Monday, February 4, 2019

Losers Weepers

It's here! A whole month of posts about vertically challenged villains, forever known as The Shortening. Evil dolls, terrible children, biting insects, Tom Cruises...whatever is small and deadly, we'll tackle it here.


Quick Plot: Newly separated Alyson moves her bratty daughter Claire into a bargain home with your typical murdery history. Just a year or so earlier, a young boy killed his parents before ending up in the local asylum. When Claire discovers a ratty doll under a floorboard, it's not long before she begins heading down the same path.

First on her hit list: neighbor Marina Sirtis's cat. 

I'm not going to lie about my bias: when your first victim is feline, I'm not going to be on your victim/villain's side.

Perhaps the hardest hurdle to get over in Finders Keepers is just why anyone should care about Claire's possession-by-doll. Sure, the kid doesn't have the greatest parental role models (we're talking Jaime Pressly and the king of Christmas movies himself, Patrick Muldoon), but it doesn't really excuse the fact that she's a miserable thing from the start. 

At least the doll has a neat look.

Directed by Alexander Yellen (whose career primarily involves cinematography on Asylum Studio films), Finders Keepers feels aggressively mediocre, even with (or maybe, because) it contains a fairly star-studded cast for this caliber of film. Deanna Troy purrs through a thankless cat lady part, Tobin "Jigsaw" Bell gets to give terrible psychiatric advice, and poor Justina Machado has her eyes poked out and body set on fire. 

And the brat keeps going.

High Points
There's a stupid slow motion doll toss that made me unreasonably happy, which tells you how much I was reaching for entertainment in this movie

Low Points
Did I mention how much I hated this kid?

Lessons Learned
I know this sounds crazy, but here me out: in the words of trained professionals, separation and divorce can be hard for a child

Never mess with a strange kid's ugly doll

The shorter your haircut, the longer your makeup will stay on your face

Eh. This wasn't the high note I was hoping to open The Shortening on, but it does manage to give us BOTH an evil child AND doll, so I guess it gets some kind of half nod. I got this as a long wait on my Netflix disc queue, which felt even less rewarding than I would have liked. 

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