EVIL LITTLE THINGS (2019)
Directed by Matt Green
Written by Yasmin Bakhtiari, Nancy Knight
Starring Hannah Fierman, Zach Galligan, Cory Anderson, Demetrice Byrd, Piper Collins, Tiffany Dineen, Peyton J. Evans, Lilliam Gray, Courtney Hogan, Jonathan Horne, Nancy Knight, Courtney Lakin, Geoff McKnight, Timothy J. Richardson, Randy Uecker, Mason Wells, L.A. Winters, Drew Youngblood
Find out more about this film here!
EVIL LITTLE THINGS is a low budget anthology focusing on the horror that is often associated with vintage dolls. I’m sure this one was made due to the rise in doll horror with the ANNABELLE and CHILD’S PLAY franchises. But creepy dolls go back even further than Chucky. One of my favorite episodes of both THE TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY involve creepy ass dolls haunting the living. Those dolls didn’t even have to move. They just sat there, eerily staring at their intended victim and that’s all it took to cause chills. I know that one of the things I love to do is take photos of old creepy dolls I see at antique shops. It is just fascinating that something so odd and off-putting was once looked at with affection by some oblivious kid.
Matt Green seems to know that dolls can be creepy has hell and amps that feeling to the max in this double feature anthology, EVIL LITTLE THINGS. Tying the entire film together is a wraparound segment entitled “The Clown” which is less about an evil clown doll (though it has one in the segment) and more about a monstrous father who gets annoyed by his son calling out in the night that he is scared. The father is played by GREMLINS’ Zach Galligan who plays off type as the abusive dad. I’m not sure how this low fi flick nabbed him for the role, but he plays a bad dad pretty well.
The real meat and potatoes of EVIL LITTLE THINGS comes in the two tales presented around “The Clown” story. First up is a story called “Blood For Gold” starring V/H/S’ “I like you” gal Hannah Fierman. Fierman is an extremely talented actress and does what she can with this segment. Sadly, the short drags on for too long and is in desperate need of an edit. The story deals with a strange occurrence that happened when Fierman’s character Jessica and her sister Susan were kids. The two wee Irish lasses claim to have seen a real leprechaun and have the gold coin to prove it. Years later, when Fierman’s character is a mother herself, a leprechaun doll shows up on her doorstep. With her husband out of town and her kids out trick or treating with Susan, Fierman is left alone in the house to do battle with the leprechaun doll. Fierman makes like Karen Black in TRILOGY OF TERROR’s “Amelia” aka “Prey” segment, battling the little green doll as it stalks her around the house with a knife. Though Fierman gives her all in this segment, the story is rather weak and there are way too many chances for Fierman to notice that the doll is alive and dangerous that her character doesn’t react at all to. It felt as if Fierman wasn’t given the direction or didn’t know what to do with the story because it lacked proper plotting or logic. Fierman is way too good for this segment and deserves to be in films much better than what was given to her here.
The second half of EVIL LITTLE THINGS delivers a tale called “Be Careful What You Wish For” about a young woman disfigured in a fire named Abby (Courtney Lakin) who collects dolls, but focuses on a specific one disfigured in the fire with her. The doll talks with her, puts her down, and makes sure that she never is tempted to leave the sanctity of her own little home. The doll also likes to disfigure any doll Abby buys, adding them to Abby’s twisted collection of damaged toys. When Abby decides to go to a doll convention, she runs into an old boyfriend and has a chance for happiness. Of course, Abby’s doll isn’t too keen on that. “Be Careful What You Wish For” is the highlight of EVIL LITTLE THINGS for me. It’s creepy and atmospheric. Lakin does a fantastic job as Abby, who wishes for good things, but is thwarted in attaining them by her overbearing and ugly little doll. This one is filled with all kinds of psychological darkness and some downright bone-chilling imagery
So EVIL LITTLE THINGS is both hit and miss with one fantastic little segment and one with a great actress but a story that is lacking. If you like low fi fare and find dolls creepy (who doesn’t?), then I think you’re going to like at least half of EVIL LITTLE THINGS.