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IFI Horrorthon 2015 Review - WORRY DOLLS

A set of worry dolls previously owned by a serial killer carry sinister powers.


Review by Daniel Anderson (@danandclick)

Directed by: Padraig Reynolds

Starring: Christopher Wiehl, Kym Jackson, Tina Lifford


"There’s no doubt director Padraig Reynolds has the skills to craft a decent, low budget horror but Worry Dolls’ script is lacking and its mix of genres isn’t entirely successful."




Don’t let your kids play with vital crime scene evidence – that’s the message I got from Worry Dolls. Which seems like pretty good advice.
It’s the second feature by Padraig Reynolds, who also helmed the well received Rites of Spring back in 2011. This time around, he’s tackling a film which mixes voodoo supernatural stuff with cop crime thriller to create a fitfully entertaining hybrid.
The gist is that a terrible serial killer has been brought to justice and has left behind some little worry dolls. Through some poor parenting (more on that below), the dolls end up in the hands of the protagonist's eight year old daughter, and the possession fun begins.
It’s not a bad setup, and provides plenty of room for grisly kills with random objects and some decent gore effects, though nothing really tops an early drilling moment. These scenes are definitely the highlight, with the film more or less stopping dead when we go after some voodoo explanations or familial drama.
The film was co-written by star Christopher Wiehl, who plays the central cop character Matt, but it’s shockingly light on plot. This dude’s marriage has broken down because he works a lot and now there’s murdering going on. That’s pretty much it, and you won’t learn much more by the end of the 85 minute running time.
Matt is also a really, really terrible cop. He basically spends the whole movie being too late to save people and watching them die horribly before shooting another possessed person, who he really should try to save. And his paternal skills aren’t much better, as he’s entirely to blame for putting his daughter at risk.
Tech specs are decent – with the title sequence adding a sense of smooth sense of Southern Gothic which the film doesn’t really refer back to. There’s no doubt Reynolds has the skills to craft a decent, low budget horror but Worry Dolls’ script is lacking and its mix of genres isn’t entirely successful.



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