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August 2, 2012

Movie Review: Headspace (Director's Cut, 2005)

Directed by Andrew van den Houten

Starring Olivia Husey, William Atherton and Sean Young

The film starts out with young Alex, his brother and parents enjoying his tenth birthday party. Soon after blowing out his candles, Alex’s mother suffers a nosebleed and shortly thereafter she begins acting very strangely. After she butchers the family dog, dad decides it might be best to pack up the boys and get out of the house. Unfortunately they don't make it out before mother comes chasing after them with a chef’s knife and dad is forced to put her down via a 12 gauge slug to the face, (great head-shot FX in this scene). On top of witnessing all this, the boys are then abandoned by their father and split up into foster care.

We next see Alex (Christopher Denham) as a young man who encounters a mysterious stranger in the park playing chess. Soon after this encounter he begins having terrible headaches and suddenly discovers he is becoming smarter every minute. But with his new found intellect comes some nasty side-effects, first in the form of horrible visions and ultimately a blood-thirsty monster which uses Alex’s expanding intellect as a portal to enter our plane of existence to wreak havoc on everyone that Alex comes into physical contact with. As Alex’s grip on sanity slowly dissolves he begins a frantic quest to discover what exactly has happened to him and how, if at all possible, he can stop the carnage which follows him wherever he goes.

I’ve always loved horror movies that effectively deliver a nice shocking opening sequence. You know, the kind of movies that grab you by the shirt-tails right off the bat and drag you along for the ride. Headspace pulls that off pretty well, and while just a bit monotonous at times, for the most part its a pretty engaging and fun movie. Christopher Denham’s performance as the troubled Alex was on point and his characters slow descent into madness was captured quite well by the young actor. With an impressive supporting cast to back him up there wasn't a single weak spot in the movies line-up. You’ve got Olivia Hussey (Stephen King’s IT), Dee Wallace Stone (Cujo, and The Howling), Udo Kier (Blade), Sean Young (Blade Runner), and William Atherton (Ghostbusters). All great actors who added their own little touches to a pretty decent story-line that kept my attention all the way to the end

The gore-level was pretty mild for the most part, but the monster scenes were fun, thankfully no CGI was used, which means some pretty talented FX artists actually earned a paycheck working on a modern-era horror movie (definite bonus points for that). In a weird way it sort of reminded me of The Butterfly Effect, not so much the story itself but the overall manic feel it had. Its a fun little movie with some effective moments and a pretty cool ending. I recommend you check it out.

7 out of 10    Reviewed by KennyB

With this Directors Cut edition DVD you’re getting a pretty generous dose of
goodies to go along with the feature,
*Fractured Skulls: The making of Headspace
*Filmmakers commentaries
*”Headspace Revisited” featurette
*Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes
*Never before seen audition videos
*FX Journals

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