From David Del Rio in his directorial debut comes a festive horror to make you feel a tad uncomfortable and a whole lot of disappointment. Disappointment because Sick for Toys lacks substance and feels fragmented and vacant.
Almost immediately the film drops the ball by revealing the child-like woman that is Emilia (Camille Montgomery) and her older brother, Edward (Jon Paul Burkhart) are psychotic kidnappers. Out goes any shocks or surprises later, what the pair are is spelled out immediately.
She is obsessed with Christmas and loves getting new toys. Toys that her brother is happy to provide for her. This year’s present is a man named Jason (Justin Xavier) who Emilia will play with until he breaks. Resulting in Edward getting rid of the body and her childlike mind staying completely innocent.
Justin has a girlfriend though who goes to his best friend, Roy (David Gunning) to try and find out where he went. Roy is one of those ‘nice guys’ who finish last but agrees to look into where Justin may have gone. He goes to his apartment, finds Emilia’s number and calls her, instantly finding himself smitten with her. This leads to the pair meeting and her inviting him to her home for dinner.
She has her eye on a new toy and Roy is the perfect one to play with this Christmas.
Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first. Camille Montgomery puts in a great performance as the naïve and childish Emilia. Her starry-eyed wonder at Christmas and belief that all she is doing is playing with her toys, makes for a creepy watch. Especially when her darker side comes to out to play.
She almost makes it a worthwhile watch. However, the rest of cast fail to reach the bar she sets. Gunning’s Roy tries to hard to be a nice guy and is quite unlikable. Xavier’s Jason is an after-thought for most of the film then suddenly thrust into the centre of the film in confusing fashion. Whereas Burkhart’s Edward lacks the finer details of what his character needed to be.
Motivation for him and Emilia is sketchy at best and ends up falling back on tried tropes surrounding isolation and abuse. Which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the film didn’t signpost so much of it along the way. When it does try to surprise, it just upends the story in flabbergasting ways and as for the ending? It might be the worst part of the movie.
Sick For Toys is not a bad film in the conventional sense. It tells its story in the most straight-forward way possible. Offers very light character development, has blood and gore, is shot decently and has a solid festive feel about it. It’s just that all of this combined doesn’t result in a winner.
Sick For Toys
The Final Score - 5.5/10