Indie Feature: The Headmistress (2023)

Plot: In THE HEADMISTRESS, a debt-ridden teacher gets a lucky break when she inherits an abandoned lakefront inn, but when she takes a group of potential buyers to visit the property, they discover a dark, sinister secret that threatens them all…a malignant supernatural force determined to keep them there forever!

I think horror is the only genre that benefits from a lower budget as it doesn’t require big special effects or elaborate set-pieces in order to entertain. Some of the best of the genre (see Halloween/Texas Chainsaw Massacre) had little in the way of budget but ended up becoming iconic.

The Headmistress is a new indie horror picture from directors Three Tortured Minds and manages to maintain a creepy atmosphere throughout building up to a terrifying finale.

I was reading that The Headmistress was shot at a decommissioned nunnery in Oconomowoc in Wisconsin. Members of the cast and crew lived together in the abandoned nunnery for nearly two weeks during production, beginning on a Friday the 13th in September 2019. The location is almost a character in itself and I’m sure most of the cast didn’t need to do much acting to seem scared.

Speaking of which our lead Mara is played by Katherine Bellantone who has a tough role where she has to show all kinds of different emotions but she pulls it off well making Mara an interesting protagonist who is dealing with her own demons. The supporting cast also includes Tom Dacey Carr, Hunter O’Harrow, Thomas J. McCarthy, Ayden Skye, DeChantel Kosmatka, David Sapiro, and Valerie Meachum. Considering this is an indie picture the performances are generally impressive and the film never looks cheap. The dark shadows of the old building can make your eyes play tricks on you where you maybe see things that aren’t there which makes things all the spookier.

I really liked the music score with its low key piano however, I will admit that at times it is a little overly dramatic and could have been toned back a little but that’s a minor gripe.

Overall, the Headmistress is a dark tale with solid performances and a creepy atmosphere making it an indie feature well worth your time.