Let's take a jaunt through the beginnings of horror stories; those tales we know today as fairy tales...each began as a warning moreso than a story; the first of the boogeymen to teach young ones what to watch for and how to act in life.
Which brings me to the late eighties horror sleeper, "Dolls".
I first saw this one at a younger time, and I must admit it really creeped the Old One out. The older I grew, the more of a horror film connessiuer I became, and the more I'm still impressed by this gem.
The atmosphere in this film is some of the best I've seen in movies; the old home is both homey in one sense, yet filled with forboding dread all through its dark hallways. The characters are classic archetypes, although it's not done in an overt manner...you immediately relate to the ones you are supposed to, just as you adamantly dislike those designed for it. Kudos for the filmmakers and actors for this characterization!
Much to MY joy, there are glorious stop motion effects! This may turn some modern, more jaded audiences off; however, in my aged opinion, it gives the titular dolls a very otherworldly and supernatual quality in their movement. And the facial expressions of the little devils created by the special effects artists were definitely burned into MY mind...very scary, very memorable.
While the movie is quite frightening at times, at it's heart it's what we opened with: a morality play. To me, it's a fairy tale in the vein of the original Little Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks...and very effective in either capactiy. Don't get me wrong, I like modern, gore-filled flicks as much as the next horror-phile, but a little treasure like this that just genuinely creeps you out is priceless.
If overt nudity and/or gory, over the top effects are what you crave in a horror film, maybe you should pass this one by...but if you like your horror with substance, good story, and the added bonus of doing what such tales were originally MEANT for ( to pass on a cautionary lesson), then I would definitely recommend DOLLS.
Remember to love your toys, children...they watch you whilst you sleep!