What’s It About: American family stranded in an English countryside seeks refuge in a toymaker’s mansion. Along with some other weary travelers, they encounter the many living dolls and toys in the house. Toys that come with some disassembling required!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- “And introducing Carrie Lorraine as Judy Bower” Her career really skyrocketed huh? Dolls was her first and last film credit.
- Music by Fuzzbee Morse. Fuzzbee?!
- The first people we see are punk rock chicks hitch-hiking. Why do so many 80s horror movies feature punk rockers?
- This is one loving family! I can totally see that they totally love each other immensely. Much like my emotions while watching this movie so far.
- Case in point: the stepmother, so concerned for her stepdaughters safety, throws her favorite teddy bear away into the woods. It’s what any loving parent would do.
- A giant killer teddy bear fantasy sequence where the Chewbacca-like werewolf teddy bear kills her parents. Nice.
- It’s been only 5 minutes and I already can’t stand any of these three actors.
- “Who’s going to arrest us out here? Count Dracula?” That’s Constable Dracula to you pal! Actually, that would make a great police procedural TV show with Dracula as a cop. I’m calling the networks as soon as I’m done with my review.
- Mr. Punch the jester puppet is downright frightening. Of course Judy likes it.
- Why is there so many Americans here in this odd remote rural British countryside?
- “An-tee-Q’s” that’s how one of the punk chicks pronounced antiques. And then she says “an-tee-kees”
- The antique punk chick is trying to loot the old people who live in the mansion and the dolls attack her. They over-power her despite being dolls and slam her face a few times into the wall and then drag her away.
- The other punk rock chick knows her friend is missing but doesn’t bother looking for her.
- Why does Mr. Punch speak in an American accent when he’s in England?
- The doll effects are pretty good I’d have to say.
- So the stepmother was attacked by a dozen or so dolls and fearing for her safety she leaps out of a window to her death.
- So the dolls are actually little monsters or aliens that are wearing the doll skin and costumes.
- How is it possible to have live ammunition in those small doll soldier rifles?
- So the one guy, Ralph, who really liked toys, decides to get freaked out by the dolls (who have yet to show that they are alive to him) and starts to destroy them. Why? Because the film needs another victim I suppose.
- Oh wait, he was spared by Judy. Yawn.
- So the dolls went outside and retrieved the stepmother’s body and put her in her bed? Just for the sole reason to freak out her husband? Yup, seems like a dolls’ motive.
- Ralph is making very light of a situation of having Judy’s dad attack him for suspecting he killed his wife. We know Ralph didn’t kill her but she’s still dead; where’s your compassion Ralph?
- This movie makes it hard NOT to root for the dolls when it targets klepto punk rockers, a bitchy and wicked stepmother and an asshole father. Ralph used to be a good guy but he went berserk up in the doll room and poked fun at the guy’s dead wife.
- Is there really a parable being told while the father somehow transforms into a doll?
- Great shrinking special effect. I’ll give you 55¢ for it!
- So I’m confused. Earlier we saw monsters inside the dolls but now the toy maker couple somehow magically turned the father into a new Mr. Punch doll. So are they monsters dressed up as dolls or are they people transformed into dolls? Ah fuck it.
- Seriously? Ralph and Judy have no recollection of what happened last night?
- The old man had a “note” from Judy’s folks that says they left her money to go back to Boston to live with her mom and that they changed their names and will live far away. OK, I can maybe see Judy being dumb enough to buy that but Ralph has zero issues with it. Adding to the idiocy, when Ralph asks about the punk rockers, the old man says, “PS, I took the two hitch-hikers with us.” Hahahaha. So everything is peachy keen and wrapped up in a nice little bow!
- How’d Judy’s teddy bear get to the house? Did the dolls get it and bring it to the house. And if that’s the case why didn’t they bring it inside?
Is It Actually Scary: The dolls are creepy as all dolls naturally are but the devious acts they commit are not scary in the least. After this week of watching nothing but doll and toy horror movies it’s apparent that there’s an irony to these types of films and that’s what Brian effectively called the Shakma Syndrome. Sure they kill and maim but they’re all just too damn cute to find really scary.
How Much Gore: More gore than I expected but no interesting kills though.
Best Scene: The giant Teddy bear attack! It’s hilarious how it starts off as a just a giant teddy bear and then turns into a real monster that mauls Judy’s folks. Then Judy shows disappointment in Teddy’s behavior, he shrugs his shoulders. If only the rest of the movie was set in that sort of tone it may have been better.
Worst Scene: Ralph was a guy who had a penchant for toys and was a lovable man-child who seemed trustworthy. His tantrum in the doll room when he destroys the dolls for no apparent reason is out of left field for how they established his character. The dolls didn’t come to life in front of him and he had no proof of any wrong-doing; so his outburst of violence was just out of nowhere and a sign of weak storytelling.
Any Nudity: Nada!
Overall: While watching it I thought maybe it was made for a kids’ demographic but it’s rated R and the blood and guts are too much for kids. The whole moral of being a good person who is respectful and cherish their childhood is a bit much for an R rated movie. No adult who is watching this will stop and say “Yeah, I should be a better person and maybe play with my old toys again.” That kind of thing seems way more geared for a kid’s audience but there’s no way kids should see a fresh corpse put back in bed and another person being mutilated by being continually slammed into a wall. The acting was sub-par with no recognizable names which is always a good sign for schlock. The old toymaker is the only one that stands out with any real talent and he was barely in it. This is the 3rd Stuart Gordon horror movie that I’ve seen and I have to say he’s not topping any of my good lists. I used to really like Re-Animator but I rewatched it not too long ago and it wasn’t as good as I remembered it. I would only recommend Dolls if you really like miniature cute killers. Otherwise proceed with caution.
Score: 4 An-tee-Q’s (out of 10)