An obscure and offbeat novel by Andrew Neiderman comes to life as this strange, disturbing, but fairly compelling psychological thriller. The title refers to a life-sized medical dummy (the name is short for Pinocchio) through which strait-laced physician and would-be ventriloquist Doctor Linden (Terry O'Quinn) communicates with his children, Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cyndy Preston). Although Pin seems to have served a useful purpose by providing the emotionally distant Linden with a means of opening up to his family, the mannequin's importance gradually becomes a decidedly unhealthy influence for Leon, whose latent psychosis emerges fully after his father's death and compels him to "adopt" Pin as a member of the household. As Ursula, now a beautiful woman, begins to enjoy a relatively happy love life, Leon is consumed with jealousy and, goaded by the 'Pin' aspect of his personality, turns to murder as release. In its depiction of a psychotic who loses his will to an increasingly lifelike dummy, Pin is remarkably similar in theme to Richard Attenborough's Magic (which itself owed a debt to films like The Great Gabbo). Though it breaks no new ground in this respect, this quirky horror film does present an irresistibly eerie charm (thanks in large part to Hewlett's fine performance) and generates a decent amount of suspense, building to a chilling, if not entirely surprising, climax.
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