It all began so innocently for two children growing up in the deepest countryside, their imaginations set ablaze by a book on local myths and legends. Berenice convinces her younger brother... See full summary »
It all began so innocently for two children growing up in the deepest countryside, their imaginations set ablaze by a book on local myths and legends. Berenice convinces her younger brother Brian that she is the reincarnation of a witch with the powers to put everything right. As they grow up Brian becomes emotionally dependent on his sister, so that when she returns to the family home for Christmas with her new boyfriend he feels totally betrayed. At the same time a man strongly resembling the mythical Jake the Mid-Folker is closing in. An overwhelming sense of impending horror surrounds the house, but is the enemy outside - or is the enemy within? Written by
I really wanted to like this movie, because it is refreshingly different from the hordes of everyday horror movie clones, and I appreciate that the filmmakers are trying for something original. Unfortunately, the plot just didn't hold together and none of the characters were likable enough for me to really care about them or their fates.
Visually, The Toybox was pretty interesting. The director took a lot of somewhat risky moves, like adding in little bits of (Flash-looking) animation in parts and really cheesing up some of the special effects (such as the light from a certain amulet). Sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn't, but he deserves kudos for the attempt, and the cinematography was generally of high quality.
Unfortunately, when this same approach of throwing lots of things at the wall to see what sticks was applied to the plot, the results were not very good. The film never really finds a tone that it likes, moving schizophrenically from black comedy to family soap opera to 80's witchcraft flick to childhood nostalgia to embattled-family slasher. Taken on their own, bits and pieces of each of these elements work fairly well, but nothing ever coheres into a satisfying whole. Besides that, large bits of the plot are never really explained. I'm not one who likes to have everything spoon-fed to me, and I like movies that leave things up to the audience to decide, but the parts that are left out from The Toybox just seem like they either ran out of money before they could explain them or they didn't really think things through to begin with.
I look forward to the director's next project, since I think there is a lot of talent lurking under the surface here, but I can't really recommend The Toybox on its own merits.
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