Worry Dolls (also known as The Devil’s Dolls) is a horror that begins with plenty of promise for gore-hounds but fails to build upon its violent opening in any meaningful way. That being said it’s an entertaining flick with a tight enough plot to keep most engaged.
Directed by Padraig Reynolds, the movie stars Christopher Wiehl as Detective Matt who has been hunting a serial killer named Henry. It opens with Henry chasing down his latest victim and violently drilling through a police officer’s head before he is shot and killed by Matt.
His life has been consumed by catching Henry, to the extent that he spilt from his wife and now lives apart from his young daughter, Chloe. It’s her who takes 4 small dolls, evidence that Henry owned, from Matt’s car and turns them into necklaces that she sells at her mother’s store.
Unfortunately for everyone who buys one, bad things are going to happen. These dolls are cursed and everyone who has one becomes possessed killing those they come into contact with.
The dolls also have an effect on Chloe who violently kills a dog and is hospitalised afterwards. With his daughter’s life at risk and signs left at murder scenes that relate to Henry, Matt is forced to confront his beliefs in the supernatural.
After such a frantic and visually impressive start, Worry Dolls fails to capitalise initially settling for overly familiar characters and plot devices. We’ve seen the ‘Detective that works to hard costing him his relationships’ many times before. However, Christopher Wiehl is likeable and interesting enough to offer a slightly different take on it. His relationship with Chloe could use some work though as the pair have little chemistry.
Elsewhere, the rest of the cast hold their own with credit going to those who are possessed. The callous nature of their violence is pretty shocking even if the film is less brave with showing the brutality as it goes on. The effects also take a bit of a hit, seemingly with the budget being poured into the opening ‘drill through the head’ shot.
Worry Dolls is just about the right length so never feels like it’s dragging. Nor does it ever really get caught up trying to offer obnoxious explanations for the dolls. We do get an exposition heavy finale that seems designed to pad the run-time a little but it doesn’t really do any harm particularly as it allows for the movie to throw out a twist in the tail.
Considering how many bad horror movies there are out there, Worry Dolls is worth a watch thanks to its simplicity.
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