The plot twist. It seems that there is a thin line between good plot twists (What is Rosebud, “Luke, I am your father”) to bad plot twists (It was all a dream, turns out the killer and the lead are related etc.). Lance J Reha’s “Baby Doll” is an odd film because it possesses a great gem of a story idea but chooses to spoil it right away instead of allowing the idea to develop over the course of the film and actually surprise the audience.
Since the film has no problem in spoiling the idea then neither do I, Casey (Rosemary Gore) is a middle aged woman who, thanks to a horror she witnessed as a child, violently regresses back into her past dressing up as a little girl and torturing men unfortunate enough to get close to her. There is something inherently creepy about this premise but Reha and company never work to draw the suspense out. Seeing how the audience knows immediately that Casey is unhinged then the back story involving her going about her daily life seems unnecessary.
There is really no one for the audience to root for since Casey is insane and her tied up victim (Victor Moreyra) comes off more as a jerk than sympathetic. Gore’s portrayal of psycho Casey is understandably over the top but she is allowed to stay in crazy mode for faaaaar too long. As a twist ending seeing Casey turn psychotic would have worked but seeing her act strangely throughout the film is more annoying than scary.
A late plot twist makes little sense and is a weak effort to add one last shock to the proceedings which is ironic given that with a few plot revisions the story of “Baby Doll” has a great ending built right in (show Casey as a mature, career driven women who avoids relationships. Why? BECAUSE SHE’S NUTS).
As part of “The Minds Eye” short film series put out by Lake Films I am interested to see future projects but hopefully they come together more successfully than “Baby Doll”.