8 June 2009 | Vorpa
. But don't be misled by the average rating.
The movie features a single shaky cam. This is not because the movie is independent, has a low budget or is part of some dogmatic dogma-movement. Well these three could all be true, but the main reason of a "shaky cam" is that it has relevance for the story, similar to a movie like Blairwitch Project. If you expect fast camera movement, multiple angles, supreme lightning and great special effects you shouldn't watch Baghead at all (and people should not devalue it because it doesn't look like the new Spiderman). So be prepared for primitive (but still quite amazing) photography.
Furthermore no one should watch this movie because of the suspense. The suspense is only a minor aspect of Baghead. From time to time it tries to scare you by being as real as possible. Occasionally Baghead succeeds in doing so. Although the average person would feel conned if I tell him this is a thriller or a horror. It is more close to a real life drama.
Personally I truly appreciate the endeavour to create a real movie without all the modern techniques. Techniques that so bluntly tell you you are watching something produced. There is no real score, no atonal violins at scary moments, no special effects and so on. Without this kind of tools a lot more weight is put on the acting and the story. The question then is: does the movie survive the lack of all these elements? Yes.
The acting is surprisingly refreshing. Although Greta Gerwig (playing Michelle) annoyed me from time to time. The story itself is not original but the characters are convincing, there are many interesting twists and there are reflexive side aspects to the story that lift it far above the average kind of "some people in a mountain shed getting scared" movie. Most importantly the whole movie has a natural flow without any scene feeling constructed for one purpose or the other. If you plan to watch this movie then watch it for the real and convincing manner it is brought to you, not for suspense or Hollywood skills.
In my view the colossal problem of Baghead though is the editing. It appears that all footage was neurotically and compulsory preserved in the final film. Quite often entirely predictable scenes drag on and on. Though they may look more real so to speak (for instance the scene where Chad is trying to hit on Michelle), they get one ready for bed immediately, no teeth brushing required. Especially the final scene is horribly slow and you can really hear yourself thinking: "get a move on all right!" In total the movie runs for about 2 hours. In general I like slow and long movies, but this one could really do with a 1:30 running time. It would not just be easier, faster and more accessible, it would have simply been better.