Evan (Isaac W. Jay) and his older bro Peyton (Cooper Rowe) are spending some quality time together, now matter how disparate their personalities. You see, Evan is a college party dude, and Peyton is a clean livin’ type, balls deep into New Age bullshit who resides in a trailer in the desert…so fun is in short supply.
Before long our heroes soon cross paths with a group of students on a hike…and that group contains a comely lass named Zoe (Ashleigh Morghan) who Evan gets an instant case of the hornies for…so it’s “later bro” to ol’ Peyton…even though our boy is awkward A.F. around Z-dawg.
So what do these gang of goofs do for funsies? Why get loaded and read rando terror tales from a Creepypasta-esque website…which summons a shape-shifting Hisji, a demon totally all up in the number five and as is always the case, the fight to survive this preternatural menace is well and truly on!
Let’s start with the positives. Head Count is a well acted fright flick; and even though most of the characters are simply annoying body count material, Jay and Morghan make for engaging leads, and their nervousness in regards to their burgeoning relationship is realistic and believable and stands as a nice middle finger to the way movie ships usually work out.
Also of note; the Direction of Elle Callahan (who also co-wrote the flick along with Michael Nader) and Cinematography of Sean Bagley provide gorgeous visuals that take full advantage of the desert locales and truly present a top shelf look for this picture, plus a big thumbs up for including a unique villain with a great “hook”; the need to adhere to groups of five is a fun conceit, and is handled well throughout the narrative.
On the (semi) downside, the look of the big baddie is kinda “blah”, and the plethora of jump scares this fright flick contains are only semi-successful. Not completely shitty, but not “holy fuckin’ shit” material either…
In the end, I’d recommend slapping your eerie eyeballs on Head Count; it’s an enjoyable creature feature with slick visuals and solid acting from it’s leads…and I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for what Elle Callahan presents to us next!