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. But 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?
Entertainment Value: I feel like I had reasonable expectations for The Doll Master, as I wanted some creepy doll hijinks and not much else. After all, the movie is called The Doll Master, so I assumed I was safe to expect a focus on a creepy doll. I was wrong. While a doll is involved, it is an afterthought for most of the duration and the movie chooses to focus on dull, forgettable characters instead. I appreciate the attempt to include mental illness in a movie like this one, but it is glossed over and lost in a flood of mundane, almost insufferable dialogue. The writing here is just stale and isn’t helped by the cast, most of whom seem disinterested in the material. If the mix of bad writing and bad acting had led to some camp moments, I wouldn’t have minded, but no such unintended humor creeps in. The final ten minutes or so picks up a little, but by then we’ve suffered so much, it hardly makes a difference. This is just dull, mind numbing mediocrity, even creepy doll fanatics should skip The Doll Master.
No nakedness. No blood. I mean, there are some tiny splashes of the red stuff, but not much and all of the violence happens of screen. The lack of gore and sleaze isn’t a deal breaker, but given how much of a slog the movie is to watch, some spice here and there couldn’t have hurt. I did get a laugh out of the makeup work late in the movie, which looks like the kind of effects you’d see on the back of a retail Halloween makeup kit. I understand budget limits and such, but 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. I would have loved even minor bits of wacky or over the top content, just to break up the monotony. But no such luck, this one is stale and devoid of creative or crazy moments.
Overall Insanity: 0/10