Review by Charles Cassady, Jr.
Only here there's even less of a solid plot, if possible.
Out-and-out horror films are a rarity in French cinema, to the point that a lot of the genre's Gallic fear-fests default to surrealist Jean Cocteau and his ORPHEUS and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Well, HORSEHEAD isn't near that good, but one can at least see a certain influence in the thin plot, most of which appears to be a string of nightmares.
A grandmother's funeral compels sylph-like Jessica (Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux) to reluctantly return to her family home and uncomfortable reunion with her mother (essayed by veteran Euro-shock actress Catriona MacColl).
A disciple of "lucid dreaming," Jessica suffers repeated nightmares of a horse-headed apparition, obviously inspired by the fearsome steed in Fuseli's painting "The Nightmare" (that's the one with the little gremlin-like guy sitting on a girl's chest. And no, the gremlin-like fellow doesn't show up here. Maybe the sequel). These intensify as she overnights with her grandmother's corpse in the very same house, and Jessica "investigates" in her sleep, triggering flashbacks to her female ancestor's involvement in an occult-fertility ceremony involving some kind of nasty quasi-Catholic cult called St. Winston's Chapel.
Is Jessica Destined To Give birth To The AntiChrist? Or possibly the AntiAntiChrist (which would be the Christ2). Or maybe she just doesn't get along with mom. Really, any interpretation is fair game, just as long as Horsehead trots in every so often and acts ominous, until Jessica faces the spectral animal in a showdown.
Some really transfixing visuals are accomplished on a thin budget, but I won't knicker against neigh-sayers who agree that there's not much going on here. But I do hope Basset continues to forge on; maybe his next script will be a horse of a different color. (1 3/4 out of 4 stars)