‘Finders Keepers’ is a creepy movie that suffers from a hole-filled plot and a few too many overly silly scenes. It has all the makings of a decent horror flick, but for the most part it just does not reach its potential.
Newly separated Alyson Simon (Jaime Pressly) and her young daughter Claire (Kylie Rogers) have moved out of the city into a new house as a means of starting over. Claire is having difficulties with her new situation, and does not hesitate to express her feelings. While exploring the new house she finds a tattered old doll and slowly becomes obsessed with it. Alyson notices a change in her daughter and her concerns about her daughter’s mental health grow as people around them begin to get brutally murdered. The discovery that the house was the site of a gruesome murder ten years prior where a young boy, the previous owner of the doll, killed his entire family alert Alyson and her husband Jonathan (Patrick Muldoon) that perhaps there is more to that doll than meets the eye.
Both the doll and the changed version of Claire are off-putting and unnerving as the film’s primary sources of horror. Things get somewhat stupid, however, when any actual killing is portrayed on screen. At one point the doll is supposed to have killed Claire’s psychologist (Tobin Bell). The death is illustrated by a sudden cringe and awkward face from the psychologist, stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors. He falls over instantly, assumedly dead, with an unrealistically large amount of blood already covering his back and shirt surrounding the scissors, which appear to only have been stabbed in about an inch or so. It looks like the kind of exaggerated death you would see in a horror parody movie, and this is only one example of many equally awkward scenes. These scenes ultimately disrupt the flow of the film and make it difficult to take seriously.
The overall plot of the film seems simple enough, but it consistently suffers from unrealistic and weird jumps in the storytelling. The biggest example of this comes from how the movie portrays Alyson’s realization that something is wrong with her daughter. She goes from thinking there is absolutely nothing wrong with Claire to visiting the boy who killed his family in a mental institution to find out if the doll was somehow responsible in just a few minutes of the movie. There is almost no pushback to the idea that her daughter has become a possible murderer and her doll is to blame.
‘Finders Keepers’ definitely has its creepy moments, but on the whole it is just a subpar doll related horror movie. Fans of the genre might give it a shot, but probably should not get their hopes up.
Airs on Syfy Saturday, October 18.