Director: Rocky Soraya
Cast: Luna Maya, Christian Sugiono, Sara Wijayanto, Christian James, Jeremy Thomas
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Rating: NC16 (Horror and Some Violence)
Released By: mm2 Entertainment & Cathay Cineplexes
Opening Day: 27 September 2018
Synopsis: Maira is a children fashions designer who is married to a toy company owner, Aiden. As Maira lost her daughter, Airen designed Sabrina for his wife in memory of her daughter, Kayla. Vanya, Aiden’s niece and adopted daughter, has troubles getting over her parent’s misfortunes. In hopes to see her mother again, Vanya used the Charlie Charlie board to summon her mother but little did they know, the entity summoned is much more sinister, and lurks within the doll, Sabrina.
Does the world need another movie featuring a possessed doll?
Apparently it does, according to the filmmakers behind this Indonesian production. One thing that the horror genre never gets tired of is a creepy doll. You will be feeling very uneasy if a whole shelf of creepy dolls stared at you. Those glassy eyeballs and expressionless faces are enough to give you nightmares for eternity.
The centre of attraction in this horror movie is the titular Sabrina, a doll made by a suave and successful man who also owns a toy company. He lives happily with his wife and their adopted daughter, who is also his niece. The young girl is still dealing with the loss of her birth mother, and she isn’t a happy kid. The child gets her hands on a game to summon her dead mother and all hell breaks loose. The doll in question? It has a sinister plan up its tailor made dress.
While Hollywoodhas been freaked out by Annabelle (who knew a spin off franchise from The Conjuring could make so much money?), Chucky (the original killer doll from the Child’s Play series) and some lesser known dolls from Dead Silence (2007) and The Boy (2016), it’s time Asia got its own version of the haunted plaything. Couple that with the ever ominous signature dark magic unique to this part of the world, and you get a money milking machine to draw audiences into the cinema.
Pardon our ignorance, but we did not know that this movie is an entry in producer director Rocky Soraya’s The Doll franchise. The entrepreneur and former textile exporter made The Doll in 2016 and The Doll 2 in 2017. This seems to be a case of Asian filmmakers following the business model of Hollywoodproductions. Considering the annual output from this series of movie, this has probably been quite lucrative.
But how does the horror flick fare? This reviewer watched the movie in a large theatre with only one other person, so the creepy impact was aptly delivered. Jump scares, loud music and plot twists are what fans of the horror genre are used to, and they are suitably incorporated into this 113 minute movie. Kudos to the makeup team for making the supernatural beings look so grotesque, and the art production team for making the doll look so sinister.
While we can’t say that the cast gave award winning performances, the camera loves the good looking actors enough to give them countless close ups. Luna Maya plays the good hearted woman who wants nothing more than acceptance from her husband’s niece. Christian Sugiono portrays the loving husband who wants nothing more than keeping his small family intact. Sara Wijayanto takes on the role of a poltergeist hunter aided by her spouse played by Jeremy Thomas.
And yes, there is the little girl whose main job in the movie is to talk to apparitions, look scared, scream and lug the scary doll around.
Like many mysteries we are unaware of in this world, there are quite a number existent in this movie. Why do human characters hide in dilapidated closets while trying to escape evil ghosts? Why do protagonists stand around for evil ghosts to finish their speech before running off? And perhaps, the greatest mystery of them all is why kids (and their unknowing parents) would want to lap up this hideously scary doll, causing sales to shoot rocket high? Keep that thing away from us at all costs!
(Delivering some decent scares, this serviceable Indonesian horror movie showcases yet another doll that is, ahem, obviously possessed)
Review by John Li