Demonic Toys Return in Its Best Installment Yet: Baby Oopsie (2021)
Title: Baby Oopsie
First Non-Festival Release: August 6, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: William Butler
Writer: William Butler
Runtime: 70 Minutes
Starring: Libbie Higgins, Justin Armistead, Marilyn Bass
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Sybill Pittman (Libbie Higgins) lives with her widowed stepmother in her childhood home which they rent to make ends meet. While many people in her life treat her horribly, Sybil finds solace in the quiet love and companionship of her doll collection. That all changes when she is sent a package of a new doll: Baby Oopsie. With much love and care she manages to restore her to mint condition. This is a huge mistake. Unbeknownst to Sybill, Oopsie is one of several demonic toys that has been wreaking havoc on earth in the name of the devil and will go on a murderous spree to quench her thirst for blood.
A step up from a below average franchise, Baby Oopsie is a worthy spin-off but still doesn’t quite hit the mark.
What you see is what you get for the majority of Baby Oopsie. It is a spin-off of the Demonic Toys films, so one should set their expectations accordingly and not be surprised when they get a Full Moon picture. Set in Cleveland, this iteration brings the horror to viewers in a more grounded fashion. It’s very clear that the creators wanted a homier feel to the film which comes through in the form of location, setting, and cast. It feels surprisingly real for a movie about a homicidal baby doll.
The biggest surprise out of Baby Oopsie is the construction of its protagonist, Sybill. Admittedly, after watching the trailer one might expect Sybill to be played for laughs as if the audience were comprised of the many hateful villains in her life. Baby Oopsie has a surprisingly soft spot for Sybill and gives her a pretty solid character arc of coming into her own. Set back by past bouts with mental illness and subjected to the abuse of stepmother who cuts into her self-esteem, it would be easy for the filmmakers and actress Libbie Higgins to not take her seriously. Instead, we are treated to Sybill’s transformation from meek toadie to seduced mischief-maker to a hero. This does get retconned by the end ever so slightly, but this rings true for the preceding hour of the film.
While there is enough to commend in this effort, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Much of the tension in the film comes from Sybill’s decision to unleash Oopsie on her enemies after she agrees to join forces. These people are all cartoonishly villainous without a hint of nuance. Wicked widows, cruel bosses, and unruly neighborhood children are all targets of Oopsie’s reign of terror. Predictably, once the bodies run out, the “good” people in Sybill’s life must suffer. Trite and bland, it feels like a missed opportunity for an alternative form of character development for the evil doll or for Sybill.
On a technical level, it doesn’t do much either. It’s a very flat and boring watch. From the cinematography, special effects, and even the wardrobe, everything looks cheap. This could simply be a part of the aesthetic, but it’s fair to say that it could be more polished. It fits the mold of the Full Moon Pictures of yore.
I went into Baby Oopsie with the lowest of expectations and it truly surprised me by being a low budget curiosity with enough laughs to keep the audience interested. This type of campy horror film isn’t really my scene, but I can appreciate what the creators behind this film are doing for the inevitable Demonic Toys franchise reboot we will see down the road. Regardless of the intentions behind the project, it still feels unrefined and undercooked. Higgins’ charm and Sybill’s unexpected character arc gives Baby Oopsie more foundation than one might expect going into a movie about a killer baby doll resurrected from a relatively unknown 90s direct to video franchise. If this is your thing, you’ll find a lot to love here, if it’s not well maybe it’s best to just stay away.
Overall Score? 4/10