DOLLS *** USA 2019 Dir: Cuyle Carvin 85 mins
Robert, an estranged and alcoholic father and writer has moved into a rather spooky house in this new offering from the USA and is portrayed in this short movie by actor Tom Downey. His young and sexually aware daughter Sammey (Trinity Simpson) comes to stay to get away from his demanding ex-wife Lynn (Elise Muller) and with the warnings of his strange old neighbour Margaret (played by veteran Dee Wallace) and the help of some ugly and creepy old dolls all hell breaks loose in this psychological nerve jangler. The musical score by Holly Amber Church gives the desired effect and the storyline, although a little stilted in parts, keeps the movie flowing well despite the set limitations and do set a good atmosphere which adds to the overall spooky effect of the film which in many ways resembles the more famous haunting movies of ‘IT’ and ‘THE SHINING’ (but without their budgets) and if those kind of horror movies are to your taste then you will definitely enjoy this one. The pace of the story keeps the mind ticking over nicely and a haunted atmosphere remains throughout which makes the film enjoyable, but the shock elements feel a little comedic at times and the movie ends up being eerie rather than grisly. Tom Downey and Trinity Simpson give very able performances that are embellished by Dee Wallace’s mysterious prophecies, but Elise Muller’s Lynn and Bret Green’s James feel a little incidental and with more time the film could have developed the whole story arc more and left out some of the slightly tame special effects. Overall though this is a decent short movie that keeps the questions coming and to tell anymore than that would stop your own interested mind from watching further…….Is it you or THEM?
Review by Nathan Sandiford