Pin… (1988, Sandor Stern)

I watched this at random because I had it… but why did I have it? I don’t know! It’s an unremarkable little made-for-TV-looking movie (lots of close-ups!), more of a slightly-disturbing drama about coping with mental illness than a horror flick. Kinda looks like it was aiming to be a prestige suspense flick – certainly it’s not as crappy as your usual horror movie (or your usual made-for-TV mental illness drama) but only climbed the ladder as high as “slightly better than average” before losing steam.

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Kids grow up in a small town with physician ventriloquist father who gives them important father-to-child talks through his skinless doctor dummy Pin. His daughter grows into a normal girl, but the son Leon grows into mildly psychopathic David Hewlett. After the parents die in a car crash, Leon refuses to accept that Pin isn’t a real person. Brings him home in a wheelchair, and the sister tiptoes around the matter, trying to have a normal school and love life until Leon kills his aunt (never proven) and his sister’s boyfriend (caught red-handed).

traumatic event, Leon catches a nurse using Pin as a sex aid:
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Sandor Stern, screenwriter of the original Amityville Horror, would go on to direct its third sequel (the one about the haunted lamp). David Hewlett is good in this, and was rewarded with starring roles in Cube, Nothing and Scanners II. In fact, almost everybody here would go on to bigger and better things. His sister, Cynthia Preston, would star in Prom Night III: The Last Kiss. Dad Terry O’Quinn would become the star of TV’s Lost (stopping along the way to star in Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy and My Stepson, My Lover) and mom would appear in Gothika, the murdered boyfriend in Hard Core Logo and Larry Fessenden’s Fear Itself episode, Aunt Dorothy in Atom Egoyan’s The Adjuster, and even teenage backstory Leon would star in Terence Davies’ adaptation of Neon Bible.

T. O’Q:
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