An exquisite mix of the creepy and the cute.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 7 years ago
Does anyone else think Sebastian’s Voodoo looks a lot like Shane Acker’s new post-apocalyptic animated feature, 9? Now, I’m not accusing Acker of ripping off this near-perfect short, which offers an exquisite mix of the creepy and the cute. Acker’s feature is based on a short he created several years ago. Still, the similarities are striking: The rag dolls in 9 look an awful lot like the voodoo dolls in Sebastian’s Voodoo, and both films put a macabre spin on the traditional family film. If 9 turns out to be half as good as Sebastian’s Voodoo, then I think we’re in for quite a ride.
Voodoo is set in the workshop of an evil witch doctor. Voodoo dolls hang on hooks, and the witch doctor performs an awful kind of surgery on them: he picks them up and sticks them with pins. One of the dolls wakes up, rubs the sleep out of his eyes (nice touch) and witnesses the horror around him. He has the opportunity to flee, but instead sticks around and commits an act of self-sacrifice. Unlike the animated films of Brad Bird, Sebastian’s Voodoo is transparently against the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand.
This story has been brought wonderfully to life by animator Joaquin Baldwin (Papiroflexia). The workshop is given an appropriately sinister, dark visual palette. Objects in the room are illuminated by brilliant flashes of light. The visuals – a mix of the dark and the light – complement the narrative’s mix of doom and hope. But the biggest draw is the design of the dolls. The way they move and interact with each other is just hilarious – though you’ll probably choke on your laughter when they start getting stabbed.