The Dollmaker – short, USA, 2017 – reviews

‘Do not spend longer than one turn of the hourglass with him. Ever.’

The Dollmaker is a 2017 American horror short film directed by Al Lougher (So Dark; So Pretty) from a script written by Matias Caruso (Mayhem). The movie stars Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan and Daniel Martin Berkey.


A grieving mother latches on to a magical surrogate for her lost child. But small miracles come with big consequences…


” …it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace… Matt Boiselle, Dread Central

“This chilling work, with shades of The Monkey’s Paw, Pet Sematary, and other scare fare about unintended consequences, features a fantastic performance by Daniel Martin Berkey as the titular creepy craftsman, who creates a doll in the likeness of a couple’s deceased little boy.” Joseph Perry, Ghastly Grinning

“The Dollmaker uses the classic trope of placing characters in a dilemma that will obviously lead to their downfall and watching how everything crumbles to great effect. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great as well with some strong lighting and creative camera work […] this is a short worth treasuring.” Brian Tull, Horror Buzz

The score is slightly over-sentimental, but the writing and acting are so well done – precise and careful – that I really only noticed after the film was done. Overall, The Dollmaker is a well-constructed piece, both in terms of the script and the production…” Alice Field, Ready Steady Cut!

“This is a million miles away from Mayhem’s hyperactive violence. Inhabiting a place somewhere between ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ and Pet Sematary, The Dollmaker packs more unease into its few minutes than most Annabelle clones do into a feature length film.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

  • Perri Lauren … Jenna Deyton
  • Sean Meehan … Rick Deyton
  • Daniel Martin Berkey … Dollmaker – The Luring; The Shriven

Technical details:

10 minutes

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