5.8/10
1,580
22 user 19 critic

The Doll Master (2004)

Inhyeongsa (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | 6 August 2004 (South Korea)
5 young people, a quiet doll maker in a wheelchair and her dedicated helper, a chained old man in the basement and a mysterious young girl in red... all together in a lonely doll museum in ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yu-mi Kim ...
Hae-mi
Eun-kyeong Lim ...
Mi-na
Hyeong-tak Shin ...
Tae-seong
...
Yeong-ha
Hyeong-jun Lim ...
Jeong-ki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Choi (Curator)
Yu-mi Jeong
Ka-Yeong Lee ...
Seon-yeong
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Storyline

5 young people, a quiet doll maker in a wheelchair and her dedicated helper, a chained old man in the basement and a mysterious young girl in red... all together in a lonely doll museum in the woods. What starts out as a fun trip to pose for new dolls soon turns into a nightmare that not everyone will survive. Written by CyberRax

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Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 August 2004 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The Doll Master  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Pretty cool but ultimately unspectacular slice of Korean horror
25 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I find it sort of hard to rate this film, since though I enjoy it, its the sort of thing that can easily start to crumble under the weight of too much thought and whilst undoubtedly one should use the critical faculties to root out flaws and falsehoods in art I think there is enough good (and importantly likable here to make serious digs a little churlish. Some seem to like it a lot, some don't at all, I dug it but I think it pretty much averages out at a six. The first thing to note here is that the film sidesteps the long haired ghost girl conventions have have plagued a lot of (though not all) spooky Asian cinema in favor of a somewhat more nifty and unusual set up. The story see five people head to a gallery in the forest to have dolls made of them by an enigmatic master craftswoman. I won't go too much into the story but suffice to say there is a standard past injustice in the mix, murders and some interesting and unexpected goings on. The setting is great, with the gallery a sparse and elegant place, clean, nicely lit and surrounded by beautiful grounds and forest. There are some unexpected shocks and one sweetly nasty kill scene, as well as a certain poignant and interesting emotional current. Coming onto the emotional and psychological side of the film brings us to the main problem, that being that the film never quite manages to gel its plot, its horror and its underlying themes, with a rushed final act, kinda silly finale and an overall feeling that there should have been more scares or grue. I mean, its not completely dry but somehow when I bought it and read on the box that it featured strong and bloody violence, I expected something more than a film that has less grue than a number of 15 certificate horrors I've come across. Its not even that I demand gore with my horror, but this was one that blatantly doesn't deserve its 18 certificate. As well as this niggle, though its one I'll almost certainly revisit, I'm not sure I can see its themes and their treatment holding up on repeat viewings. There are moments that called be called trite and fairly weak and undistinguished characters too. Altogether I'd say this is quite a nice effort from director Yong-Ki-Jeong, original, fun and interesting, but it definitely needed more thought, more intensity and better characterisation. Just about worth a watch if you really dig Asian horror and need to catch them all, but more casual viewers likely will not be so impressed.


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