Teddy Told Me To Image

Teddy Told Me To

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | March 2, 2023

Filming a scary movie in an already frightening place shakes up the horror soda can for a big bloody spray. And Devlin’s effects are good, goofy, and wet enough to satisfy the core audience. It also has that colored lighting which looks so damn swell. The production is a Devlin family enterprise, as Lily steals the show, and star Lola Devlin co-wrote the screenplay with Vincent Cusimano, who also plays Jimmy. It seems like a lot of people had a lot of fun making this, which is a good thing.

However, as judge Nina Garcia would say on Project Runway, “Your level of taste concerns me.” Teddy Told Me To seems to be a shrine to crap horror pictures, the kind that infested the second half of the 1980s. This was a period where the genre lost all its pride, crashing from the peaks of the early 80s into a mass of lame jokes and self-disdain. This was the boobs and blood period defining direct-to-video productions for years. Because they didn’t have to compete in the theatrical arena, these films were usually lazily made without respect for whoever would pick up the box.

“…shakes up the horror soda can for a big bloody spray.”

I can appreciate that this will have sentimental value for some, while others may argue about purposeful camp. However, this is an exercise to recreate and celebrate that crap without the right context. The rampant objectification seems especially stale, as there is no longer any commercial reason to include it.

Mind you, Creepy magazine was far from crap. If Teddy Told Me To had aimed for the standards Warren publishing applied to their magazines, there would be much more to celebrate here. But by emulating the low point of horror, Devlin ruins a clean shot at something great. Yes, there is a decent twist, and yes, the post-credit sequence is quite awesome, but that is still frosting on a broken plate of s**t. Horror fans of a certain generation will probably get the appeal a lot more than I did. However, I wish Teddy had told the filmmaker to add a few drops of dignity into the gallons of fake blood. 

Teddy Told Me To (2023)

Directed: Tom Devlin

Written: Vincent Cusimano, Lola Devlin

Starring: Kamarra Cole, Topher Hansson, Lisa Wilcox, C.J. Graham, Lola Devlin, Lily Devlin, Felissa Rose, Warrington Gillette, Tabitha Stevens, Vincent Cusimano, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

Teddy Told Me To Image

"…others may argue about purposeful camp."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon