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In this low-budget descendant of Psycho, Ursula and Leon are sister and brother, living alone, save for a large wooden puppet they call "Pin" (for Pinocchio). When Ursula starts hanging around with new boyfriend Stan, Leon and Pin take action. Written by
Leon and Ursula's parents aren't very affectionate. Their mother cares more about a spotless perfect household and their doctor father is always at work. He often brings them along, and uses ventriloquism to make it seem like his medical "anatomy" dummy is speaking to them. The kids are quite fond of the dummy (Pin) and believe he is really alive. As teens, after various upsetting events, they find themselves living in their home alone. Ursula is trying to become a well-adjusted adult, but Leon finds that his only true friend is Pin and still thinks he is actually alive. Is he? Or is Leon going crazy?
This is a very bizarre movie, and one of the better horror films I've seen from the 80s. The first half hour or so is sort of awkward to watch due to some of the children's experiences. The latter half of the film doesn't focus on Leon's psychology as much as one would expect, though it is clear that the kid has a warped idea of sexuality based on his twisted parental guidance and a freaky...incident he witnessed involving his beloved Pin. The acting is above average for an 80s horror film, and most genre fans will recognize David Hewlitt from "Cube." He does a good job playing the potentially-psycho teenager, and Cynthia Preston is marvelous as the sister trying to bring some stability to the family. Overall, this is an interesting, mildly creepy, and refreshingly toned-down offering from the decade of excess.
My Rating: 7/10.
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