I watch hundreds upon hundreds of hyper low budget independent films a year and usually only two or three stand out. POP SKULL is the best low budget indie horror pic I’ve seen since Steven C. Miller’s AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION. Shot on a shoe-string budget of only $3,000 (!) odds were against this little film, but in the end it was a solid, creepy, trippy and intense horror-thriller that is sure to impress the horror masses.
The film which was written by E.L. Katz, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, depicts the lonely and disjointed life of Daniel, a young Alabama pill addict, as his efforts to cope with the trials of his day-to-day life collide with the increasing influence of murderous and displaced spirits that inhabit his home.
Director Adam Wingard has grown up since making HOME SICK in 2004 and really put on an impress show with limited resources. There’s nothing more impressive than a good movie made for peanuts and recycled cans – especially when Hollywood dumps garbage like HILLS HAVE EYES 2, which cost $12 million in theaters. It’s people like Wingard who give hope to the future that movies can once again be made with a moderate budget and still be fantastic.
Before you check out POP SKULL I think it should be understood that this is a very slow-paced artsy horror-thriller. Our main character is drugged up from all sorts of pills he’s popping and we visually see some of his experiences, which are erratic and seizure inducing. There are weird effects laced throughout the film while we deconstruct the history of our character and find out what exactly is going on. Is he seeing ghosts, or is it something else that haunts him? The solid script and fantastic acting by no-name individuals really aided in the experience. The development of our main character is pretty solid and the film is well paced, leaving us on the edge of our seat until the climatic end.
POP SKULL isn’t one of those films you should anticipate because you expect to see an epic ordeal for no budget, what you’ll find here is a uneasy, creepy horror-thriller that you’d throw in on a rainy day and relax to. I think this is the beginning of something special.