November 3, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Dolls (1987)

Oh, you want a child in unknown depths of danger? And you want cute playthings that come to life? And you want impressive visual effects that provide consciousness to the unconscious? And you want a wacky storyline that doesn’t make much sense without jumping through some mental hoops? Oh boy, do I have the film for you.

Dolls (1987) is one of the more under known projects from director Stuart Gordon, most well-known for his Re-Animator franchise. And while Five Nights at Freddy’s may not have the sheen or effects of a B-movie, its spiritual brethren, Dolls, definitely does. Let me set the scene–a father, his daughter, and her stepmother (his wife) have inexplicable car troubles outside of a spooky mansion. Eventually, they are welcomed into the old house by the elderly couple–toymakers both–and stay the night along with a few other guests. However, all through the night, each of them discovers devilish toys that come to life and try to kill all of them. How do baby dolls kill full-grown adults? And more importantly, why? Well, that’s the fun of the whole film. Add to this some impressive stop-motion animation (though only during certain scenes), and I had a blast.

Sure, Dolls doesn’t have the jump scares of Five Nights at Freddy’s, nor is the drama of missing children and sibling love here. But it has the fun, the B-movie schlock, and the campy violence that a movie about killer animatronics should have. It’s killer dolls. You know you want to see what this is all about.

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