Review: ‘The Devil’s Dolls’ Are Not Dolls You Want in Your Home

This past summer IFC Midnight gave us a slew of exciting features, such as the fantastic thriller I am not a Serial Killer and the star studded and psychedelic tale Antibirth. Now, IFC Midnight brings us the eerie and bloody flick The Devil’s Dolls from Padraig Reynolds, the director behind 2011’s Rites of Spring.

The Devil’s Dolls begins with a jarring and eye-opening sequence involving a mass murderer and his latest unfortunate victim. As she desperately struggles to escape, and against all odds, accomplishing a tenuous freedom, she runs for her life through the backwoods of Mississippi, running into a police officer who has an untimely and gruesome demise–  in what seems like a nod to the french horror film High Tension— at the hands of her sadistic captor. However, it doesn’t end there, our protagonist Detective Matt (Christopher Wiehl) swoops in with unwavering heroics taking out the vicious killer who has eluded his town for so long.

Although the killer is gone, the trouble and horror doesn’t end there for our detective and the Mississippi town. Throughout the opening sequence we get a glimpse of strange handmade dolls, which resemble voodoo dolls. Taken as evidence, they remain in the detective’s vehicle, where, due to some huge oversight, his daughter Chloe (Kennedy Brice) takes a few of them with her, and sells them to a shop with the help of her mother, while keeping one for herself.

And this is exactly when the newest nightmare unleashes on the town and the detective. The dolls, also known as “worry dolls,” carry the woes and tribulations of its creators, passing their anxieties onto inanimate objects.  As it turns out, these dolls possess and ancient and incredible power that takes holds of Chloe, and her unwitting consumers who purchased the dolls. Once in possession, its holders are seized with murderous tendencies. Now, Matt must do everything in his power to prevent another series of bloody murders whilst simultaneously saving his daughter from a grave and powerful danger.

In case you were wondering, “worry dolls” are handmade dolls, and according to Guatemalan folklore, when one can’t sleep at night you can tell your worries to these dolls and place them under your pillow. During night it is said that these dolls take your worries away, so you awake anew, sans what plagues your mind.

The Devil’s Dolls is a creepy and atmospheric film, slowly crafting a tale of evil spirits woven from the threads of Guatemalan folklore. Often bloody, the film manages an oppressively grim aura throughout, with its unique premise, that takes us to a seldom explored mythology, set to the backdrop of the American South.

You can check out the film in the Los Angeles Area at the Hollywood Arena Cinemas. For everyone else you can catch the film on video on demand platforms on the same day of its limited theatrical release, September 16. Check out the trailer below.

Check out all the latest The Devil’s Dolls news on their Official Facebook page and official IFC page.