“A grieving mother latches on to a magical surrogate for her lost child. But small miracles come with big consequences”.. Directed by Al Lougher, The Dollmaker, is an award-winning ‘Pet Sematary‘ inspired Faustian tale that cautions against the treachery of desperation and wish fulfillment. It was written by Matias Caruso who wrote Joe Lynch‘s “Mayhem” starring Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead fame. This short film also took home the best horror/thriller award at Comic-Con 2018 (A total of 10 wins and one nominations).
Released in 2017, and now launched on April 4th 2019, on Alter‘s new horror platform (it’s their horror companion to the number #1 Sci-fi platform “Dust“). It’s available to stream both on Alter’s Facebook and YouTube channel.
You can watch the full movie below. It is a quick 9:03 minutes watch but the impact is a deep one:-
My Thoughts & a brief review without spoiling the ending:
The short film is a well made not just in terms of production value but also in terms of direction and acting performances. The film’s length is adequate and doesn’t feel too long or too short. The surprise element is constantly there and the end twist reminds me of Silent Hill Game Universe because it plays with your minds and makes you wonder what is real and what is not.
It is also a sad story of loneliness, vain hope and also, a Faustian tale because the couple tries to get their son back or have a child to love through immoral way but the dark magic twists their life. Many couples can’t have a child due to medical problems or many parents miss their children who passed away early because of some decease or an accident. So, this couple’s wish and the subject itself is a very sensitive topic. We can feel sympathy for the couple from the start. The performances by the cast help us to get into the tale and everything feels real. Perri Lauren‘s performance portrays a young mother’s emotions well. Sean Meehan is a protagonist reminding us of Silent Hill Game Universe‘s Henry or Murphy with his helplessness and internal frustration due to the circumstances. Daniel Martin Berkey‘s performance is powerful, mysterious and suitable for his character, almost like a veteran magician. Instead of going for a proper adoption or being foster parents for some needy children, they decide to take the route of magic to try to bring their son back. Will they succeed? What’s the secret of this? The magic has a catch and if the rules are broken, it means getting sucked into the dark world of puppets.
The excitement never falls short and the length of the film is the biggest help to keep you hooked. Everyone should watch this short film because it explores an emotional issue of parenthood and the human connection similar to the Pet Sematary’s plot of losing a pet and trying to bring it back to life.
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