For the first theme week of the season, we’re doing creepy dolls! And not just any creepy dolls but, as far as I can tell, creepy doll movies that are pretty much blatant cash grabs on the whole Annabelle thing. This movie is no different but at least it is from Indonesia. Plus, this is apparently just part one in a trilogy of movies, so I can only hope that the next couple entries wont also be an almost beat-for-beat remake of The Conjuring/Annabelle.
The movie is all about a young couple that moves to the big city because the husband got a promotion in his construction job. First day on the site, though, proves to be problematic as there is a tree where they want to build that houses a creepy doll. The doll belonged to a little girl that was killed in a home invasion and everyone is scared to anger her spirit. Of course this means that the husband is going to order the tree cut down and the doll is going to follow him home. Then it’s time for creepy doll shenanigans but there is also a deeper, darker secret at play here when it comes to the vengeance of the creepy doll. Also a whole lot more religious stuff and less psychic stuff.
So right off the bat, you’ll notice some similarities between this and some of the other things from The Conjuring/Annabelle. The whole thing where the kid would clap to help her mother find her from The Conjuring is replaced with a neighbor’s girl that rings a bell but gets used in pretty much the exact same way. There is a husband/wife paranormal investigation team that has a room full of creepy dumpster leavings that are too spooky to be let loose upon the world. There’s even a shot for shot remake of a scene where a ghost jumps off the top of a cabinet onto someone. All that aside, though, I do think the movie ends up being pretty fun to watch and even manages to find it’s own story by the time you get toward the ending. Even if there is a gratuitous amount of CGI bats.
Spoilers: The ending of the movie has the wife getting possessed by the spirit of the little girl so she can try to murder the husband. However, we find out it isn’t just because he’s the one responsible for cutting down the tree. It turns out that he is also one of the people that was involved in the robbery that killed the girl and their new house and car isn’t because of the promotion but because of the money he stole. Unlike the other movies where the exorcism is successful; here the spirit just straight up wins, murders the husband, and gets enshrined in the house because that’s hers now. I just love the fact the movie is like “Naw, this ghost is crazy powerful so the best thing we can do is leave her alone and hope she doesn’t try to kill anyone else.” An entire house in this neighborhood is basically just a ghost shrine now.
Score: 3.5 out of 5. This manages to transcend the cheap knockoff problem that so many of these movies have. When it steals from other movies, it steals the good stuff and it puts its own spin on things too.