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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 »

Director:

Yong-ki Jeong

Writer:

Yong-ki Jeong
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yu-mi Kim Yu-mi Kim ... Hae-mi
Eun-kyeong Lim Eun-kyeong Lim ... Mi-na
Hyung Tak Shim Hyung Tak Shim ... Tae-seong (as Hyeong-tak Shin)
Ji-young Ok ... Yeong-ha
Hyeong-jun Lim Hyeong-jun Lim ... Jeong-ki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ho-jin Chun ... Choi (Curator)
Yu-mi Jeong Yu-mi Jeong
Ka-Yeong Lee Ka-Yeong Lee ... Seon-yeong
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

6 August 2004 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Doll Master See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$124,073
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Better than I expected
13 July 2005 | by Gilbo51See all my reviews

I wandered into Blockbuster with a friend the other night having decided that we were too broke and too lazy to do active. She decided she wanted to watch Closer, which seemed like such a repellant idea that I had to rent another film for once she'd gone to bed. Looking around I didn't see much that interested me, but saw The Doll Master in the new releases section. Just based on the cover sleeve (A woman with a doll-like face crying tears of blood) I thought this would be interesting enough to rent.

As for the film itself, watching it in an almost empty house, with all the lights turned off it was pretty scary. I must admit I've always had a bit of a phobia of dolls since I was a kid (and watched an awful film called Asylum, one of the stories in it involved a mental patient creating a doll which killed people. Lame, but scary at the time) and the first three quarters of this film really hit the spot for me. The first half hour in particular was awesome. The creepy foreboding atmosphere really set the scene well, and without moving the dolls seemed genuinely threatening. But unfortunately as soon as they did start to move it all got a bit cheesy, I was a bit disappointed when moments that could have been genuinely frightening made me laugh because of the way they were filmed.

As for the characters, it's a horror film, you're not really expecting anything memorable. I found I remembered names and faces better than most Asian horror films I've seen, which suggests there must have been some hidden character development that I didn't consciously notice. The typical stereotypes are out in force in this movie each one having some kind of character quirk that sets them apart from the others, from shy and quiet Yeong-ha and her doll Damien, to the outgoing bimbo Seon-yeong.

The plot itself was fairly cool, even though the ending, which bought together many of the loose strands of plot, seemed a bit confused and didn't really do anything for me, although it did have a couple of really cool plot-twists that I won't ruin here. The basic plot is a bunch of kids are invited to be modelled as dolls by a famous reclusive old doll maker, they have to stay in the creepy house (adorned with scary dolls, some big some small) and things start to happen as our heroine Hae-mi starts to explore areas of the house and things start happening to the other inhabitants.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the film, not to watch with too many people as some of the moments would probably make you laugh if surrounded by friends, but as something too watch on your own in the dark, with the windows and doors open just a bit, just in case any dolls feel like watching with you. It really does leave you guessing for most of the film, allowing you to go off on wild conspiracy theories only to completely destroy them later on. If you really get into it and ignore it's cheesiness in places I can guarantee you'll check under your bed before you go to sleep and maybe even leave the lights on.

Or maybe that's just me :P As for Closer, it was OK but I preferred this.


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