically. The lore behind the monster was well done. I wanted more of that.
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3/10
Potential wasted!
omendata3 June 2019
Started off really well, lots of atmosphere, good sound effects and great photography of the Arizona desert then it all went to pot - literally!

Confused acting and poor script, running around screaming, illogical acts of nonsense and you do not even get to see the monster or history of where it originated from. No characterisation either.

Could have been good but sadly it was another Elmer Fudd!
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8/10
Most movies like this are void of style and substance
alesisqs615 June 2019
This pretty much has a great setup, good style and acting with relative no name actors. The only letdown for me was the ending but I could see why they did what they did but the brother wasn't involved in the OG ritual at all so I'm not sure why they ended it that way. Had great sound and atmosphere. Easily beats 8/10 horror films made with similar budgets.
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9/10
Inventive and engaging
rebecca_rinehart5 June 2019
Head Count had my full attention from start to finish. It was a great take on the "didn't mean to conjure that thing" story. Callahan uses some awesome shots along with hidden imagery to bring her completely fabricated demon to life.
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1/10
Failed on all counts
ferdmalenfant5 June 2019
Just a big waste of time. There's nothing interesting or scary about this bad acted movie. The editing failed badly , the story is ridiculous and the actors were over paid at $100.oo a pop.
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7/10
A hidden gem
guyisme18 September 2019
This film, despite the generally negative reviews that it has received, is genuinely one of my favorite horror films. The film provides a fresh take on the slasher genre, where we never really know who is who or what is what until the film's closing moments, all done with a cast of relative unknowns. The cast, led by Isaac Jay's Noah and Bevin Bru's Camille, gives us a series of spirited performances that truly convey the increasing terror of the group as they are terrorized by a supernatural entity. A foreboding atmosphere, convincing performances, and a deeply disturbing end sequence all contribute to the level of success I attribute to this movie, and I will be making a return trip to Netflix to watch this film again in the future.
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8/10
This movie is creepy and well thought out!
tatttwink22 September 2019
This indie horror was right up my alley. Very well thought out and gave me the chills several times. I had very low expectations of this film but it was definitely worth the watch. Solid film to give a shot if you like the genre.
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7/10
Something different....for horror movie addicts
pattybear-9002917 September 2019
I loved it, watched it 3 times in a row to see if I missed anything....those who have watched know what I mean. It would be great to have more movies like this.
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