When i was a young boy, i remember being in the home of a neighbor girl. I used to play with her brother, and she wanted to spend time with us. So, one spring day we were out on their parents back porch. Me and her brother were reading comic books, as his sister drove around her doll wagon. In this doll wagon, she had 2 dolls. One looked pretty similar to most dolls, but then she had another one that looked strange. It was like the doll have been in an accident, it just did not look good. She seemed to like the doll, and just kept playing. But i will never forget the face of this doll, since it felt like there was something wrong with it. I will be honest and say i love creepy dolls in horror films, that is if they make them work well on film. I have seen quite a few over the years, with all the Child´s Play films, all the Puppet Master films, and then you have classics such as Demonic Toys. Since we are talking about horror films with dolls, let us talk about one specific title that i feel is a bit of a classic. The film i have on my mind is called Dolly Dearest, a 1991 horror film from director Maria Lease ( who is one of the actors from the 1971 cult film Dracula Vs. Frankenstein ). Dolly Dearest tells the story of the Wade family, who are moving to Mexico for a new start. Elliot Wade ( Sam Bottoms ) obtains ownership of the Dolly Dearest factory in Mexico, but Elliot is upset when he sees how structurally unstable the factory is. Elliot´s daughter Jessica ( Candace Hutson ) discover many well-preserved dolls on a shelf, and her father allow her to take one: Dolly Dearest. The family will soon discover that this specifi doll is not an ordinary doll, but is actually captured by something very evil. Dolly Dearest may not be the best doll horror film i have seen, but i feel that this is one of the films that actually dared to do something different than the Chucky franchise, by bringing in a Mayan malevolent spirit into the plot. Definetely worth checking out, especially on the Blu Ray release from Vinegar Syndrome. Speaking of dolls, i came across a VOD release of a British independent horror film called The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty, that looked interesting. Since i am a fan of doll horror films, is this one of the better titles this year in this genre, or should you avoid The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty at all cost?
Wendy Loomas ( Nicola Wright ) is suffering from an early stage of dementia, as she finds out the news through a doctor visit, together with her daughter Liz Loomas ( Sian Altman ). Liz and her sister Hazel Loomas ( Antonia Whillans ) realise that they need to make sure their mother is safe, and decides to take her to their coutry side cabin, away from the big city. While out shopping with her daughters, Wendy notice a Humpty Dumpty doll that she recognizes, and take it to her home. Her daughters have no memories of this doll, but it clearly means a lot to Wendy. They will soon discover, that there are several secrets connected with this doll.
In British independent horror films such as The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty, you know that they only have a limited budget to work on. And i have to say, this film actually surprised me. First of all the design of the Humpty Dumpty doll looks great. It is creepy, and the eyes are especially effective. Imagine having a creepy doll made to look something similar to legendary comedian, and actor Marty Feldman, and you probably know what i am talking about. The scenes where Humpty Dumpty stand up and attack, are simple but quite effective. The transformation scenes of his face may be limited, but i do enjoy the idea. One very important detail about this film is that it brings up the subject of dementia. The lead character Wendy ( played by actress Nicola Wright ) is suffering with dementia, so to see her transform into another person is definetely interesting idea for a doll horror movie. The location of the house that Wendy lives in fits in well with the plot, since it is connected to her dark past. What about the characters in this film? I personally feel that the best acting performance comes from lead actress Nicola Wright. To be able to play a woman suffering from dementia, is not easy. You have to be able to capture the facial expressions, and the confusion of a person who is living with this disease. And this is something that Nicola clearly show in her performance, that she knows what kind of character she was getting into. I have to mention female actors Liz Loomas and Antonia Whillans as Nicolas´s daughters. I feel that their characters feel realistic, since they try to portrait two sisters who are dealing with the fact that their mother have dementia, and they both deal with this as good as they can. So how does this film work from a horror perspective? I have to say pretty good, considering that the doll itself works better than i expected. And there is a suprising twist towards the end, that actually helps the plot become more interesting. The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty proves that British independent horror films strikes again in a pleasent way by delivering a horror film that will especially please fans of the doll horror genre. Director Scott Jeffrey have definetely made his best film so far with The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty, and i hope we will get a sequel . If you love dolls in horror films, you should definetely check out this film.