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
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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.More
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.More
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!
Amazing development in character, full-force, and pitch perfect build up in the study of a psychopath. "Pin" is a smart horror film, actually playing more like a drama, but always keeping the amount of creepiness at a perfect level. There are no jump scares, it's goreless, and there is very little violence. Actually, if you were to remove a few nasty scenes here and there, you'd have yourself a PG-13 horror film. Pin, in a way, reminds me of movies like Session 9 and The Blair Witch Project. You know? The movies that pretty much show nothing too abrupt or excessive, but leave it all to your imagination. Pin follows in these same footsteps. It's a full bread psychological thriller, one that's at it's very best.
"A doctor has a lifelike, anatomically-correct medical dummy, with muscles and organs visible through its clear skin, named Pin (after Pinocchio). Via ventriloquism, Pin explains bodily functions in a way kids can relate to. When the over-strict doctor and his wife are killed in a car crash, his son (Leon) transfers his alter-ego into Pin, whom he always believed was alive. He starts using Pin as an excuse to over-protect his sister (Ursula) from admirers and deflect unwanted intrusions, even to the extent of committing murder."
It's kept at a slow place, which only works to its advantage, keeping the chills rolling through atmosphere and creepy build ups, followed by an eerie background. Being that it's such a hidden gem, one might think it's cheap, or just another amateur fright flick. Think again. Pin is genius! The cinematography is brilliant, giving us such a dreaded and cold, but yet colorful, atmosphere. The acting never shies away from being so damn chilling, and it always sucks you in. Great performances by all three leads. First with our character Dr. Linden, who's so convincing as the creepingly weird, and dominated father. His daughter, Ursula, who portrays brilliantly such a saddened, and always, lost little girl who's cries for help are unheard. Then we have Leon, best performance in the movie. A psychopath (or is he?), played so well to where it chills the bone. His performance totally carries the movie.
The script couldn't be any better. Story wise, it's simple. But it's portrayed in such a great professional fashion, and followed by rich, and detailed dialogue. Pin is actually directed by the same screenwriter of the horrifying 1979 "Amityville Horror" film, and he also wrote the script for Pin. It's not as scary, in my opinion, as the original Amityville Horror, but again, Pin is a completely different movie. There's nothing supernatural going on here. This movie isn't about a demon, a ghost, or an entity. It's just a complete character study on a derangingly sick man. Nothing more. But in it's own right it never fails to creep the sh*t out of you. It's subtle, but scary.
Again, don't expect anything the least bit gory or violent. Don't expect that much action AT all. But for those looking for a chilling and well crafted horror film, done on a more artsy level, and still filled with scares...than Pin is the movie to see. I highly recommend this film!
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