"When in another's Lair, show him respect or else do not go there." - 3rd Satanic Rule of The Earth, Anton LaVey.
A charming tale of a Warlock & Witch residing in an enchanting Victorian Manse in the wilderness, who receive several uninvited guests one dark and stormy night - the "longest night in the world"... consisting of two despicable parents of a precious little girl named "Judy"; and accompanied by two obnoxious English punker girls is a well-meaning man named 'Ralph' who struggles with his eternal dreamchild within. The gracious and polished hosts, Gabriel and Hilary Hartwicke, also happen to be doll-makers, and their house is filled with these creations, who like Galatea, contain a life of their own infused by their regal father's Magical hands.
During the course of the evening, the actions of the guests are either rewarded or punished according to their deeds - the first to receive justified correction is one of the rotten punk girls after deeming to rob the place of some its valuables -and the dolls take their due; then later her friend receives lethal castigation at the end of a firing squad of tin soldiers.
Little Judy suffers maltreatement at the hands of her step-mother since the start, when she actually threw her cherished teddy bear into the bushes outside in the storm - so kind Gabriel grants her a new companion in "Mr. Punch" - a jester with a hell of an attitude if roused by antagonistic organisms like Mr. Bower, Judy's father who along with stepmother 'Rosemary', treat Judy like irritating property instead of a daughter. One memorably poignant statement made by Mr. Hartwicke was "Being a parent is a priveledge, not just a right."
Poor confused Ralph is accused by the other guests of murder and perversion, but the man just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is rather oblivious to some of the circumstaces surrounding him, and eventually has to defend himself against the brutish attacks of Bower, but the dolls protect their own. Earlier, Ralph had a run-in with the dolls who despite his rude behavior, decide that he is a child at heart, and should therefore be spared the fate of the other guests. Judy gains a probable worthy father, and her mother, a potential husband.
This film actually does assert the quotes at the beginning and end of this review quite nicely.
In the end, it is seen that those who visit the house can either appreciate the hospitality and are wished well on their way, or remain a permanent part of 'the collection'.
"If a guest in your Lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy." - 4th Satanic Rule of The Earth, Anton LaVey.
This film conjures memories of My paternal Grandmother of Spanish/Italian noble stock, who has a collection of ceramic and porcelain dolls which she brought from the old country, whom one could have sworn moved at times, or blinked, or even demonstrated subtle changes of expression.
* If you appreciate such classic and beautiful dolls, do peruse Headless Historicals, Krypt Kiddies, & Satanimals.