Once there was a man who loved a woman very much, and they were very happy. He even created a life-sized doll in her likeness, but alas - tragedy awaited. When he returned one day, he found the woman of his dreams strung up, hanging from the ceiling. The man was blamed for the murder, killed by an angry mob and buried in the woods. His demise was witnessed by the very same doll he created. A doll who took on a life of her own. The lifeless glass eyes watched in horror as her love died a gruesome death...

Present day. A beautiful remote mansion, hidden within a green forest. Once this place was suppose to be a church, but now it serves as a museum for an eccentric doll collector.

Five very different people arrive at this house. There’s the open minded sculptor Hae-mi, the carefree high school girl Sun-young and the reserved Young-Ha, a young writer with an unhealthy attachment to her own doll. There’s also a photographer Jung-ki, and the male model Tae-sung, who actually invited himself by mistake. They are welcomed by the curator of the museum Mr. Choi Jin-wan and the wheelchair-bound owner Mrs. Im.

All the dolls produced at the museum are modelled after real people. During the next couple of days the visitors will pose for Jung-ki, and the images will inspire the creation of new doll designs. The mansion itself is the kind of place that begs to be explored. Each of the visitors’ rooms has a life-size doll as decoration - seemingly crawling out of the wall - frozen mid-motion in some horrible position, holding a lamp or a mirror. There’s also a large basement, but when Hae-mi attempts an excursion in dark stone corridors, she’s stopped by the curator Choi Jin-wan.

The next day the photo shoot begins. When it’s Young-Ha’s turn she suddenly suffers a full-blown mental breakdown, she screams something about hearing voices and collapses on the spot. This is the first indication that something is not entirely as it should be, that’s only half of the truth. Strange things are going on in the basement below, there’s someone or something down there. A young girl Mina, fascinated with Hae-mi, lurks around the premises, but disappears every time she’s approached. Also, let’s not forget about the host Mrs. Im, who seems to have a hidden agenda that somehow involves her guests. And what the hell is the story with those creepy dolls everywhere?!......And then the first murder occurs...

You’ll be able to see most of the scares coming a mile away, but that's the fun of it! I mean, everybody knows that walking backwards without looking behind you, is a sure way to be attacked by a deranged killer, who will appear just as you realize your mistake and turn around! It’s not really scary, but it is thrilling, and it is fun. And with a trembling girl in your arms, it’s downright fantastic. Almost the entire film takes place in or around the doll museum. The museum is almost as important as the dolls themselves. Great effort has gone into making this location as vivid as possible. At first the house looks pleasant and inviting, like a cosy winter cabin, with its wood panels and warm color scheme. However, the decorative dolls in the guest-rooms add a sense uneasiness, and undermine the warmness ever so delicately.

When night falls and the moonlight drapes everything in those familiar cool blue hues, the house turns into a true horror movie location. And don’t get me started on that basement, or THE most creepy bathroom in the world. As “The Doll Master” works its way towards the inevitable violent finale, the madness kicks into high gear, and the past catches up with the present. People start dropping like flies, and the killer reveals his identity and his master plan.








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Directed by Jeong Yong-gi
Produced by Han Man-taek
Written by Jeong Yong-gi
Starring Im Eun-gyeong
Kim Yu-Mi
Ok Ji-young
Music by  
Distributed by Lotte Cinema
Cineclick Asia
Release date(s) 6 August 2004
Running time 90 mins.
Language Korean







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