Call me a chicken, but movies with demonic dolls in them really creep me out. I’m not really sure why, either. To my knowledge, I’ve never been traumatized by a doll, nor did I even own any dolls. I grew up with a brother, and he didn’t have any (unless he was hiding them). So this fear cannot be rooted in my childhood…I don’t think. But regardless of where it stems from, dolls are creepy, especially those that are battered and beat up. So imagine my delight when I saw the cover of FINDERS KEEPERS! I knew it was a must-see for me, so I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, too, because this is a slick little thriller than doles out frights and fun.
If you are not familiar with FINDERS KEEPERS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:
After her divorce, Allyson Simon and her daughter Claire move into an old house outside the city. When Claire finds an old doll left in the house by the previous occupants, Allyson begins to see sinister changes in her daughter. When Allyson discovers the doll’s dark secret, she and her estranged husband must race against time to stop the entity trying to take over their daughter.
I was surprised to discover the director, Alexander Yellen, has been involved with several ‘bad’ films over the years, particularly several that were released by The Asylum. I say ‘surprised’ because this film is nothing like any of those low-budget atrocities. If you are not familiar with The Asylum, it is the company that releases craptastic knock-offs of popular film franchises. FINDERS KEEPERS is a well made film, and it is hopefully a precursor of what is to come from Yellen.
FINDERS KEEPERS is shot well and looks great onscreen. The production value of the film appears high, and the locations chosen are perfect. I particularly love the house where the doll is found; it just screams ‘bad things happen here’.
The acting is great, with Jaime Pressly heading up a talented cast. I’ve overheard several people who do not like her because of her Southern accent and mannerisms, however I love the woman. She is beautiful and talented, an actress with a wide emotional range and a versatile skill-set. The film also features Tobin Bell, who you will remember from the SAW franchise. Bell does a great job portraying Claire’s psychiatrist, although he is not featured much in the film, unfortunately. And I would be remiss if I did not include young actress Kylie Rogers, who plays Claire. Rogers does a phenomenal job with her role, and I hope to see more of her work in the future.
As for special effects, there are surprisingly few in FINDERS KEEPERS. The doll is never seen moving, which is kind of disappointing, but it also helps to build the tension. There is no gore, although we do get some bloodshed, which looks pretty good.
I have to give FINDERS KEEPERS a thumbs up. It is simple in design, but it is executed very well. Fans of chilling, low-grade horror will want to give this one a look for sure.
I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes, and that’s fine…after all, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But you have to take movies like this for what they are: fun, plain and simple. Sure, this is thoroughly explored territory (a possessed doll terrorizes people), but who cares? As long as a film is well done and entertains, the concept does not have to be original.
I recommend FINDERS KEEPERS. It is available now in a variety of formats.