Head Trauma (2006)
Dir. Lance Weiler
Written by Brian Majeska, Lance Weiler
Starring Vince Mola, Jamil Mangan, Mary Monahan
In this disappointing micro-budget, a guy wakes up from a car crash and walks to the abandoned home of his dead grandmother, in the hopes of squatting there and fixing the place up. Except, the place is a deserted wreck and he keeps having mysterious visions of a coat-wearing figure with a hidden face and a dead body wrapped in a sleeping bag. Is the house haunted by some unknown tragedy from the past, or is the explanation closer to the correct one that you’ve already figured out from reading those first two sentences?
The movie has a nicely dismal tone and a great location in this obviously genuine abandoned house, but it spends the whole runtime treading water before finally coming to the twist that it was telegraphing from frame one. Nothing really seems especially sinister because you already have a strong suspicion that this is all going to be explained by some stupid twist which negates everything, and even the film’s paltry attempts at boo scares are as rote as they come. It has a nice deliberate pace and some mildly effective paranoid atmosphere, but what’s the point when the payoffs are all so absolutely generic? The only real thing is has going for it is Vince Mola as our hero, who gives a boldly convincing performance as a schlubby, thoroughly pathetic alcoholic loser. It’s the kind of thing you could never get away with in a Hollywood movie, so it’s kind of refreshing to see it here. Otherwise, not much going on in this one. If faceless guys in hoodies are your thing, check out the much better INTRUDERS instead.