The extravagant absurdity of this chiller from screenwriter Lorcan Reilly and director Alberto Corredor might conceivably get it an audience. There are some interesting touches, but horror fans might well feel that it’s just too similar to the recent and frankly superior Australian film Talk to Me – though it must be said that Talk to Me was made well after Reilly and Corredor’s original 2017 short, with the same high concept, on which this is based.
Iris, played by Freya Allen, is a young woman who has a strained relationship with her father (Peter Mullan). After his passing, she discovers that he has left her with a creepy old pub. This pub houses a 400-year-old she-devil, known as “Baghead,” who is kept locked in the basement with her face hidden by a sack. If requested, Baghead can bring back any deceased person for a two-minute conversation. However, if the conversation goes on for longer, the spirit of the dead will be released into the world of the living. A troubled and intense young man named Neil (Jeremy Irvine) arrives at the pub, offering Iris a large sum of money in exchange for the chance to speak with his deceased wife one last time. But things take a turn for the worse.
Neil’s initial encounter with Baghead presents a clever and insightful twist on his fear of women, but overall the film is a chaotic jumble of overused jump scares and eerie moments where characters’ eyes turn black and they speak in a Dalek-like voice. The original setting has been awkwardly and confusingly moved to Berlin, likely due to funding from European co-production. However, the film fails to adequately explain why and how a Scottish man (Mullan) ended up owning a pub in Berlin called The Queen’s Head. This adds an unconvincing element that greatly diminishes the film’s impact.