In a crowded market of haunted doll films, The Curse of Robert The Doll 2016 had a promising premise, but failed to deliver, says GEMMA JOHNSON
TITLE: The Curse of Robert The Doll
DIRECTOR: Andrew Jones
CAST: Chris Bell, Suzie Frances Garton, Nigel Barber, Lee Bane, Tiffany Ceri, Jason Homewood, Steven Dolton, Clare Gollop, Felicity Boylett, Christopher Hale
Review of The Curse of Robert The Doll 2016
Previously I have done some research into the legends surrounding Robert and it is fascinating to say the least, when I spotted this film, I was intrigued. When I had finished it, I was disappointed and that is an understatement.
The context of The Curse of Robert The Doll 2016 had great potential, a remote museum with a newly purchased haunted doll.
The stories and the legends surrounding the doll could have been explored in more detail because that would have really set the scene for the unfolding narrative.
Another question I had was why a museum this small would need two cleaners and two security guards on duty each night, but I guess Robert needed victims on hand.
This for me was one of the challenges with The Curse of Robert The Doll 2016, there was very little time taken to build up the tension and the atmosphere, strange occurrences seem to happen from the offset.
For example, our new cleaner has only been there two days when there is a handprint inside Robert’s display case, a figure spotted moving around and the murder of one of the security guards.
As an audience we are expected to simply follow along with the story. If you are a lover of horror and the paranormal this doesn’t necessarily sit well.
Part of the lure of great films, of this genre, is that most of the fear and anticipation is through the subtleties that play in your mind, so you create that tension and atmosphere. This is a key skill for any horror writer and one that is greatly lacking in this film.
I couldn’t help but draw comparisons with Chucky who is menacing, evil and chilling. Robert was far from this; his movement was a key distraction for me in that it was very much how my daughter plays with her dolls – bouncing and clunky. It was cringeworthy at best. The way in which Robert attacked also left a lot to be desired.
Example – one of the security guards is a very heavy-set man yet he is taken down by Robert jumping on him with a carrier bag. The security guard leans into this attack when actually you would fight for your life and use your hands which could easily be used to throw the doll off you – wouldn’t you? I bloomin’ would!
Emily is the leading character within the plot, but I found the performance to be lack lustre – I have seen more dramatic reactions from my neighbours dragging their wheelie bins out too late, greeted by the view of the waste truck leaving the street. I know that sounds very harsh, but it was frustrating to watch as there was so much missed potential here.
Emily decides to become detective to figure out the how and why of Robert – two members of staff have now been killed and she needs it to end. I point out that in reality Emily has been in her job probably about 4 days.
Without any questioning, Jessica Fletcher (aka Emily) and Columbo (aka Kevin) manage to get access to a mental health facility where the former owner of Robert is housed. – Jenny. What follows is another awkward scene lacking in depth, the location of the scene looked more like someone’s office than a realistic hospital setting – the only hint of a hospital was the gown that Jenny was wearing.
If you have read any of my other reviews, you will know I have a ‘thing’ about accents – yes, that became an issue here too. Walter – the owner of the museum – had the most irritating American accent. It was like a dodgy 1980’s sitcom where someone is pretending to be American. The actor that played Walter is actually American so why the director had him deliver his lines in this way is incredibly questionable and annoying.
Spoiler alert – Robert kills everyone except Emily who ends up in hospital herself and is charged with murder. Another dull scene with a lack of dramatic depth to the character, I have seen my husband have greater dramatic performances when stepping barefoot onto the kids Lego.
I like to try to find something positive within each film that I watch but I couldn’t find anything here, and I tried really, really hard. The most positive thing is that I have watched this film, so you don’t have to. There are other films within this ‘franchise’ but I won’t be watching them.
Legend has it that you have to apologise to Robert the Doll if you do him wrong or say anything negative in his presence failure to do so results in a curse being placed.
On behalf of the people that made this film – Robert, I am sorry.
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