I'll admit, in and of themselves, dolls are pretty freakin' creepy. My mom has a collection of them. Growing up as a kid, walking downstairs in the middle of the night, was quite an adventure. To this day, she still has this doll that makes me shudder everytime I see it. Fully clothed with sneakers, about the exact same height of a 5 year old child, and sporting a perfectly coifed brown wig, this little guy greets you as you walk into their house. What makes it all so devilishy creepier, is the fact that it has its back turned from you, head buried under one of its arms, perched next to my parent's living room piano bench as if its counting to 30 in an invisible game of hide-and-go-seek. Truly terrifying. This movie however, not so much.
Dolls is about a dysfunctional family that gets their car stuck on its way to god knows where, only to be welcomed into the mansion of one fantastically creepy old couple. The father is going through a divorce, hates his little daughter that has been dragged along, and his contemptible girlfriend is seething with anger in every minute spent with the little tyke. The old couple welcome them in, give the proverbial 'Ain't no one been around these parts in a long time' speech and sets them up in a room for the evening. The girl wanders the house and stumbles upon a room full of dolls the old folks have and picks one out of the bunch that becomes her 'friend' since daddy and moneybags girlfriend could care less about her.
Another group of travelers, a dude and 2 80's era punk gals (think Return of the Living Dead) also get stuck and decide to shack up at the old fogey creepy mansion. The little girl awakes one night to the sound of noises to find out that one of the punky brewsters is being beaten about a room by a bunch of 'little people'. The girl rushes to the bed of the guy who came in with the punkers only to be rebuffed and made to feel like a little snot just out to make trouble. The guy is dragged out of bed and then finds a trail of blood. As he begins to search for the girl who has since gone missing, he forges a friendship with the little ankle biter who becomes his constant companion.
So the dolls, naturally, begin killing off each inhabitant of said creepy old fogey mansion (minus the old couple, little girl and her guy friend) in a serious of some truly ridiculous moments. Not only are the dolls not creepy or disturbing in the least bit, they are composed of some of the finest clay this side of Gumby and Pokey. Instead of the CGI effects of Dead Silence (obviously that technology was not around in 1987) we have some seriously silly stop motion which makes for the scenes of dolly killing madness that much more ridiculous. Honestly, every scene involved someone standing, screaming in their tracks, when they could have either A.) jumped over the group of dolls which were only inches tall B.) kicked or stomped on them or C.) looked for the closest blunt object and begin to flail about. Instead they stood there and took it which made for some of the dumbest scenes of mammalian flesh disposal that I have ever seen. Put up a fight! They're fucking dolls for christsakes!
I have never seen a good horror flick involving dolls even though they are one of the most overdone cliches in this genre of films. Chucky was just plain silly. A killer Teddy Ruxpin would have been far creepier. That demonic electronic voice used to creep me the fuck out. Until then, I will continue to sleep with one eye open every time I stay at my parents in the hopes that old piano kiddie poo does not turn around, knife in hand, and say "I see you".
Cortez the Killer