I was scrolling through the movies on Netflix recently and found a horror movie called Pinocchio’s Revenge. It seemed like my kind of bad movie, so I added it to my watch list. I sat down and watched it last night. I wrote a few silly tweets as I watched the movie. This morning I read some of the user reviews on IMDB and that has made me want to write my own.
I didn’t notice before I started the movie that it was made in 1996. I assumed it had been made only a few years ago. Now that filmmaking has gone digital, a rash of really bad movies are being made these days. I had assumed this was one of them. Despite the silly premise, this movie was actually attempting to be serious.
The screen aspect ratio is only 4:3, not 16:9. That was a little off-putting, but I soon adapted to it. I suppose that the studio didn’t want to pay the extra money to film it in the wide format. It could be the case that the copy that Netflix uses is simply limited to 4:3. I don’t know.
The clothes in this movie looked very dated to me. That is really saying something for me to have noticed that, because I have very little fashion sense at all. I do realize that 1996 was 19 years ago (hard to believe!) but the clothes, particularly the jeans worn in this movie looked more like they were from the late 80s. That is not of any real significance; I just thought I’d point it out.
The cast was comprised of a bunch of no-named people, as least as far as I know. I didn’t recognize anyone in the movie. I thought that the acting was good overall. The best performance was delivered by the little girl Zoe. She was excellent for a child actor. She did the best acting in the movie. I looked her up on IMDB to see what other movies she may have later starred in. Sadly, she hasn’t been in much of anything, nor does she even have a photo on IMDB. That’s too bad because I thought she did a very good job. Considering how long ago this movie was filmed, she is probably pushing 30 years old by now, I would guess.
One simple tweak that could have made this movie much better was the appearance of the doll. Dolls are generally creepy to begin with, but this one should have looked more sinister, considering that the plot of the movie revolves around him. In my opinion, he didn’t look disturbing enough. They could have squeezed more horror out of the movie if he both looked and sounded more frightening. His voice was a little annoying. I wanted to slap him more than run away from him.
One particular scene that bothered me was when the housekeeper was attacked in the hall with the fireplace poker. The attacker isn’t visible, and the audience is made to be unsure if it is Zoe or the doll that is doing the killing. Either way, the housekeeper should have easily been able to defeat an attacking doll or a little girl. Instead, one whack with the poker and she goes down for the count. Really? Come on.
A scene that I thought was brilliantly shot was the one where Zoe runs into the street at night and a car is zooming toward her to mow her down. It turns out to be two motorcycles that zoom past her on either side. The suspense, timing, and execution of that scene were spot-on. Well done.
After having read a number of user reviews on IMDB, it seems that the ending of the movie is a bit controversial. There is a lot of disagreement over whether the ending was clever or lazy. I don’t want to spoil the ending by mentioning the series of events directly, but I will say that I was okay with what took place. It did end rather abruptly, but it made the viewer rethink what had happened over the course of the movie. I’m happy that they didn’t pull some stunt in the final moments to tease a possible sequel. I guarantee you that if this movie were filmed today, that would have been done. Filmmakers can’t seem to help themselves these days.
Overall, Pinocchio’s Revenge was fairly entertaining. It had the look and feel of the kind of movie you’d see on the USA Network or something. It wasn’t scary enough to be true horror, but it wasn’t campy enough to be funny. The result was simply meh. I’m glad that it was only 96 minutes. I rated it 2 out of 5 stars on Netflix.