Director – Stephen Wolfe (Dracula’s Coffin, 10/31 Part 2)
Starring – Justin Herman (Dracula’s Coffin, Evil Deeds: Full Circle), Nicole Elliot (The Devil’s Hand, Lars the Emo Kid), and Andy Palmer (Midnight Abyss, 10/31 Part 2)
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “Come play with us”
My indie horror marathon continues! The last few days has been spent watching a few Wild Eye releases. Yesterday I posted my review for Bigfoot Blood Trap and it was not as positive as I would have hoped. I love Wild Eye but I can’t say that all their films sit well for me. I followed that up with my review for Open Wound. Though, the film was not horror in a traditional sense it was extremely entertaining. In fact, I loved it way more than I was expecting.
I decided to follow that up with the 2014 Stephen Wolfe film Doll Factory. Honestly, the artwork made me think I was going to be in for a bad time but I actually enjoyed this one. So much so that after I watched it I decided to give it another spin. It’s not often I can re-watch a film that quick. Thanks Wild Eye for sending this one over.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of party goers on Halloween night that decide to break into an abandoned building to party. The building they just happened to choose to party was once a doll factory that was the site of a heinous incident several decades earlier. An evil man put the souls of his employees in the dolls and used the dolls to capture even more souls. The local sheriff and a few others were able to stop him but now the party goers have awakened the evil man and his dolls once again dragging the elderly sheriff back into the carnage. **Spoiler Alert**
My 4 out of 5 rating should already tell you that I absolutely loved this fucking movie. I started writing reviews so I could watch forgotten action and exploitation flicks from the 70s and 80s but before long my love of horror took back over. I was reviewing anything and everything horror I could get my hands on. Doll Factory is everything I love about indie horror. We get a cheesy simple story, unforgettable characters, and locations that work for the story and budget. In fact, if I didn’t know this was a Wild Eye release I would have thought I was watching a Full Moon film.
The acting in this one works for the film. Most indie productions take actors with very little on screen experience and try to have them deliver award winning performances which only makes most scenes with any sort of impact come across as unintentionally funny. Doll Factory did not do that. Instead, they take a cast willing to try and had them have fun with their characters. This translates so much better on screen. I loved the characters we were given and the cast does a great job with them.
The story for this one is simple, funny, and works if you like the Full Moon style doll films. I was raised on Full Moon so I really appreciated what Wolfe and team did with the story. I also liked the occult and supernatural spin thrown on the story as well. The scenes are dialogue heavy but it adds some humor to the film as well and works. I also liked the look of the film. It once again reminded me heavily of the Full Moon films we’ve been given the last decade or so.
Finally, this film caught me off guard within the first few minutes with some great practical effects and we get it the remainder of the film. The blood and effects look fucking fantastic which really adds another level of enjoyment to an already entertaining film. Overall, Doll Factory is fun. Simple as that. I really enjoyed myself and now I feel like I need to search for some other works from Stephen Wolfe. He has the same eye for horror as I do and I can’t wait to see more from this extremely talented filmmaker. Check it out now on DVD from Wild Eye.