The Devil’s Dolls – the name sounds intriguing and conjures up terrifying images the likes of Annabelle, The Boy, or even Chucky, who is back to being my personal favorite after the recent Curse of Chucky. But, instead, we get little stick figures that are only slightly better quality than the original Blair Witch figures, barely qualifying as “dolls”, and merely act as conduits for demonic possession of wayward minds and idle hands. At best, the movie is a barely passable B-movie horror film with flat or monotonous characters and a thin plot line leading from one blood splatter to the next with reasonable special effects but limited scares or surprises.
The film opens with a serial killer chasing after another victim. Spoiler alert- the serial killer dies (how he dies and how many die before that, I will leave a mystery). After his death, the police take custody of a box of “dolls” that eventually make their way into the hands of other people who start killing with the same (unreported) MO as the dead serial killer. One cop, Matt (Christopher Wiehl; Jericho, CSI) has an unhealthy obsession with the deceased serial killer and, soon enough, he, his partner, and his ex-wife and daughter are all put in jeopardy by the curse posed by the dolls.
Not a great start for first time writers Danny Kolker and Christopher Wiehl (who both appear in the film in some capacity). The storyline is weak, unappealing, and there are a few points in the movie where it seems that character development went out the window to move the plot along, bringing the movie in under 90 minutes. For example, when Matt tries to leave the hospital with his daughter, his ex-wife does very little to try stop him and probably would have let him go without incident if not for hospital security.
I wouldn’t really recommend The Devil’s Dolls for casual viewers. It is kind of stuck in the middle of the road- not so good you have to watch it for its cinematic greatness (a la Cabin in the Woods), but not so terrible you have to watch it for its cheesiness (a la Sharknado). I would not even say it’s at all cheesy; it is a pretty strait-laced horror film and the actors perform well enough with what they were given. It does have some interesting death scenes and if you love blood splatter, you will almost certainly enjoy this film. Otherwise, go play with some better dolls.