Pin (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pin (1988)






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An obscure and offbeat novel by Andrew Neiderman comes to life as this strange, disturbing, but fairly compelling psychological thriller. The title refers to a life-sized medical dummy (the name is short for Pinocchio) through which strait-laced physician and would-be ventriloquist Doctor Linden (Terry O'Quinn) communicates with his children, Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cyndy Preston). Although Pin seems to have served a useful purpose by providing the emotionally distant Linden with a means of opening up to his family, the mannequin's importance gradually becomes a decidedly unhealthy influence for Leon, whose latent psychosis emerges fully after his father's death and compels him to "adopt" Pin as a member of the household. As Ursula, now a beautiful woman, begins to enjoy a relatively happy love life, Leon is consumed with jealousy and, goaded by the 'Pin' aspect of his personality, turns to murder as release. In its depiction of a psychotic who loses his will to an increasingly lifelike dummy, Pin is remarkably similar in theme to Richard Attenborough's Magic (which itself owed a debt to films like The Great Gabbo). Though it breaks no new ground in this respect, this quirky horror film does present an irresistibly eerie charm (thanks in large part to Hewlett's fine performance) and generates a decent amount of suspense, building to a chilling, if not entirely surprising, climax.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Horror, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Sandor Stern
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 24, 2001
Malofilm Communications


David Hewlett
as Leon Linden
Cynthia Preston
as Ursula Linden
Terry O'Quinn
as Dr. Linden
Bronwen Mantel
as Mrs. Linden
John Ferguson
as Sam Fraker
Jacob Tierney
as Leon, Age 7
Bronwen Nantel
as Mrs. Linden
Jacob Tirney
as Leon, age 7
Michelle Anderson
as Ursula...Age 5
Steve Bernarski
as Leon...Age 13
Helene Udy
as Marcia Bateman
Katie Shengler
as Ursula...Age 11
Patricia Collins
as Aunt Dorothy
David Gow
as Officer Wilson
Joanna Noyes
as Mrs. Henry
Bruce Ramsay
as Teenager
Cyndy Preston
as Ursula Linden
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Critic Reviews for Pin

Audience Reviews for Pin


Psychological horror films are often hard to accomplish. The reason is that they have to manipulate your mind in such a way that you are genuinely afraid of what's going on on-screen. With Pin, you get exactly that, this is one of the finest examples of what psychological horror films should be. With a great cast of actors, Pin is a bone chilling film that will grab your attention from start to finish. The film boasts a very good cast and terrifying moments. This is a brilliant execution in the genre, and the psychological aspect of the movie really does stand out because the lead actor who plays Leon is so convincing. The film has some tense moments of sheer terror and it goes deep into your conscience. Leon is a paranoid Schizophrenic who thinks that Pin, an anatomically correct dummy is alive and he uses it to control his sister. The film is simple, but it's effective in showing the downfall of mental illness when it goes untreated and the result is terrifying. I was pleasantly surprised with the film, and it is one of the finest of the psychological horror genre of film. The cast are very good here, and the story is engaging, thrilling and it always leaves you on the edge of your seat. To any genre fan looking for a well crafted horror film, Pin is definitely a fine choice. This film goes deep in the human psychosis, which adds to the terror that unfolds on-screen. Now is this a masterpiece, it isn't, but it definitely one of the finer examples of psychological horror done right.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


This horror movie is predictable and not really scary at all. It may be slightly creepy at times, but that's it. I wouldn't recommend this movie, but it's not too bad, it's so-so.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


The eighties produced a lot of horror films that were clearly made just for people to rent on Friday nights to ignore while they had a few beers and a laugh with their mates. While most of these films were instantly forgettable, some were actually quite good and unfortunately have been forgotten along with the forgettable ones. Pin is one such film. While the movie isn't a horror classic, and it takes essential elements from a range of sources, most notably Psycho; it still represents a good success in the psychological horror sub-genre. So, if you like your films to be dark and moody; you can go wrong here! Based on a best seller by Andrew Neiderman, Pin blends the story of a young boy growing up with murderous schizophrenia to horrifying effect. The plot follows a brother and sister, Leon and Ursula, whose father uses ventriloquism and an anatomical dummy as a learning tool for his children. What he doesn't count on, however, is Leon taking this act too seriously and believing that the dummy really is alive. A childish idea that leads to a very dark future for Leon.

While the film lacks any real potent bite, it blends it's elements together with a good plot pace well enough to ensure that the film always offers compelling viewing and although the action gets a little predictable at times, we always want to carry on watching to see what happens. The dummy itself is the centrepiece of the film and director Sandor Stern has managed to create a malevolent atmosphere around it. The thing looks creepy anyway, but when combined with it's put-on voice; I can imagine it giving some more easily scared viewers nightmares. Ventriloquism is a hobby that has always lent itself well to horror movies; from the dummy tale in 'Dead of Night', to this film and more; you can always count on a creepy movie if one of it's core subjects is the act of someone lending their voice to a plastic doll. The acting in the film is typically eighties; but it's not all that bad considering the type of movie that this is. On the whole; Pin is a nice atmospheric chiller that deserves more attention, so if you get the chance to see it; I highly recommend that you do!

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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