Toys of Terror is a 2020 Christmas horror film directed by Nicholas Verso (Max: A Cautionary Tale, Boys in the Trees, Nowhere Boys, Itch, and The Unlisted). It’s written and produced by comedian Dana Gould (Stan Against Evil, The Simpsons, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, and Laugh Factory). It was edited by director Mike Mendez (Masters of Horror, Nightmare Cinema, Critters Attack!, and Tales of Halloween). It was produced by Stan Spry (Day of the Dead, Creepshow, The Terror Experiment, Sand Sharks, Avalanche Sharks, and Jeepers Creepers III) for Blue Ribbon Content (Daphne & Velma, Critters Attack!, The Banana Splits Movie, ans A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish).
Just before Christmas, a family with their babysitter Rose (played by: Georgia Waters from Siren) takes a trip to a secluded mansion with a dark past. Young Zoe (played by: Zoe Fish from The Grudge and The Return) with her brother Franklin (played by: Saul Elias from Breakthrough), stepsister Alicia (played by: Verity Marks from Cheerleader Abduction), her mom Hannah (played by: Kyana Teresa from Star Trek: Discovery, Shadowhunters, and Rising Suns) and her dad David (played by: Dayo Ade from Animal Kingdom, Bones, Rookie Blue, and Degrassi High) spend the unconformable holidays together. While the adults focus on renovating the place with handyman Emmett (played by: Ernie Pitts from Highlander, Steel, and Look Away), the bored kids find a toy chest hidden in the attic and they are entertained when the toys (played by: Paul Braunstein from Shazam!, Jigsaw, The Thing, and Fargo) inside magically come to life. Things start to get weird inside the infamous house and no one is safe now. Some places should be left alone but greed takes over in this original “scary-tale” that will have the kids screaming for the holidays!!!!
Toys of Terror has a controversial home video history. It’s one of the few titles in recent times from a major studio that was originally planned as a blu ray release but it got scrapped to DVD only out of no where with no announcement before the street date. It still has horror fans scratching their heads and looking for a blu ray somewhere in the states but having no luck because it doesn’t exist. After watching this, I can kinda see why Warner Bros changed their minds the last minute on this. I love killer toys features and Christmas horror so I was really excited when this was first announced but it didn’t live up to the hype at all. The script was a little generic but it was still decent for being a direct to video horror flick. It had quality production design and music also. No one really stood out when it came to the acting in Toys of Terror but the adults were solid for the most part. The visual and special fx reminded me of a SYFY original or some real low budget 80’s horror with it’s stop motion animation style when it came to the killer toys in this. I am guessing they were trying to do something different here and wanted to give it a retro feel. It just looked bad and cheap to be honest, it really hurt the production. Toys of Terror is very tame and it has no body count despite that being promoted on the back. It had some suspenseful moments at times, it mainly came off unintentionally hilarious. This was just okay but it wasn’t horrible or anything like that, it’s worth watching on TV but I’d preview it before considering a purchase because this one is not for everyone.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “Toys of Terror Come to Life” is a little over 5 minutes. It has interviews with director Nicholas Verso, actors Zoe Fish, Kyana Teresa, Dayo Ade, and various members of the production. They chat about the deadly toys in this film. They talk about the stop motion animation and all the hard work put into the project. They bring up that this style is barely used in movies these days. They say it took a whole day for 6 seconds of screen time for it and they had over a 100 shots to do. It shows the puppets they used and it has some behind the scenes footage. “A Terrifying Weekend” is a little over 5 minute making of feature. It has interviews with director Nicholas Verso, actors Zoe Fish, Kyana Teresa, Dayo Ade, Saul Elias, Georgia Waters, Verity Marks, and various members of the production. They chat about mixing Christmas and Halloween with this film. They talk about the creepy production design, their experience, and working with the director. Plus it has a few horror “Trailers” from Warner Bros related releases like Deep Blue Sea 3 and Snatchers. It also comes with a slipcover. It’s available everywhere right now!!!!