The Short Review:

In college, I used to go to art student showings with my artist girlfriend.  What struck me was in addition to being poorly executed,  almost everything I saw was painfully personal.  It was like group therapy with crayons, but because it was college it was way more expensive.  Even worse than that is when art is deliberately vague, implying that if you don’t fill in the blanks for the artist – well, then, you must walk on your knuckles or something.  Screw that.  It’s lazy, pretentious and boring.

When I watch short low-budget movies, I often relive the experience of going to student art shows.  So much of it is painfully personal or worse,  falls into the latter category, trying to bluff you into thinking that you’re too stupid to “get it.”  Is Dollface just another example of why the indy filmmaker’s are shut out?  We shall see. . .

Dollface is one of those movies where the story takes place, either in part or in whole, in the mind of the protagonist.  Are those voices real or am I just in need of medication and counseling?  Did  blood really come spurting out of the walls or am I just seeing things?  We’ve seen this sort of thing before, with success, from Sam Raimi and Terry Gilliam– among others.  So I like to give these movies a second viewing unless they are visually boring or a poorly written snoozefest.   I was able to get though Dollface a second time with no problem.  It’s a short film, roughly twenty minutes in runtime – in fact it took me longer to write, proof read, correct and post his review than it did for me to watch Dollface.

One of most glaring issues with low budget shorts is weak acting.  I watch more than my share of low budget horror films, so I have seen more than my share of bad acting.  Dollface avoids this trap.  Tiffany Moy, as Maxine ably carries the movie.  She does all the little things an actor needs to do in order to build a character when dialogue and exposition aren’t there to share the load.

Visually Dollface is amazing.   The production design, special effects, make up effects and costuming were done by Mike Etoll and, again, Tiffany Moy.  I want to talk about specifics, but I don’t want to spoil the movie which you’ll be able to watch in its entirety  should you follow the links at the bottom of the review.

Jon Springer’s direction, camera work and editing are all pretty smooth.  It’s hard to get a story this big conveyed in twenty minutes, so the climax seemed sudden and jarring – though visually arresting.

So what’s the film about?  I can’t tell you because that would spoil it.  Assuming that I’m understanding the story correctly Dollface covers ground that has been covered in horror films before, in such classic as Dracula’s Daughter, The Haunting, or Cat People.

I liked Dollface well enough to want to see Cricket Film’s  full length feature The Hagstone Demon.

Dollface Part One – –   Dollface Part Two

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