Reviews: Horsehead

Artsploitation Films presents the psycho sexual horror, Horsehead.

"Stop checking out the lighting.
Check me out instead."
Cutting edge surrealist mystery makes a mind boggling return in Horsehead, a film that pays tribute to a lost era of horror while offering up a rich color palette that feels not only like a motion picture but like a beautiful yet ghastly vintage painting. Between its obvious influences and color grading that strikes a perfected visual scheme, Horsehead enriches the genre with all the elements that make for an engaging thriller ripe with enigmatic performances from its cast. Focused on a morally ambiguous family dynamic, practical effects, and a beautiful star, Horsehead feels right at home with its mysterious horror brethren.

A fine line between reality and hellish dreamscape is forged in Artsploitation's release, Horsehead. The headily Argento influenced film features the stunning Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux in this visual feast that will definitely satisfy horror fans craving for quality retro style filmmaking. Horsehead features a story shrouded in subtlety that is overtly blanketed in disturbing eroticism and eerie matriarchal tones. The plot is never routinely laid out for viewers but is slowly unraveled into a unique and spectacular looking film centered on horrific imagery teamed with excellent lighting and a baseline creature design that's equally as frightening. 

Director Romain Basset has captured '70s italian horror in a vacuum, returning it to modern times with feverish, nightmarish intensity and a macabre quality not felt in years. If you mixed the strangeness of 2010's Beyond The Black Rainbow with elements of the classic Suspiria, you might end up with something like Horsehead. Some viewers may turn their noses up at the lack of a straight story. Others will feast on what Basset has created here. Horsehead breaks the rules of modern genre tropes while creating a subconscious, evil underworld rooted in the darkness of sleep.

"Hey girl! Wanna make out?!"
If you're a fan of sensual visuals mixed with gruesome scenarios and hallucinatory episodes of malevolence, see this movie. This may not appeal to all genre fans, but for me this was a return to the non-explicit storylines and ocular elements of a far greater era in horror. Yes, other films have touched on the fundamentals of '70s style foreign horror but Horsehead nails it on the proverbial head with a perfected sense of direction. I can recommend this one with the full awareness that you might miss the point. And still, you may enjoy it as much as me. 

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