It has been about eight years since I watched Robert, a spooky doll movie made to cash in on the success of Annabelle. This was the movie for those who weren't satisfied by the shots of Annabelle sitting there and just looking spooky. This was the movie that said "of course the doll moves, and it kills, and there's no need to be ambiguous or atmospheric". Oh, and it was apparently based on a true story. Robert has since had a good four or five sequels (maybe more, maybe some are prequels, either way you can consider it a potential cash cow for someone) so I figured it was time to check out another instalment in the series.
Robert has been placed in a museum. A young woman (Emily, played by Tiffany Ceri) takes a job at that museum, spending her nightshifts cleaning the exhibit areas, and soon starts to get freaked out by the presence of the spooky doll. She has good reason to, because Robert is able to get out of his glass case and kill people. As the bodies start to pile up, Emily and the security guard she has formed a connection with (Kevin, played by Jason Homewood), needs to convince people of the reality of the situation, which coudl also convince them of her own innocence.
Once again written and directed by Andrew Jones, The Curse Of Robert The Doll is probably a tiny bit better than the first movie. Or it's maybe just as bad. I would be lying if I told you that I remember anything from my viewing of the first movie. There are at least two human characters here making a reappearance (Jenny Otto, played by Suzie Francer Garton, and a toymaker, played by Lee Bane), which makes me think that Jones has at least attempted to maintain some continuity here. Of course, that's easier to do when it's only the second movie in a series, but I've seen some sequels that immediately discarded everything we'd seen in the first movie (yes, Full Moon Features, I'm looking at you).
The acting isn't superb, but nor is it awful. One or two people stand out for the wrong reasons, but Ceri and Homewood do well enough in their roles, Steven Dolton is a typically gruff detective, and Nigel Barber enjoys a small amount of screentime as the owner of the museum that has "lucked out" in gaining possession of the deadly doll.
As well as the writing and directing duties, Jones also takes on the editing. His approach is quite crude and clumsy, and unhelped by the lacklustre cinematography from Jonathan McLaughlin or weak score from Bobby Cole, two names that appear again and again throughout the filmography of Jones.
Although it avoids being painfully bad, The Curse Of Robert The Doll is disappointingly lazy from start to finish. Even the doll itself doesn't look as scary or menacing as it could, and it doesn't have any sense of escalation. We know from the start that Robert is a dangerous killer doll, which leaves us just waiting for the main characters to get up to speed. They piece things together far too slowly, and the moments that show Robert in full-on menacing mode are just a bit silly.
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