‘Goodnight movie girlfriend…’
Mark and Jay Duplass produced their best project yet with HBO’s sadly cancelled TV show Togetherness this year. They have come a long way from their humble beginnings writing and directing Baghead, a 2008 super low budget horror.
Starring regular Duplass collaborator Steve Zissis, Baghead has all the director trademarks we have since come to expect from the Duplass Brothers; improvised mumbled dialogue, great visual shots and close ups and hyper realistic characters. Whilst they are still clearly learning their craft at this point, the potential is already there.
Baghead is a meta concept that never becomes too quirky and builds the tension nicely. It is a nice twist on the classic cabin in the woods genre whilst still maintaining enough familiarity not to grate. Zissis aside, the actors aren’t as talented as those that the Duplass brothers now work with but the beauty of mostly improvised dialogue is that the actors aren’t required to actually do too much acting.
The relationships angle really sets Baghead apart as well, with the sex, lies and mistrust running rampant in a way that will touch a chord with anyone who has been in close proximity with a small group when emotions run high.
Baghead is not a classic but it is just different enough and interesting enough to make it more than just another film for Duplass completists to tick of their list.