Dollhouse (2012) – By Josh Samford

Right from the very start, there is something sinister about this short film known as Dollhouse. The muted colors and the bleak sounding music create an atmosphere of horror, but this isn’t going to be a supernatural thriller. Director Guillermo Barreira shows a tremendous amount of style and ability in crafting something that delivers upon the promise of societal darkness. Within a short thirteen minute movie, Dollhouse hits upon drugs, prostitution, as well as violence. There’s a little something to be found here for every audience member!

As mentioned, this is a short of only thirteen minutes, so to keep the plot description brief: our story focuses on the inner workings of a brothel and some of the sinister dealings that take place within this environment. With little story to speak of, the movie focuses on presenting something that is visually astonishing. It certainly succeeds in this area, because the short looks absolutely breathtaking. With excellent use of lighting, post production color correction, and beautiful sets, the short looks fantastic. Little doubt is left about the talent of these filmmakers and their ability to make something beautiful and completely professional looking. Although it may be scarce when it comes to richly detailed characters, the short works very well as a presentation of the talent behind the camera.

The short unfortunately ends in a way that makes us wish for more and see the rest of this story. This seems almost like a taste of things that are to come. I would not be surprised to find that this was simply a testrun for the creation of a feature film. I personally hope that such a thing does come to fruition, because this truly seems like something that promises greatness. Taking the grittiness found in some South American productions like City of God or Elite Squad, but combined with the 110% visual flourishes found in something like Amer (or Robert Richardson’s work with Quentin Tarantino as of recent), this seems like a qualified success waiting to sweep the awards circuit. Certainly, if Dollhouse becomes presentable to you, definitely check it out. You can read more about director Guillermo Barreira by visiting his website located here: