In Puppet Killer a group of high school friends take a Christmas trip to a cabin where one of their parents was believed to be murdered by a fluffy pink puppet.
Puppet Killer is just about as ludicrous as you would expect. From the ridiculous, but knowing, decision to cast 40/50-year-olds as their teen cast to the madness of Simon the puppet himself, it’s a tongue-in-cheek and quite funny take on the slasher genre. However, there is nothing significantly special about this meta horror and there are many films that tackle similar ideas in more satisfying ways.
There are plenty of smart nods to ‘80s slasher flicks, with the puppet donning the mask of Jason Voorhees, quoting Freddy Krueger and hacking down a door a-la Shining, but the film’s overwhelming silliness prevents it from being taken seriously. It’s a diluted Cabin in the Woods and The Final Girls without the thrills or true greatness.
Films like Happy Death Day have proved you can blend smart horror with frights and laughs galore, but Puppet Killer can only up the blood-spatter to distract from how laughable its 80 minutes are. There are plenty of gruesome kills that leave intestines hanging out and eyeballs clinging on by a thread, but excellent gore can’t save Puppet Killer from its lacklustre mediocrity.
Some of the dialogue is killer with Simon (Lee Majdoub) highlighting the horror clichés we’re bound to see with things like, “We’re not going to stop off at some sh*thole gas station where some f*cked old guy is gunna tell us we’re all gunna die, right?” It’s always fun for an audience to feel part of an in-joke and, come on, there’s no one who enjoys it more than a horror fan. However, Puppet Killer feels amateurish and obvious in its homages and nods to films of slasher past, not leaving much to the imagination.
Puppet Killer is entertaining enough and certainly warrants a one-time watch, but it’s not strong enough to go down in festive history and won’t join the ranks of Christmas scare-fests like Gremlins or Black Christmas.
Director: Lisa OVies
Stars: Aleks Paunovic, Lee Majdoub, Lisa Durupt
Runtime: 83 minutes