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The Independent Critic

Mark Jurosko, Shana Meyerand, Melissa-Anne Blizzard
Ken Cohen
14 Mins.

 "Dolls for Strangers" Review 
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Writer/Director Ken Cohen's short film Dolls for Strangers could very well be coined both a supernatural and psychological thriller, possessing a unique blend of both suspense and emotional resonance. The film centers around Tony (Mark Jurosko), a young man who seems both remorseful and vengeful following the mysterious paralysis that seems to have been mystically delivered to his sister Melanie (Shana Meyerand).

It seems that Melanie's mysterious paralysis has more than a little to do with a certain practice called voodoo, a practice of which Tony himself is also a practitioner. Tony becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind Melanie's paralysis, becoming a bit of a voodoo hitman. With each case, there seems to be a growing collective conscience that adds another layer of intrigue to Cohen's film.

Jurosko pulls off Tony with a surprising amount of layers for a 14-minute film. Jurosko's Tony is both sympathetic and a tad creepy, the sort of guy whom the neighbors would likely report as "always a nice guy" after he finally cracked under the pressure and shot up, or in this case voodoo'd (Yes, I made that word up!) up the house down the street.

Dolls for Strangers has already been chosen as an official selection of Fort Myers Film Festival and was winner of Best Regional Short at the Charleston Film Festival. The film benefits from Joe Ensley's excellent camera work and an original score by Adam Baldwin that adds just the perfect touch of quirk to the film. One might be able to argue that Cohen occasionally leaves the film a bit too open-ended given its brief running time, I also get the sense that this was an intentional artistic choice.

Dolls for Strangers is a film to watch for on the film fest circuit and will likely be quite popular on the indie fest circuit with its unique artistic vision. For more information on the film, visit the official Facebook page listed in the credits to the left.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic