Pin

December 11th, 2014 by Anna McKibben

Pin   Pin dvd front 82x120 thriller reviews reviews horror Director: Sandor Stern
Writer: Sandor Stern, based on a novel by Andrew Neiderman
Release Year:
1988

Oh dear… it looks like Leon’s been playing with his doll again…

Pin   Mr Horror minilogo thriller reviews reviews horror A boy’s best friend may not be his mother, but rather a mannequin named Pin. Just the normal way of life for the Linden children… until Pin starts taking on a life of his own.

Pin   Pin title screen 300x224 thriller reviews reviews horror

(Spoilers follow…)

Brother and sister Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula Linden (Cynthia Preston) live under the ever-watchful eye of their ultra-controlling and uptight parents (Bronwen Mantel and Terry O’Quinn). Everything about their lives is tidy and coordinated; synchronized snacktime before bed isn’t unusual, the furniture is covered in thick plastic, and evening activities include counting backward from 100 by increments of seven. Their father is the local doctor and also a brilliant ventriloquist who uses Pin, a life-sized, anatomically correct doll as a teaching tool. Leon, having so few friends at school, grows up believing that Pin is his only companion. This friendship grows into something increasingly sinister, and soon it’s clear that Leon is not entirely of sound mind.

Pin   Pin mathematics 300x224 thriller reviews reviews horror

‘Pin’ is the kind of horror movie that works because it’s so bizarre, but also plays it really low-key. The idea of a talking, living mannequin is naturally absurd, and yet somehow this film manages to spend just enough time treating Pin as a separate character that there are moments where you find yourself thinking, “yes, this dummy is alive.” This is a study in mental breakdown, treated with far more respect than the average “crazy killer” horror film. Knowing the kind of childhood Leon had, gives enough insight to see why he acts the way he does toward his sister and also toward Pin, but it also doesn’t make him terribly sympathetic. Hewlett, as Leon, stays cold throughout the film, his face revealing a constant struggle underneath. It’s a refreshingly un-exploitative portrayal of mental illness.

Pin   Pin Terry 300x224 thriller reviews reviews horror

The rest of the cast is fantastic as well, with Preston as the pretty and surprisingly well-adapted Ursula, and fan favorite O’Quinn in a too-brief role as Dr. Linden. ‘Pin’ was recently featured in Hidden Horror, a book of essays on underappreciated horror films, and rightfully so – it seems that this film fell by the wayside at some point for whatever reason, but it certainly deserves to be seen by fans of the psychological horror genre. Unfortunately, the DVD is out of print at the time here in the States. There’s a glitchy version up on YouTube, so the better option would be the most recent European release on the now defunct Dutch Mr. Horror label. It’s worth it; even if presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the digitally restored picture quality of this region 2 edition is decent. Here’s hoping that ‘Pin’ will experience a new and decent home video release some time soon.

Pin   Pin dinner 300x224 thriller reviews reviews horror


Rating: Pin   star thriller reviews reviews horror Pin   star thriller reviews reviews horror Pin   star thriller reviews reviews horror Pin   star thriller reviews reviews horror Pin   halfstar thriller reviews reviews horror

 

DVD specifics:

Pin   Pin dvd back 84x120 thriller reviews reviews horror Pin   Mr Horror 15 thriller reviews reviews horror Running time: 102 mins
Region:
2
Audio:
English, Mono 1.0
Subtitles:
Dutch, French
Aspect ratio:
4/3 (1.33)
Extra’s:
Making Of (22 mins)
Audio commentary by director Sandorn Stern and journalist Res Newsom
Trailer ‘Pin (1.78)
Trailers Mr. Horror Presents (‘The Roost’, ‘Next Door’ & ‘White Skin’)


Trailer on YouTube.


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