A low budgeted offering of a creepy doll named Heidi as one already knows it’s a vindictive and thoroughly possessed doll, but not in the sense of Chucky, rather more guarded and eager to inflict harm than just wanting to play. This is a found footage horror film produced by Neon Mirage, written and directed by Daniel Ray, who like many indie projects, wears almost all the hats in behind the scenes, but thankful enough for achieving what many don’t find, the success of getting distribution and in this case through Wild Eye Releasing. An interesting side note when most cinema fans (over 50) hear the name Heidi, they likely to reflect back to the television film of the same name and if a football fan the infamous Jets vs Raiders, where viewers thought their TVs became possessed, as the network switched from the game to movie without warning.

The film opens with a traditional music score and credit sequence consisting of a montage of vintage dolls, mostly disfigured, even a Raggedy Anne version, eluding to Annabelle, of these just the forgotten ones from The Island of the Dolls in Mexico City. It then film transitions to found footage. Fourth of July weekend and high school friends Ryan (Samuel Brian) and Jack (Joey Bell (Killers at Play [2015]) are in the midst of enjoying their summer vacation maintain a prank-based YouTube vloggers series, called Booya. This clearly gives the reasons for constantly filming assists the viewers, as often in the subgenre without anyone needing to complain about the appearance of cameras. Ryan’s first action, scaring his older sister Rachel (Eva Falana) while he and Jack wear rubber Halloween masks and in the opening scene introduces Ryan and Rachel and reveals that Rachel is moving out of the family home into her own apartment. Soon Ryan lands a job to care for birds and home cleaning of an elderly woman Marilyn Weinmann (Paranormal Extremes [2015]) as Dottie, one day when she’s not around Jack tags along. Soon they discover the attic door and an investigation leads to the discovery of Heidi, their tomfoolery consists of roughly manhandling her by throwing and kicking her. Not even close to the way to handle a woman. As a series of strange events, and deaths mount quickly, a Detective Michael Monteiro (Alien Domicile [2017]) appears on the scene, as a no-nonsense gentleman, investigation and increasing pressure on Ryan without seeming comical.

There are always problems and issues that a film encounters whether low-budgeted or a multi-million-dollar production, however Ray uses many different types of cameras and provides on screen reasoning for each one them. Aside from two clearly handheld video cameras, and then a spy, GoPro, iPhone, webcam, nanny cameras and likely a few others employed. When the paranormal or demonic moments occurred the camera flickers and glitches, highlighting the power drains and never truly show the doll actually doing anything not even a manifestation. While the appearance of the doll might seem a tad creepy, but any doll could, perhaps except those American Girl or Barbie ones can freak out individuals, there’s a phobia related to it. However, not everyone is going to find Heidi that scary, and definitely not gory.

While a doll horror movie, always hold a special place in the horror genre, falling to the same grouping of puppets, mannequins, still holding itself aside from toys in general, does work to creep out a solid selection of viewers. Ray’s movie feels like a combination of Child’s Play (1988) dating Annabelle (2014) with the scares appealing more directly to found footage viewers and those, which suffer from the phobia than seasoned horror fans. Nevertheless, the flick generates some creative moments, while trying to separate itself from the countless other found footage movies.

Tagline: Playtime is over…





IMDb Rating: 4.7/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10