By: John Allen
When it comes to things people are creeped out by, dolls usually lands high on the list. From Childs Play to Puppet Master there is no shortage of movies based on the popular play things. Dolls from Uncorked Entertainment is the latest in the horror sub-genre. Now usually in a review, one would start with a synopsis of the plot. I am just going to say its about an author/illustrator who moves into his deceased mothers house and discovers a trio of creepy moppets hiding in the attic, and spookiness ensues.
While Dolls is a low budget movie there are some wildly wonderful things to see. The look of the dolls is interesting, unlike Chucky or Annabelle, they look rather sweet which works incredibly well to make them feel more menacing. The music by Holly Amber Church is wonderfully appropriate for the subject matter and tone of the movie. It nicely emulates the subtle sinisterness of the dolls. The story is a bit of a slow burn but its worth it in the end, especially when the dolls begin to play hard with their human targets. Chucky would be proud. Director Cuyle Carvin has a good eye for framing shots and I certainly hope he continues to hone his skills, because I feel he did a credible job creating a setting and mood for the picture.
The real meat on the bone falls to the acting. For the most part the actors do a decent job with their characters, but the real treat is watching scream Queen Dee Wallace as Margret. Watching her skillful performance is the reason you hire professionals with experience, she elevates this film into something worth watching. I admit, I have a great deal of respect for Dee Wallace, more so after having met her at Niagara Falls Comic Con a couple years back. She is the epitome of professionalism both on and off screen. As you watch her in Dolls, you can clearly see why she is one of the great actresses. Every gesture is nuanced and thought out. She makes acting look easy. Her performance is subtle and sublime. She creates credibility in an unbelievable story. It isn’t about prestige with an actress of her caliber, it’s about the work. It’s about giving your best performance no matter how big or small the role, or how wide spread the project may or may not be. I have never, ever seen a bad acting job from Dee Wallace, and I doubt you ever will because she is dedicated to her craft. Watching her is a lesson in acting and I really hope we see more of her high profile work soon. Personally, I think she should be on American Horror Story as a lead actress, but I digress. Dolls is all the richer for having secured the talents of Dee Wallace.
Dolls is far from perfect, some of the lines are haphazard, and the story could use some rounding out and better character set up, but its a fun little ride, and clocks in at about an hour and half so its a nice light snack of a movie. Its worth watching for everything they did right, while overlooking the few things that are sort of wrong.
3.5 Dollies out of 5