Pin (2001) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Dr. and Mrs. Linden (Terry O’Quinn and Bronwen Mantel) are raising two perfect children. Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cyndy Preston) are neat, polite and good natured. They are also overprotected, and Leon is painfully naïve.
Dr. Linden is a stern yet loving father who often uses a bit of amateur ventriloquism with an anatomical dummy to explain complex or possibly embarrassing medical facts to his young patients. Mrs. Linden is house-proud and high strung. In other words, these are fairly typical, affluent parents doing all they can to bring up their children with decent values.
Sound familiar? Good. Because one of the things that makes this portrait of a nut case interesting is the absence of clichés about how such people are made. If you’re like me, you’re sick of hearing how badly little Norman/Hannibal/Michael was treated as a child. It makes perfect sense that a vulnerable, odd kid exposed to brutality could turn out to be a monster. But how many films (aside from Serial Mom and Parents) set out to examine the crazy-making aspects of good old American suburbia?
On the surface, Leon is what most parents want their kids to be. He works hard and makes decent grades. He behaves nicely in public. He even dresses well (in suits and cardigans) and keeps his room clean. Oh, and he talks to his father’s anatomical dummy, named Pin (short for Pinocchio). Leon asks Pin for advice, and feels they have a very close relationship.
This 1988 film contains a few fashion and styling horrors (shoulder pads galore). Otherwise, it is surprisingly good. The camera work is expert. The acting is understated and effective.
The script doesn’t rely on a lot of exposition to set up what is—after all—largely inexplicable. How can parents prevent their children from becoming crazies, when so many predilections come from experiences that can’t be anticipated? It is the strange combination of Leon’s innocence and the way in which key moments in his life involve a seemingly harmless object, that creates his aberrant point of view. Leon merely endows Pin with the wisdom of his father and a tolerance or kindness that both his parents lack.
Leon’s sister Ursula tries to understand. But the more time she spends in the real world outside their house, the more she comes to realize that Leon’s behavior is bizarre. The tragic consequences of Leon’s creepy obsession are unavoidable, but they make sense in a way that horror story arcs seldom do.
Keep your Baby Orphan Hannibal. I’ll take Leon, the boy next door with the funny-looking plastic friend.
About Pin (2001)
Starring: David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston, Terry O'Quinn, Bronwen Mantel, John Pyper-Ferguson
Runtime: 102 minutes
Director: Sandor Stern