FINDERS KEEPERS (2014)
Directed by Alexander Yellen
Seperated from her husband, Alyson Simon and her 9 year old daughter Claire move into a new house away from the city. Unbeknownst to them, the house was once a murder scene when the 10 year old son of the previously tenants murdered his entire family. Begrudgingly settling into her new home, Claire finds a tatty looking doll under the floorboards and instantly falls in love with it. As the days and weeks wear on, Alyson notices her daughter acting strange and Claire’s obsession with the doll becomes serious. When dead bodies start turning up, Alyson and her estranged husband Jonathan realise that the doll may be to blame as they fight for their lives and the life of their daughter.
Made for the SyFy channel, FINDERS KEEPERS is a possession horror film where the evil in question is that of a creepy looking doll which once belonged to the previous child occupant. When Claire and her mother move into the new home, the viewer knows esactly what will happen, that Claire will find and become attached to the doll and that’s just what happens. The doll appears to have a demonic element to it, though because we never see the doll moving, it’s hard to work out whether it’s the doll, Claire or a wicked spirit that is committing the crimes around town. Although we spot it early on in the film, it takes the adult characters much longer to work it out, which can cause frustration at times.
The doll itself is a disturbing looking one and it isn’t surprising that other characters in the movie try to dispose of or give Claire a new doll, which results in those people adding to the pile of corpses in Claire’s wake. There is an interesting element to the film, in regards to the connection between Claire and the doll known as Lilith, which adds something extra to the film besides being a bare bones, basic horror.
The performances from the cast are pretty convincing and easy to watch. Jaime Pressly, of My Name Is Earl fame, stars as Alyson Simon, a mother who wants a clean break after the separation from her husband and finds a nice house out in the town for her and her daughter to settle into. However, when her daughter does anything but settle into the new home, Alyson begins to feel the pressure and unsure what to do, turns to her ex-husband Jonathan (Starship Troopers’ Patrick Muldoon), her friend Professor Elena (Final Destination 2‘s Justina Machado) and child psychiatrist Dr. Freeman (SAW‘s Tobin Bell). Young Kylie Rogers plays the role of Claire Simon as both innocent and manipulative, depending on the character’s state of mind at the time. She creates a great character to loathe and appears to relish playing the conniving little girl.
Though not particularly gory in any sense, the movie is incredibly sinister at times which helps to create the unease in the viewer. However, the film feels dragged out and even a bit silly in parts which disrupts the flow of the story. If you’re into scary doll films, you might wanna check FINDERS KEEPERS out, but don’t expect too much from it.