I greeted news of a new film from Lance Weiler with mixed feelings. I loved his first film, 1998's The Last Broadcast (the trailer for which can be found on this disk) which he co-directed and co-starred in with Stefan Avalos. It was a gripping pseudo-documentary whose similarity to the highly successful The Blair Witch Project is all the more noteworthy because The Last Broadcast was produced first. Avalos's follow up feature, a nearly unwatchable horror film called The Ghosts of Edendale, went straight to DVD in 2004, so when I heard about Head Trauma, I feared a similar sophomore slump for Weiler. I'm happy to say, however, Weiler has made the transition from faux documentary to a more traditional narrative quite smoothly, and the result is a solid little B-flick with interesting characters, strong production values, and some decent scares.
George Walker, a man who has been living on the streets, returns to his grandmother's home for the first time in years. The house was left to him when she passed away five years earlier, but has stood abandoned ever since, becoming a haven for squatters and a general eyesore. The city has condemned the building, but George is hoping to get a reprieve from the demolition so he can fix up the place and sell it. On his first night in the house, George crosses paths with Julian, the kid who lives in the house next door. The two scuffle and George suffers a blow to the head which seems to be responsible for his subsequent hallucinations and nightmares.