There’s a reason why I am sweet to all dolls, action figures, and teddy bears. On the shallow surface, they are cute, harmless objects of joy to children all over the world. However, when one’s not looking those bad boys are dangerous. They’re dangerous, I tell ya.
I present to you 1987’s Dolls
I remember the day my mother rented the tape from West Coast Video (If you grew you in the Philadelphia area in the 80s, you should know the store.). She informed my siblings and me about this movie and how they come alive when no one’s watching. I don’t think my mother understood the full extent of this film. Was she thinking that this film would be reminiscent of Jim Henson? Mom, read the labels! Whoa boy! If she did, a lot of my neuroses would not exist. But, I kid my mother – maybe.
- This film recalls one night where six strangers (unrelated to each other – with the exception of a little girl and her obnoxious parents from Hell) are stranded in a Gothic home during a violent thunderstorm. It sounds already like the makings of a campfire story, doesn’t it? Well, the home is owned by a seemingly sweet elderly toymaker and his wife. They offer their home for the night as shelter from the storm. But, all is not well necessarily with the couple. They have a few tricks up their sleeves.
- Of course, in this motley crew of people, you have your nice ones and your crappy ones. Unbeknownst to the six, a personality test is taken throughout the night as the dolls monitor. One by one, the six humans find that the toymaker’s toys aren’t so kid-friendly and become webbed into the violence.
- Overall, I like the film’s message about how karma can be a “witch” by determining the consequences of our actions. Granted, the consequences are scary, creepy, and administered by the trusted friends found in my old toy boxes. I can appreciate the narrative, especially now as an adult. I wonder if that couple has a website or an email address. I can really use their help at the moment.
- The film is underrated greatly and deserves larger recognition beyond cult status. Even though, the film’s techniques are a bit cheesy and dated at times, it’s still worth two hours and a box of popcorn. Just avoid showing this to the kids for a while. Wait until they are old enough to not want to play with dolls. Hear that Mom? Have kids watch the film when they are no longer playing with dolls! Or, you risk some therapy bills.
- These dolls creep me out. They are scarier than Chucky (Really what doll isn’t), but they are less scary than that damn voodoo doll on Trilogy of Terror. That thing gives me shivers. Shivers, I tell you.
- Watch the film. Enjoy why it’s an underrated and underviewed movie. I’m looking at you, FearNet and Chiller! Play this film!
- 8 out 10
Fun Fact About “Dolls”: It has a 63% “Fresh” rating. I would make it higher. But, I can’t control everything. At least, that’s what I try to tell myself daily. It seems never to work out, though.