Mandy the Doll, Dwells Into Folklore for Inspiration
Mandy the Doll, Film Details
Director: Jamie Weston
Writer: Shannon Holiday
Release Date: August 4, 2018 (UK)
Release Format: TBA
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 1 hr 14 min
Social Networking: None Stated
Three burglars will soon realize they are not alone in a manor house when they discover a doll mysteriously appearing.
Mandy the Doll will release on August 4, 2018, in the UK by ITN Distribution. The Horror production is directed by Jamie Weston. Shannon Holiday pens the script.
Phoebe Torrance (Six Rounds, 2017) – Amber Ross
Manny Jai Montana (Lucifer’s Night, 2014) – Neil
Kate Lister (Fox Trap, 2016) – Shelby
Faye Goodwin (House on Elm Lake, 2017) – Mandy
Penelope Read (Remember Me, 2018) – Dorothy
After being released from prison, Amber reunited with her sister, Shelby and their friend Neil, and they plan one last theft job before they make a clean break from their past and try to move forward with their lives on a different path. The house they try to rob sends them on a fight for survival.
Jamie Weston’s Mandy the Doll takes a well-known historical story and delivers it in his own voice. However, after Annabelle the doll and Robert the doll, there lies a sense of familiarity in the plot to where it’s not original or redefining. Likewise, it doesn’t hold up to the same light as its competitors.
The origins of Mandy the Doll dates back to Germany in the late 1910s and early 1920s. However, her story doesn’t take surface until 1991 after being donated to the Quesnel Museum by her owner. This reason being, it’s believed the doll caused strange events that stopped once they removed the doll.
The museum’s curator had her doubts at first sight of the doll, however, she took the doll on grounds it would be a beneficial artifact to the museum’s collection due to its creepy nature. The museum’s visitors felt a bad vibe and negative energy of the doll. After the museum’s staff had their fair share of strange experiences with the doll, a psychic read and analyzed it.
From the psychic reading comes a story about a deceased girl’s spirit who has inhabited the doll. The body of the girl found in the cellar of an old farmhouse. She was holding the doll in her hands. Being that the validity of this story isn’t proven, it remains folklore.
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Mandy the Doll takes on a story of its own, using the historical folklore as inspiration. Amber, Shelby, and Neil are desperate for money, so they plan one last heist they believe will leave them wealthy and secure enough to set their old ways aside for good. Amber disguises as a babysitter for Dorothy, an elderly woman, and her child, who remains a mystery until Amber discovers the child is a doll. Following this, their plans take a turn for the worst when they realize the doll is alive and plans to make them pay for their deceit.
The story and plot for Mandy the Doll starts out with potential but winds up being hindered by the lack of creative direction. Point put, the story is very much similar to other like-minded films it feels like you’ve already seen it and you know how the film will play out. Annabelle (John R. Leonetti, 2014) and Dead Silence (James Wan, 2007) are two films that can compare here.
Another hindrance to Mandy the Doll is the special effects, which are mediocre. When you consider films such as Child’s Play (Tom Holland, 1988) and Dolly Dearest (Maria Lease, 1991), you observe minor, but key details, such as the movements of the dolls, which are more realistic than Weston’s Mandy, who appears controlled by someone. While this holds place behind the scenes, the audience should not be able to make this observation in the film.
Mandy the Doll has potential, which would expand with a more creative direction. Yet, it takes a path that’s often traveled, leaving it in the face of familiarity with its competitors, and it does not come out on top. Urban legends and folklore have taken center stage in Horror cinema with an emphasis on haunted dolls since the rise and success of Annabelle the doll in James Wan’s The Conjuring (2013). This theme has peaked the interest of many audiences, coming from sources that claim based on true historical events.
Being that Mandy the doll is a fresh concept in Horror cinema, Weston and Holiday could have used this advantage to capitalize on its originality and innovation in a redefining pitch. Many directors and filmmakers set on bringing urban legends to the big screen, but they focus so much on the past legend and sticking to the story, that they stray away from creating their own legends.