For a January release, Toys of Terror might seem a little out of place. Being a horror film that takes place around Christmas, you might expect it to release sometime between Halloween and Christmas.
Well, guess what…it was. It was released in October in digital format and played on SyFy in December. What we have this month is the physical release of the movie on DVD. For my money, there is no time of year you can watch a horror movie. It’s like saying you can only watch Die Hard at Christmas because it’s a Christmas movie (yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie).
During the Christmas season, Zoe and her brother Franklin move with their family into a secluded mansion with a secret, dark past. The parents spend all of their time renovating the house, and the children get bored. They come across a toy chest hidden in the attic, and they are surprised to find that inside the chest are toys that magically come to life. At first, the toys are delightful, singing songs and doing dances. But soon, things take a dark turn, and we find the toys have evil intentions.
Many will find Toys of Terror to be a bit tame. The writing is somewhat slow and at times predictable (somewhat surprising since it was written by Stan Against Evil writer, Dana Gould) with it taking about an hour into the film to get to the first kill.
For fans of gore, you won’t find a lot here that will satisfy that need. Some of the kills are actually kind of humorous and incite a laugh. Many things work in favor of the film, though. The performances are good – mostly out of the young children. What I think works for this film is the director (Nicholas Verso – Boys in the Trees). He brings a surprisingly real layer of sentimentality that is missing from most horror films. He relies on stop-motion to make the toys come to life, which some may consider crude in a world of CGI, but I found it endearing. It reminded me of one of those old Rankin Bass Christmas specials. The toys even have song and dance numbers in keeping with that as well. It’s fun and really engaging.
While the film is never genuinely scary in a real sense, it is a lot of fun to watch. It’s the kind of movie that walks the line for a family. If you have older kids that are ready to try out horror films, but you don’t want to subject them to the advanced gore, nudity, and violence of the horror genre, this would be a good starter. The kids can probably handle it and find it entertaining while the parents can enjoy it with them. But if your kid’s favorite movie is Toy Story, they probably will never see that film the same way!
Toys of Terror is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros Entertainment.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in