Movie Review: Head Count (2018)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2018 thriller starring Isaac Jay and Ashleigh Morgan.

Synopsis: While spending his college break with his brother, Peyton, Evan meets a group of friends renting a near-by house and decides to spend the weekend partying with them instead. While telling horror stories around the fire, Evan reads a poem he discovered on the internet and accidentally summons a shape-shifting demon that has the power to make people harm themselves.

Who's In It?


My wife and I actually had time to sit down and watch a movie together last night and, mostly because I was interested in some of the new horror movies Netflix reportedly added, I wound up scrolling through that list.

After a while, I settled on this movie because, even though the trailer really didn't do much to make me want to watch it, the description sounded interesting. As it turns out, it was an OK film.

I think the thing I liked most about this movie was it wasn't nearly as predictable as it had the potential to be. Much like the alien in The Thing, the demon Evan (Jay) summons is able to assume the form of anyone in the group. This does keep things interesting, partly because it keeps everyone (including the person watching the movie) confused just enough to figure out what is going to happen next.

On top of it, there were other possible non-demonic explanations for what was happening, ranging from the group mixing alcohol and drugs to Peyton's (Rowe) somewhat suspicious behavior when he comes in search of his brother. And, since everyone in the house was a complete stranger to Evan until he met them while hiking in the desert, I also couldn't rule out a big hoax or some other team effort.

My only real complaint about this film (other than wanting an explanation about why a house in the middle of the desert somehow has internet access and cell phone service) is I do feel the group didn't do enough to save themselves. In fact, they really don't do much of anything to save themselves except run away. It's not as though the demon was really all that menacing, especially in human form, and I'm not convinced they couldn't have simply rushed it and taken it down.

At minimum, if they put up a fight and lost, it would have given the creature a little more credibility. Instead, I'm wondering if maybe they just made things a little too easy for it especially since they had access to the internet and could have looked up how to kill it or send it back.

Final Opinion

I would have liked the movie considerably more had the group made any effort to defend themselves. However, it wound up being a decent-enough film and I would recommend it.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 09/20/2019, StevenHelmer
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