The Devil’s Dolls (2016) [Blu-Ray]

It’s a shame that people still think there’s some horror fodder to be mined from worry dolls, because so far I’m not seeing it. “The Devil’s Dolls” plays out like a gory TV movie, or an extended episode of some supernatural series. There are a lot of bland characters trying to stop what is a pretty convoluted and goofy plot device involving a murderer and evil dolls. Director Padraig Reynolds’ film isn’t a complete misfire as it achieves some level of eeriness in some instances. I really do like how our characters look when they’re possessed by evil worry dolls that turn them in to psychopathic maniacs, but that’s lost in a haze of pretty mediocre melodrama and a hazy sub-plot about voodoo.

After barely escaping a serial killer, a young woman is saved and the killer is taken down by obsessed police officer Matt and his partner. Years later, as the victims and Matt try to move on, Guatemalan worry dolls are taken from the killer’s home by Matt. They are then accidentally claimed as gifts by Matt’s estranged daughter. Before long the dolls are being passed around and worn, and Matt begins to realize his daughter is displaying odd behavior. Soon enough everyone wearing the dolls begins murdering victims close to them, and Matt and his partner are on the hunt for the source of the murders. Eventually “The Devil’s Dolls” turns in to a hunt for the possessed trinkets, as we’re given a painfully convoluted explanation by a voodoo priestess who doubles as expository tool for the film. Is the serial killer possessing his victims through the dolls?

Are the dolls cognizant of their behavior? Or is there a whole other explanation we’re not aware of? While the movie’s plot device is hokey, and the tension lackluster, there are at least some fun moments to be mined. There’s the moment when Brea Grant’s characters turns a hair blower in to a very good weapon, there’s Brea Grant stealing every scene she’s in, and for the love of god, when someone tells you to drive away while a maniac is roaming around, just do it. The performances are mediocre, the tension is uneven, and aside from some very bloody murders and decent make up effects, “The Devil’s Dolls” is a very forgettable B movie that doesn’t stand out from a lot of the other genre fare from 2016. At best it would make for a decent time killer on cable Television while you’re folding clothes or making dinner.

From Scream Factory and IFC Midnight, the release comes with reversible cover art featuring the original poster art. There’s an audio commentary with Director Padraig Reynolds and Actor/Star Christopher Wiehl. There are three series of storyboards amounting to almost six minutes in length. There’s also art for the Worry Dolls featured in the movie. Finally, there’s the original theatrical trailer.