Director - Padraig Reynolds (Rites of Spring)
Starring - Christopher Wiehl (Jericho, Birds of Prey), Kym Jackson (Iron Sky, Scooby-Doo), and Tina Lifford (Heroes, Blood Work)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
After keeping it sleazy for a few days I had to make my return to horror and the first on the chopping block is the 2016 film The Devil's Dolls sent to me from my friends over at Scream Factory. After watching the sci-fi action film Counter Clockwise and the three sleazy features Night Has a Thousand Desires, Physical Attraction, and Classical Romance I wanted some blood. Several horror reviewers had already checked this one out sometime before I actually got a copy and said that it was good and bloody. This was exactly what I needed. Thank you Scream Factory for hooking Horror Society and myself up with the review copy!
The film follows a police detective who just captured and killed a notorious serial killer who created worry dolls to hide his insecurities and worries. The detective takes the dolls in as evidence but somehow manages to let his daughter get the box they are in. She then takes one of the dolls for herself and sells the rest in her mother's store. Not long after this the worries inside the dolls manifest themselves turning those that wear them into killing machines. It is now up to the detective to find a way to save his daughter but she is lost forever to the power of the worry doll.
Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for The Devil's Dolls. I knew it would be bloody but I suspected that the story would fall flat or not be there at all. Luckily, I was wrong. The film was just as bloody as I was lead to believe but it actually had a story to follow. Flawed, but it was there none the less. The acting in this one is decent. The cast shows some serious acting chops and take their roles very seriously. Their characters are not that well written and are rather bland but that does not stop the cast from delivering the best performances they can. The story for this one is a little far fetched and rocky to follow. I'm not one of those people claiming that a movie sucks because it can't happen. Horror is supernatural in essence and I am all for other worldly forces, monsters, and magic in horror films but this one is pushing my limits. The film starts out strong with a serial killer/slasher angle that plays out perfectly. Most modern slashers try to be that brutal only to fail miserably. The film then switches gears and becomes a supernatural fair. Once again, this could have been pretty fun but the story is hard to follow to a certain point. No clear details are given or explained before the third act of the film. Also, the film leads the viewer to believe that the worry dolls are voodoo in origin but it is actually an ancient Mexican custom. Finally, the film has several gory on screen kills that utilize some outstanding practical effects. The kills are nothing original but the brutality and ferociousness of the kills make them stand out. The kills are quick, ruthless, and relentless while giving the viewer some great practical effects. The film could have easily went the cheap route and gave the viewer some horrible CGI but didn't. Overall, The Devil's Dolls is bloody mess. The kills are unnerving and painfully brutal but the story does need some work. I definitely recommend this one. Check it out.