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Review: 'Toys Of Terror' Boasts Retro Feel, Few Chills

by Ken Tasho
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jan 19, 2021
Review: 'Toys Of Terror' Boasts Retro Feel, Few Chills

Christmas season has come and gone, with annual viewings of the horror classics "Black Christmas" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night" all but a distant memory.

And now the question looms: Will "Toys of Terror" becomes the new yuletide go-to DVD for annual Christmas terror? The fact that Warner Brothers has released this new retro-styled film after the holidays is suspect. Perhaps there was little faith in this film. The story places more emphasis on family-friendly scenes over horror.

"Toys of Terror" takes the elements of the Christmas slasher genre - "Krampus," "Gremlins" - and any of the numerous ghost stories out there, combining them all into a tale of its own.

Like the blended "Brady Bunch" family, a recently married couple moves their respective children to an abandoned mansion in the hopes of flipping it. The mother, Hannah, seems more concerned with the money they can make. The father, David, goes along with what she says.

The children, Zoe and Franklin, hole up in the attic and find pleasure after discovering a treasure filled with toys. The housekeeper/nanny gets attacked one night by a flying toy, in a scene reminiscent of the much superior "Gremlins" from 1984.

And why are Zoe and Franklin suddenly acting so aloof and non-communicative? Are they possessed?

As Christmas morning arrives, it will be a deadly fight of toys vs. humans to see who will survive.

The "R" rating given to "Toys of Terror" doesn't seem warranted. This is definitely PG-13 material with little violence and a scant amount of terror. And the special effects seem purposely dated, giving the film a low-budget, retro feel.

In the two-minute special feature "Toys of Terror Come to Life," the creation of stop motion special effects is examined with behind-the-scenes footage. Also very brief is "A Terrifying Weekend: Making of Toys of Terror," which features interviews with the director and actors.

"Toys of Terror" is out on DVD from Warner Bros. on January 19, 2021

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things ’80’s and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with ’80’s rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.

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