The Lair of Filth
Reviews Headspace: "Director's Cut"
Andrew Van Den Houten is probably best known in his capacity as Producer,
for films such as the terrific The Woman and the excellent film adaptation
of The Girl Next Door. Back in 2005 though he was calling the shots on this
curious horror film, which is now released with the Director’s Cut. I won’t
however be making any comparisons between this version and the original,
instead I will just focus on this cut.
The film follows Alex, who’s a bit of a wet blanket, who spends his free
time playing chess in the park. He’s not exactly Garry Kasparov though, and
finds himself losing over and over again. Things begin to change for Alex
though when he inexplicably finds himself becoming noticeably smarter each
day. Chess aside, he can read books in a matter of seconds and then relay
the information from any given page.
This seemingly wondrous turn of events comes at a price though, as people
Alex knows start to turn up dead. The lines between reality and Alex’s dream
start to blur; he doesn’t know what is going on, but he is convinced that he
is responsible. Is he the cause though? Or is it some strange beast? Only
time will tell in this rather unique movie.
Headspace is a strange movie, the story is gripping and performed rather
well by an extraordinary cast of familiar faces, yet is also suffers from a
confusion of plotting at times. There’s a lot going on here, with characters
popping up and quickly disappearing, frequent shifts in time back and forth,
and all this in under 90 minutes. It is though quite an original concept and
I did enjoy most of the film. Sure, there were elements I could have done
without, but I will take flawed originality over perfect unoriginality any
day of the week.
There are some solid scenes of gore to be found here too, which was quite
unexpected, especially near the beginning in a scene that involves a
shotgun. That being said, Headspace is most certainly a more cerebral horror
film, albeit one with a schlocky feel to it.
The cast, as mentioned, is led by Christopher Denham’s convincing
performance as Alex. He manages to portray a man whose grip on reality is
fading incredibly well. It’s not perfect but it is convincing. Also popping
up in the movie are Udo Kier, Olivia Hussey, Larry Fessenden (who for some
reason gets a quote on the sleeve of a movie he is in), Sean Young, William
Atherton and The Woman herself, Pollyanna McIntosh. It really is quite an
excellent cast, and even Van Den Houten pops up as a paramedic.
As a movie though I would recommend checking it out, on the principle
that it is something a little different from the norm, in terms of the
horror genre, even when it doesn’t fire on all cylinders. Whilst watching it
I thought it would make a good companion piece to William Malone’s
Parasomnia, which is a favorite of mine, as both films deal with the mind,
rather than just the external effects.
On the Blu-ray release there are also quite a healthy amount of extras to
work through, which help make this a most worthy release. As I make mention
of before, the film is not perfect but it is quite different, and as such
make it worth your while if you are tired of watching the same rehashed
ideas over and over again.
Headspace is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from MVD Visual and