Evil Little Things by Creepy Doll Films distributed by Uncorked, is an anthology of three stories, starting with the Step Father of a child he is annoyed by. Little Jason (Mason Welles) wants him to check under the bed for monsters and a glass of water, which inexplicably makes the Step Father (Zach Galligan) angry and frustrated. The Mother ( L.A. Winters) placates her little moppet and says she will take him to get a new stuffed toy friend the next day. They go to a toy store and meet a shop owner (Geoff McKnight) who regales the Mother and son with tales of creepy dolls. The first story, “Blood for Gold” is about a vengeful Leprechaun doll, terrorizing Jessica (Hannah Fierman) a woman descendant from Irish immigrants, who wronged the fairy folk. The second “Be Careful What You Wish For” is about Abby (Courtney Lakin) who is obsessed with dolls after tragic events that have left her to heal her physical and emotional scars taking comfort in her vast collection of dolls. she hears the wicked voice of Patty (Yasmin Bakhtari) in her head or is it?
Now I love a good anthology as much as the next guy, but there is a disjointed nature to the script. It’s the anthology sub genre, meets Leprechaun, meets Annabelle, meets Child’s Play, meets the Twilight Zone, meets…..in other words there is no clear focus or flow. That is not to say the concept and stories in and of themselves are bad, writers Yasmin Bakhtari and Nancy Knight have composed some good ideas that mainly due to budget constraints on these little indie opus’s are never fully executed or reach their full potential. Still Patty in particular is a creepy porcelain poppet with a wicked tongue. I think with a little editing and slight reworking of the script, and a higher budget to really sell the effects, the stories could be elevated to something sublime. Overall the terror tales are enjoyable and fun, but something is lost in the actual transition from page to screen. For every good component there are some that just don’t wash. For instance can we talk about Winters character obviously being Mother of the year for one marrying a clearly abusive wad, (listed as Step Father yet nothing in the script suggests that relationship when he could just have easily been Bio-Dad), then she lets her child listen to a couple of dolly horror stories by the weird doll maker, and then actually buys one off the old sod?! Then in the wrap around story when Daddy-O removes his belt for the beating the boy is gonna get she does nada, zip, nothing! Makes perfect sense to me.
The strength of the movie comes from the doll effects themselves by Roy Wooley They are devilishly clever and a nostalgic throw back to 80’s low budget horror. My only beef is that we didn’t see enough of them. Secondly the acting by the cast is actually good given the material they have to work with. I especially enjoyed Geoff McKnight as the old Doll Maker, he was believable, affable, and gave the best performance of the movie. I also loved Yasmin Bakhtari’s vocal performance as Patty the evil doll, she affects a Carol Kane quality that works so well for the character savoring each delicious line (which I guess as the script writer she gave herself the best of. Lol) However the stunt casting of Zach Galligan (Gremlins) doesn’t work so well. This is not the fault of Mr. Galligan, I mean who doesn’t have a soft spot for Billy Peltzer and his misadventures with his furry little Mogwai buddy Gizmo? Nor does this have anything to do with his acting in Evil Little Things, it’s just that his presence is wasted in this flick. His screen time is miniscule on a throw away character that the actor does not seem to suit. It winds up being a distraction instead of a bonus. He gets top billing for name recognition (again not his fault) which I feel is a disservice to the rest of the cast whose roles are far more than mere cameos.
If creepy doll movies are your thing, you could do worse than Evil Little Things, There are some delicious moments that make it worthwhile, it’s not terribly long, and on a rainy cold Sunday afternoon, it might be worth the watch.
2 Stunt Cameos out of 5