Friday, October 8, 2010

A Plastic Nightmare

Director: Sandor Stern
Writer: Sandor Stern
Starring: David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston, Terry O'Quinn
1988 | Canada | R | 103 mins
★★ ★ ★ ½

Parents lie to their children. All the time. And it's not frowned upon as it is just a part of growing up and the rules of parenthood, with the pressures of consumerism and Santa Claus to the loss of a tooth to, hell, even religion in some aspects. It's just a fabricated comfort to keep the young and impressionable happy and safe from the harsh reality of life. But to think back on all this now, those lies told just to keep us smiling and innocent seem actually quite diabolical. And with that horrifying theme rooted deep in our reality author Andrew Neiderman and director Sandor Stern bring us the chilling tale of Pin - a plastic nightmare!

Growing up Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cynthia Preston) were given advice and life lessons from 'Pin', a life-size medical dummy in their father's (Terry O'Quinn) doctors office. Throwing his voice  and using 'Pin' as a teaching aid, Dr. Linden's helpful lies have a profound effect on Leon. After a tragic car accident leaves both parents dead, Leon and Ursula, now fully grown young adults, are left alone in their home, but Leon has taken on an exceedingly unhealthy friendship with 'Pin', which now has a disturbing voice of its own.

Pin is an unnerving and disturbingly effective psychological horror film. Dealing with themes of growing up, family, mental health, and even a darker theme of incest, Sandor Stern's direction is perfectly honed where the subtle, quiet, and almost too clean and neat look of the characters and surroundings act as a double-edged sword towards the subject matter. David Hewlett's performance as Leon is meticulous and his decent into paranoid schizophrenia is scary to watch. Cynthia Preston is a pleasure on screen, encompassing Ursula's fear and pain of her brother's condition while retaining her sisterly love for Leon where she doesn't want to see him locked up.

Often referred to as the Canadian PsychoPin spins a suspenseful tale of the fragility of mental health and family bonds where the lies we were told to shield us ultimately lead to our destruction. Sandor Stern, who also wrote the screenplay for the original Amityville Horror, knows the complexities of family and the cracks in mentality that can divide us as he expertly used these themes, to different extents and under different circumstances, in both The Amityville Horror and Pin. Taut, chilling, and expertly crafted, Pin is a masterpiece of intelligent horror that will have you thoroughly creeped out. 

All contents copyright 2010 Tyler Baptist

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