Writer/Director William Butler keeps the Demonic Toys series alive with this fifth installment, Demonic Toys: Jack Attack. After her foster mother is murdered by a killer clown and an evil jack in the box, Lily (Sofia Castellanos) is taken in by Tyler (Sean Ramey) and Kate Yost (Christine Brunner). Troubled by the mysterious and brutal death of Lily’s foster mother, which has left her mute, Audrey Haines (Mabel Thomas), the Child Protective Services worker assigned to Lily’s case, cautiously drops her off with her new foster family. Unfortunately for Lily, the demonic duo has already moved in. As the killer toys begin feasting on Lily’s new dysfunctional family, Lily must face her fears and send these toys back to hell.
“As the killer toys begin feasting on Lily’s new dysfunctional family, Lily must face her fears and send these toys back to hell.”
Demonic Toys: Jack Attack struggles to both find scares and develop its characters beyond the two-dimensional. Characters fall into the cliché and clunky dialogue, like asking a single woman if she’s thinking about having a baby, which makes you tilt your head and wonder, “Who talks like this?” After the twist ending completely undermines who Lily and Audrey are, you are left without a single likable character. Although Jack, the evil jack in the box, is an established villain in the series, there is still a missed opportunity to create mystery around him. We immediately see Jack and his killer clown accomplice in bright lighting and mostly brightly lit scenes throughout the film. Like a jack in the box, these monsters spring onto the screen, and the scare ends there. From then on, you know what to expect.
These toy monsters purposely function more comedically than menacingly, similar to the clowns in Killer Klowns From Outer Space. However, the klowns in that film fit the tone and environment they exist in. Tone is a significant weakness in this film. The music sometimes makes you feel as though you’re expecting Chip and Joanna Gaines to walk into the frame and remodel the foster family’s farmhouse. Then you’re hit with the stepfather, Tyler Yost, laying out his sexual plans for Lily while we segue to bodies being mutilated and casual conversation about French toast. It’s still not as egregious as director David Gordon Green’s infamous “Banh Mi Sandwiches” scene in his tonally inept 2018 Halloween sequel.
There are some impressive kills in this film, however, that any horror film fan will appreciate. Unfortunately, it’s not enough even at its slim 58-minute run time. Ultimately, these toys should’ve stayed in their box.
"…impressive kills...that any horror film fna will appreciate."