The invasion of the British kiddie character slashers

UK indie horror releases are the place to turn for slashers these days, so it’s time to take on three more of them, with the killers based on familiar kids’ entertainment characters—and some queer content.


What better way to cash in on the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie than by calling your movie Freddy’s Fridays? However, this film has more in common with movies like The Banana Splits and Willy’s Wonderland in that there’s actually blood and gore and the children’s characters are vicious killers. A few of them also happen to be recycled from the movie The Curse of Humpty Dumpty.

In fact, the kills are all this 79-minute movie has going for it. It’s generally quite boring in between the violent slashing.

The plot involves a detective on a case of missing women. It turns out those women are being hired by a sleazy dude for sex. Instead, he makes them read from a book that summons the creepy characters, who then kill the women.

The detective’s story is melodramatic and dull, so you end up watching just to wait for the next death scene. My personal favorite was when a muscle stud gets a knife in the head.

The final act gives us more of a backstory as to how and why the killers are being summoned, and there’s a fun battle between detective and killers, but other than that there are no scares, suspense, or chase scenes.

RAG DOLL (2023)

As always with these British productions, a couple of the same actresses from Freddy’s Fridays appear in this killer doll movie—playing a lesbian couple! One is the mother of a young girl who is not doing well with the fact that her mom left her dad for a woman. The lesbians are friends with a gay male couple, and there’s a notable exploration of the mother coming to terms with her sexuality by talking it through with one of the gay guys. Considering this is a predominantly queer cast, Rag Doll gets an honorary spot on the homo horror movies page.

So mom, her lesbian lover, and her resentful daughter move into a new house. They find a life-size rag doll, and mom gives it to the daughter. Pretty soon the doll turns against all the queer people in her life. Seriously, this damn homophobic rag doll kills mostly gay people!

While there are some eerie setup shots and the doll is creepy at times, when she comes to life she mostly looks like a model wearing a Raggedy Ann costume for a costume display at Party City.

Also, rather distracting is the fact that the girl playing the daughter doesn’t appear to have any interest in acting. Her expression never changes, and neither does the one-note tone of her voice. It’s quite bizarre and almost scarier than everything else in the movie. Except maybe this…

The film won’t terrify you, but at only 75 minutes long and loaded with queer characters, I’d say it’s worth a watch.

PUNCH (2023)

This odd British film goes for a simple slasher story based on someone dressed as a classic child’s puppet show character. That is until it suddenly goes for a sort of folk horror twist at the end…in a movie that takes place in a city. Even so, the surprise killer reveal and motivation are a highlight here.

As a slasher, it’s rather bland. A girl has an argument with her mother then goes out to party with a friend. They run into a creepy hobo who warns them about “Punch”, the hobo is the first (off-screen) kill, and then things drag for a while as the girls do a lot of talking.

Lindsay Clonehan, as I call a British scream queen who looks and sounds just like Lohan, has a brief role and the best kill of the movie when she’s forced to deep throat Punch’s bat.

Most of the other kills are tame and bland, but there is a fantastic, brutal massacre at the party.

However, Punch reveals himself to be a total homophobe when he kills two guys hooking up, landing this one on the does the gay guy die? page.

Punch also talks and tries to deliver one-liners, which are pretty weak. Not to mention, when he speaks it sounds like one of those voice boxes on a toy, and there’s nothing menacing about it all. Plus, there is not much in the way of scares or suspense, but the main girl does get a substantial chase scenes in the final act.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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