Directed by Al Lougher
Sometimes dead isn’t better. To celebrate Pet Sematary coming back with style, online horror distributor Alter has hosted the award-winning short film The Dollmaker, inspired by the story, on YouTube. Their channel, which is well worth following, aims to explore the human condition through “warped and uncanny perspectives”, and this offering is no exception. Directed by Al Lougher, the story of a grieving mother latching on to a surrogate for her lost child has a similarly dark Faustian deal at its centre to Stephen King’s classic.
The tight script comes courtesy of Matias Caruso, who wrote the Joe Lynch black-comedy Mayhem. It always impresses me, with accomplished short form horror, how efficiently the makers can do the world building. Here we get captivating lore, a neat concept and an effective slice of magic-realism – all within the space of 9 minutes. It’s an intimate-scale horror with a nasty – but totally earned – string in the tale. So if you haven’t had your fix of dead child chillers yet, turn off the lights, get a mini bowl of popcorn, and click below.