Back with part two of the Doll Trilogy and this one deviates much more from the first film in a lot of ways. Most sequels tend to take the thing from what worked last time and just do more of the same of that. To Rocky Soraya’s credit, this sequel manages to connect with the previous movie while still changing the tone and feeling like it’s more confident to be its own thing rather than trying to be a lazy copy of The Conjuring. They also really managed to up their creepy doll game as the doll in this one is way more disconcerting than the last one.
The movie opens a year after the events of the first movie and apparently somebody bought the ghost house and knew there was a ghost and then went in the ghost room and now there’s ghost again. Apparently the spirit from the first movie had the unfinished business of “I really want to murder this psychic lady’s family” and indeed she does. This then leads to the actual main plot where a family gets into a car crash and the parents survive but their kid dies and, wouldn’t you know it, she has a beloved creepy as all hell doll. When the mother can’t deal with the loss after 9 months, she and her sister attempt to contact her daughter and accidentally trap her in the creepy doll. Whoops. Now it’s time for similar and yet distinctly new kinds of doll related hauntings to take place..
With this movie, there is much more of a focus on family and, in particular, the mother/daughter relationship. This helps to move the film into a different direction and get out from under the oppressive thumb of Annabelle. Now the spirit is far less sinister and you get the impression that it is just trying to communicate but being both dead and a child means there’s some issue getting things across without some scratches and lamp shatterings. While both are ultimately tales of vengeance, I think this movie has much more hopeful feel to it. The first one had the evil spirit essentially do its murders and then win but this one opts for going along the route of trying to save the spirit instead of just being like “Welp, this ghost evil.” *shrug emoji*
Spoilers: I do think the way that the movie ends up handling the subject of the father’s infidelity with the maid isn’t the greatest. It seems like there is more than a little “You pushed him away and that’s why he ended up in my bed”, which paints the father as more of a victim of circumstance than someone that actively made a choice to cheat on his sad wife. To be fair, they do almost end up getting a divorce at the end, so it isn’t like the wife wasn’t putting the blame on him at all. I should also mention that the wife does an amazing acting job when she gets possessed towards the end. Just super great emoting and body work from that actress.
Score: 4 out of 5. This actually managed to hang together and is a fairly decent little movie. It is 2 hours long, though, and it does definitely have some parts that drag more than others but it tends to keep the tension going for most of the run time.