Hey gang, Valkor here. It’s often I’ll come across a film that starts out one way, but then midway through it’ll take a completely different turn, which is usually for the worse. But sometimes it's for the better; a good example is Evidence, while a bad example goes to Interrogation. I could probably shoot off a few more, but that would take me going through hundreds of film reviews and I’m not in the mood. Especially after watching “Curse of the Witch’s Doll”; from the jump, the film had all the makings of what could be a classic horror hit. But when reality sets in, it all falls flat. At least for me, it did. Oh and expect major spoilers!
“Curse of the Witch’s Doll” is almost three stories in one that centers on a haunted doll that takes creepy to a whole new level. The film kicks things off three centuries before the main story, where a woman, who was accused of being a witch, is burned at the stake. We don’t see her burned at the stake, but we can assume that’s what happened. But before she dies, she leaves behind a haunted doll with a promise for revenge. And that brings us to 1942, where we find mother Adeline (Helen Crevel) and daughter Chloe (Layla Watts) on the run from events taking place during the war. They find refuge in a manor run by a man named Arthur (Philip Ridout); things start out pretty creepy enough but get even weirder when Chloe sort of befriends a freaky looking doll that vanishes without a trace. Later on, Adeline and Chloe are playing “hide and go seek”, when Chloe suddenly disappears. Adeline believes the doll has something to do with it. But as it turns out (and here’s the twist) – it was all in her mind! At least that part of the story was as we learn that Chloe died in one of the bombings that the two were attempting to escape from. And Adeline is now living her life in an asylum, which we all thought was a manor. And Arthur, whom we thought was head of the manor is actually her doctor.
We then move on to Arthur’s part of the story. He’s been caring for Adeline and helping her put the pieces of her mind back together. Just when he thinks he’s made some progress, Adeline regresses and now he feels she should have a lobotomy. However, there’s another doctor who is highly against this and outs Arthur of his other unethical treatment towards other patients as well. So in response, Arthur kills him before he can be outed. Now, the evil doll looks to haunt his days and end his life. I don't really see the connection, but it's almost over at this point. So I kept on watching.
The final part of the story (and the quickest) takes place in the present day where a couple of “ghost hunters” are investigating the now abandoned asylum. However, things get cut short when the evil doll makes her appearance. And now the only way this twosome is going to leave the asylum is in a body bag.
I really enjoyed the first half of “Curse of the Witch’s Doll”, or more specifically Adeline and Chloe’s part of the story - before the asylum reveal; that portion of the film was a nice mix of an intriguing story, a super spooky vibe, and incredible acting that blended together to form one horrifying experience. However, the true star of the show is the doll. And I’m not going to lie, as freakishly scary looking as it is, I kind of want one for my desk. It’s creepy and a bit comical, but still unnerving to look at. And that's what made this pill a little easier to swallow. Other than that, there really isn’t much else. Which brings us to…
My first objection with the film is how the summary that is given isn’t really what you end up with. I’d rather that the film stays with Adeline and her search for Chloe all the while battling the doll. But instead, the story takes a weird twist for no real reason. And then it goes on to take another turn with the present day bit. But that was completely unnecessary, given that it takes place during the last ten minutes of the film. Supposedly, the stories are connected somehow, though I don’t get the relation from one tale to the next. Even with the transition from Adeline’s story to Dr. Arthur’s tale, it didn’t really make all that much sense. The film might have worked better if it were in an anthology format where you can have the same asylum setup, but tell different stories that center on the doll rather than the disjointed stories we were presented with. And speaking of which, as cool as it is, it’s hardly in the film. Seriously, what’s the point of having such an awesome character, yet give it little screen time? Ultimately, I was disappointed with the film. It had me at the opening, but when it started going off the rails, I couldn’t wait for it to end.
This doll is the creepiest!
Curse of the Witch’s Doll is available now on DVD and Digital formats such as Amazon Instant and Google Play Store. Though the box art looks cool enough, ultimately the story is a complete waste of time – even with the cool beginnings. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Curse of the Witch’s Doll a 1.5.