Written by J. Michael Whalen
Stars: John C. Bailey, Teena Byrd, Sarah Lomke, Nicholas Wagner.
Many thanks to director J.Michael Whalen for sending me a DVD copy of his short horror film The Crann Doll. The film will soon part of the holiday themed horror anthology - MERRY F@#KING CHRISTMAS (awesome name) and I was only too delighted to check the film out, particularly after seeing a few stills of the titular doll, which looks a bit like a murderous rabbit!
Viewers who like gore and action may not be too impressed with The Crann Doll and I don't mean this in a negative way against the film its just a fact - the film relies on a build up to an eerie final shot where the viewer is left wondering what may happen next. Very much to its the credit the film succeeds in the build up due to interesting characters and an ominous atmosphere.
So the plot - disgustingly rude and mean spirited Allen (John C. Bailey) is stopped by a a young couple out on the road, Bedillia and Alosious Crann (Sarah Lomke and Nicholas Wagner who are desperate for help for their young baby. Allen is not in the helpful mood it would be fair to say and gives Alosious a really hard time and demands payment of some kind to in order for him to agree to take the pair and sick child into town. After a painful exchange between the two, Allen makes it clear he doesn't trust the pair and isn't prepared to help and drives off...however this then causes an even more horrific tragedy to befall the young Crann child, devastating the young parents. Allen of course drives off.
Fast forward three months and Allen is at home in the company of drugs and a prostitute (Teena Byrd) ready to live it up. Being Christmas and the time for giving Allen is surprised to find a mystery package turn up at him apartment. The gift turns out to be the Crann Doll of the title, a mean looking little bugger and sadly for Allen a gift from the Crann couple from months prior....
Allen's female company for the evening decides to scarper when she realises who the gift is from - it seems the Crann family are very dangerous and certainly not to be messed with. Considering what Allen did to them.... well.......
As it said before there is not much in the way of action in this short, not where pay off is concerned anyway. The ending is creepy and its made quite clear that our unlovable lead Allen is in big trouble. I would love to see a feature film or maybe an extended short continuing the story of the Crann Doll as there is huge potential here for a good, scary killer toy film.
The performances were really good also with John C. Bailey the obvious stand out as the despicable Allen - John is great to watch as one of horror films most unsympathetic and cruel men, but his character also makes you want to reach into the TV and throttle him.
I am most certainly eager to see more of J. Michael Whalen's work and am also really looking forward to watching this film again as part of the full anthology that it will form part of!