Review: What The Doll 2 excels in is the fact that it could, at some points, drive a guilt-ridden drama into a full-frontal horror with chance of bloodfest. It had the ingredients right and, at some specific points, had the moment in crafting an atmospheric psycho-horror that plays out with grief and lonesome before drowning into an endless ambition to scare the hell out of people.
This sequel reconstructs the predecessor’s formula—a possessed doll, a small family, and a havoc—into a less original, yet more stable built. It retains only one connection to The Doll (2016) in terms of mother-child bond, which is exploited as the foundation of this new breed. That ‘broken’ bond is what brings horror into the table and, literally, what brings the otherworldly force into the doll.
Grief of losing an only daughter in a car accident is what drives Maira (Luna Maya) irrational. She thinks she might still feel her deceased daughter around, but her husband, Aldo (Herjunot Ali) doesn’t believe her. The grief coupled up with guilt and sense of abandonment by her distant husband leads Maira to do the unthinkable—summoning her daughter’s spirit into her favorite doll, Sabrina, and brings along the plagues that take no time in engulfing the family.
Despite plotholes and illogical reasoning, Rocky Soraya (who also directed the first film) could, at some point, bring balance to the film, restraining his desire to go full-horror mode and instead taking time to polish up the dramatic point. However, the further the story ventures, the more The Doll 2 unravel its reckless writing and the more it strays from the good intention. Like, why would the parent bought a trying-too-hard-to-be-creepy doll for their daughter? Or why would the shrink had a private moment with the patient? Or why would Maira believed on an Internet article to summon her daughter back?
When the psycho-horror tropes start crumbling, The Doll 2 goes the conventional way to deliver its terror with some formulaic jump scares and over-the-top noise. Soraya is adept in delivering his homage shots to flaunt his range of horror references; but he’s not independent enough to craft the terror in his own way. Yet, there’s one consistency that The Doll 2 holds dear: the vengeful spirit which takes over the doll to actually jeopardize people. When the film has done with its supernatural dread, it takes a sudden turn for an overlong, over-the-top third act to paint the screen red.
With all those gory vistas, The Doll 2 turns into a self-contained horror, in which you can get contented and discontented at the same time. You might tolerate the lack of originality, clumsy plot reasoning, draggy conflicts or the third act, or not at all.
The Doll 2 (2017)
Drama, Horror Directed by: Rocky Soraya Written by: Riheam Junianti, Fajar Umbara, Rocky Soraya Starred by: Luna Maya, Herjunot Ali, Sara Wijayanto Runtime: 116 mins