The Doll Master – UK, 2017

‘Evil isn’t born, it’s made.’

The Doll Master is a 2017 British horror feature film written and directed by Steven M. Smith (Doll Cemetery;The Haunting of Borley Rectory; The Howling; Haunted). The movie stars Tony Fadil, Rorie Stockton, Sarah Rose Denton and Tiffany-Ellen Robinson.

Plot:

Norman (Tony Fadil) is an unstable fellow who shares his life with Hugo, a doll that is his best friend and life partner. The two dine together, have deep discussions about life, and just chill and enjoy each other’s company.

However, when Hugo disappears, Normal is pushed to the brink and is desperate to reunite with his only friend in the world. This leads to him being involved with a reality television crew, who want to film his odd relationship for their ghost hunting program. It becomes clear that Norman is being exploited because of his obvious mental illness, but what will the crew discover when they delve into the darkness to find Hugo?

Reviews:

” …the make up effects on Norman’s creatures are pretty sadistic looking. Also, it has to be kept in mind that Smith was working with a very small budget, so rather than rely on effects as much he focused on the suspense. That in mind, The Doll Master is a British film, and there is a bit of dark British humor that may not translate with outside audiences.” Marieval Yebra, Cryptic Rock

“A contender for the worst horror movie of 2017, The Doll Master is an intensely boring experience. What begins as an intriguing idea regarding mental health quickly descends into the most laughable & lacklustre story imaginable.” Carl Fisher, Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

” …a lot of effort was put into the film for what it was worth but some scenes looked a bit goofy like when Norman was walking past these walls in red light, the fuzzy filter looked ridiculous, especially when Norman’s head became distorted. Overall a relatively short but enjoyable film…” Robert Yanni Donnan, Letterboxd

” …The Doll Master makes no effort to do anything other than push out a low rent drama and include a creepy doll, so that it can be marketed as a horror movie. The dialogue is bland and forgettable, no fun lines or even well written exchanges. No craziness.” Marc Fusion

Cast and characters:

  • Tony Fadil … Norman
  • Rorie Stockton … Johnny
  • Sarah Rose Denton … Sarah
  • Tiffany-Ellen Robinson … Eleanor
  • Elena Valdameri … Catherine
  • Paul Durso … Jason
  • Jon-Paul Gates … Malik
  • Richard Gething … Joe the cameraman
  • Mat Holt … Michael
  • Sophia Namdjou … Nursing Creature Doll
  • Khloe Peters … Young doll
  • Jamie Robinson … Young Norman
  • Nikki Robinson … Ballerina Doll
  • Matthew Fitzthomas Rogers … Taxi Driver
  • Steven M. Smith … Owner

Technical credits:

77 minutes

NB. Not to be confused with the 2004 South Korean horror film of the same name written and directed by Jeong Yong-ki.

Some image credits: Cryptic Rock

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