Saturday, 13 September 2014
MOVIE: Pin (1988)
Canada 1988, 103m, New World/Lance/Téléfilm Canada
DVD: Arrow Films, Cert. 15
Brother and sister Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cynthia Preston) have grown to trust the advice of a medical dummy named Pin, unaware that his voice is provided, ventriloquist style by their doctor father (Terry O'Quinn). As they grow older, Leon is unable to accept the reality that Pin is just a dummy. As several people meet with a nasty demise, is Leon possibly right?
This is something of a hidden gem, and one of the more intriguing horror items of its period, keeping you guessing as to whether Leon is completely crazy or if there is life in the old dummy after all. You know that Leon is losing his grip and his mindset is increasingly deranged, and yet you can't help but have some sympathy for him too, thanks to a thoughtful performance by David Hewlett. An incident Leon witnesses as a child at his father's surgery could turn any kid's mind askew, and with a strict and obsessively clean mother to boot it's a surprise that Ursula isn't sent mad as well, for she emerges remarkably balanced but loyal to her brother.
Writer/director Sandor Stern (adapting Andrew Neiderman's novel) manages to keep things suitably ambivalent until the film's closing moments. If you're in the mood for something a bit more cerebral, Pin is well worth tracking down.
Note: There have been a few DVD releases of Pin over the years - For best picture and sound quality (and in the absence of a Blu-Ray upgrade at the time of writing), the 2013 Arrowdrome release is probably the one to go for.