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THE CURSE OF ROBERT (aka THE CURSE OF ROBERT THE DOLL, 2016)

Directed and written by Andrew Jones.
Starring Tiffany Ceri, Jason Homewood, Nigel Barber, Steven Dolton, Chris Bell, Clare Gollop, Christopher Hale, Suzie Frances Garton, & Lee Bane as the Toymaker!

Robert the doll is back! Stolen from the crime scene from the end of the first film, the doll is given to the owner of a museum and set up as a cursed attraction for a big profit. When a young and naïve student named Emily (Tiffany Ceri) gets a night shift job at the museum, she is immediately spooked. And when the bodies of her co-workers begin piling up, she teams up with hunky nightwatchman Kevin (Jason Homewood) to uncover the evil secrets surrounding the doll who looks like a constipated Willem Dafoe.

While the ROBERT THE DOLL series hasn’t impressed me as much as the BAD BEN series did, I will say that there is a level of production that is better than your average lower tier horror film. Shot mostly at a single location and utilizing very little effects other than spurts of blood here and there, director/writer Andrew Jones (who directed and wrote the original ROBERT THE DOLL) produces a slick and moody looking film. There are some decent suspenseful moments as Robert scurries around in the shadows of the museum. There are also some nice nods to the original Robert, which actually still resides in a museum with a sign telling the passers-by to ask Robert for permission to take a picture or you’re bound to be cursed by the evil forces who reside in the doll. While there have been few real life incidents surrounding the doll after it was placed in the museum, it’s nice to see the true tale of the doll is still being incorporated into this series.

It is an interesting choice to depict the doll in the way it is shown in the movies. The real doll is much scarier looking in my opinion as it has no expression and a blank face. For me, that is a much more frightening face than the scrunched up puss of the movie doll. I guess those eyes with one milky iris is kind of creepy, but as usual, I find Robert’s true form much scarier than fiction.

There’s a bit of a divergence from the original in terms of how Robert works. In the original, Robert seems to be much more of an evil influence than an actual moving and killing toy. There is one scene where Robert takes a bat to someone in the original, but for the most part, it’s more of an evil pall cast over the home than an actual active doll. For me, that is what separated Robert from his American counterpart Chucky. But in THE CURSE OF ROBERT, Robert is much more active in his killing. POV shots show him moving low to the ground. He pops up behind people and actually wrestles with his victims with razors and other weaponry. The Robert in this film takes more of a hands on approach to his kills. The low fi way the doll is simply moved by someone off screen can be viewed as hokey or charming depending on your tolerance for low budget cinema. I found the jerky way Robert moves to me kind of unsettling, so it worked for me. Still, Robert moves in the cheapest way possible and it shows.

I was impressed that this film is working with some kind of continuity. THE CURSE OF ROBERT has an appearance from ROBERT THE DOLL star Suzie Frances Garton, reprising her role from the original. It also introduces a character who looks to be playing a major part in the next film, the Toymaker (played by Lee Bane) who is layered under some really plastic looking old man make-up effects. Still, it’s fun seeing them expand the Robert Universe a bit in this one.

As with the first film of this series, I didn’t hate THE CURSE OF ROBERT and I look forward to seeing where the story of this cursed doll goes next. We’ll find out next week with ROBERT THE DOLL & THE TOYMAKER!

ROBERT (aka ROBERT THE DOLL) Review!!
Check out the trailer here!!