27th Apr2020

‘Puppet Killer’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Aleks Paunovic, Lee Majdoub, Lisa Durupt, Richard Harmon, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Kyle Cassie, Geoff Gustafson, Beverley Elliott, Johannah Newmarch | Written by Kevin Mosley | Directed by Lisa Ovies

Puppet Killer… Where do I start..? As a child Jamie is given a puppet called Simon from his dying mother. Jamie also develops more than a passing interest in all of the classic horror movies and loves nothing more than to watch them with Simon. Cut to 10 years later and Jamie is now in his late teens (oh, we will talk about this) and heading to a cabin in the woods with his friends. Wouldn’t you know it his old friend Simon cant wait to meet and kill Jamie’s friends in some horror-icon inspired ways.

Wow… Wow. The opening of Puppet Killer starts off strong, with a montage of Jamie growing up through the years with his puppet pal, this block of the film is pretty well put together and tells a a sad tale but in a warm way. Then we jump 10 years ahead to a grown up Jamie (apparently 18-19 played by a 40-odd year old) and the acting becomes ropey, the dialogue hamfisted and the story is just mmental; and thats not mentioning the weird overtly gay references that sub in for jock talk. All of this made me want to fall out with the film and we hadn’t even got to the puppet killings yet! Surely this will be my breaking point… Right?

Wrong! The more Puppet Killer went on and the more absurd it got, I found myself just embracing it and dare I say it, loving it! So the dialogue is hamfisted and cheesy, but so were a lot of those classic horrors of the 80s and 90s; and lets be honest thats what director Lisa Ovies is going for. Now for the ridiculous aging of these characters, we are led to believe this kids are in their late teens but this is batshit considering the lead actor looks about 45 but I found myself being less and less bothered by this, especially upon realising its not exactly going to be the silliest thing in this movie.

DIrector Lisa Ovies does pay homage to some of the great horrors, not just with the little nods but also the deaths – which were pretty bad ass, nice and gory but not to excess. That being said Simon (The Puppet) is no Chucky. I know thats an obvious and somewhat unfair comparrison to make but Chucky’s kills usually come off as somewhat doable where as some of Simon’s were just straight nonsense.

Honestly, at the start of the film a big part of me was just not that invested; but to be completely fair the Puppet Killer kind of becomes one of those “so silly its pretty good” films and that kept me hooked. I can look over the weird casting choices and the cheese as long as the story makes sense and keeps me entertained. And Puppet Killer, for a whole host of reasons, kept me entertained.

Ultimately Puppet Killer is a huge recommend from me. Oh, and shout out to Soska Sisters who are somewhat of a shining light in the film!


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