The Doll is an Indonesian doll horror movie. If you like Asian horror and the doll horror niche, then this should be perfect for you. Also, it is heavily inspired by The Conjuring universe. Watch it on Netflix now!

The Doll is out on Netflix in the US now and it’s an obvious choice for fans of Annabelle from The Conjuring universe. Or anyone who likes the doll horror niche really.

Be warned though, this is much more along the lines of the sinister Annabelle and not the more mischevious Chucky.

Also, if you liked Sabrina, then this should be for you. In fact, this is the first of two movies that came before Sabrina. Here’s our review of the doll horror movie Sabrina >

An Indonesian version of The Conjuring universe

When The Doll has an opening scene which is almost identical to the opening scene in The Conjuring, then it sets itself up for comparison. If you remember The Conjuring opening scene, then it’s a group of people talking to someone about a possessed doll. 

The doll is, of course, “Annabelle” while the people hearing the story are Ed and Lorraine Warren. In The Doll, the people are Dedi and Laras. But you don’t need to pay much attention to Dedi since he won’t really be part of this movie. However, if you’ve watched Sabrina, then you will recognize them both.

Unlike The Conjuring, this movie doesn’t continue with a family in a haunted house of sorts. No, it delves straight into the story we know from the Annabelle movie. With minor changes. 

In The Doll, the wife actually creates dolls herself. In Annabelle, the wife collected dolls. In both movies, however, the dolls enter the house via their husbands. Though it does happen in different ways.

Immitation is also called the sincerest form of flattery. And obviously, the horror master and creator of The Conjuring universe, James Wan (who was born in Malaysia), should feel very flattered by Rocky Soraya’s The Doll

Still, there is also such a thing as plagiarism and this movie comes too close in some instances. For example, there was one scene with a large closet where I stated: “If so and so happens now, then Soraya is a bit over-inspired”.

And then it happened.

The Doll (2016) Netflix Review

Enter Lorraine Warren… I mean, Laras

For a long time, the family consisting of Anya (the dollmaker) and Daniel (her construction worker husband) deal with the doll on their own. Their neighbor does help out as much as she can and is actually a true friend and lifesaver. 

Of course, we all know that supporting characters can’t do this and get away with it in horror movies.

When things go from weird to bad to worse, help is called in the form of Laras. She has certain gifts which are very similar to those of Lorraine Warren. However, the character is still very much her own.

The doll turns out to be “Ghawiah”. It’s possessed by an evil spirit which follows its desires. Mostly, its desire is to play hide and seek since it’s possessed by a young girl. And yes, you will get to see the girl. 

She will probably also seem a bit familiar but not really from a James Wan movie. No, this time around it’s more of a The Exorcist vibe. It’s actually okay and does work pretty well.

Good casting and the awesome twist at the end

Also, I should mention that the actors portraying the young couple, Anya and Daniel, do a great job. Their relationship is portrayed really well and keeps you interested in their story.

Shandy Aulia plays Anya and has an uncanny resemblance to Rose Byrne (Insidious) at times. Denny Sumargo plays Daniel and is an overall good guy who just wants his wife to have a good life. As Laras, we have Sara Wijayanto, who is also in The Doll 2 and Sabrina.

Another thing that works really well for The Doll is the ending. This has nothing to do with any of the movies in The Conjuring universe and is a real saving grace for the story.

Trust me, hang in there and you will be rewarded with a story that actually makes sense and explains what is going on.

Watch The Doll on Netflix

While you might not have had an easy time getting your hands on The Doll before, you can now watch it on Netflix. It’s out in the US and many other countries.

It does seem like this is the result of how well the Sabrina doll horror movie from the same director did. But, of course, it could also have been the plan all along.

Rocky Soraya directed The Doll and also came up with the story (probably after watching The Conjuring and Annabelle) while the screenplay was written by Riheam Junianti. The two have worked together on several projects including The 3rd Eye which is not about a doll but still very much a horror movie.

Check out our review for The 3rd Eye (org. title Mata Batin) here >

If you liked Sabrina then you should enjoy this one. In my opinion, this is the better movie despite a lower budget and the obvious inspiration from James Wan movies. I really enjoy most doll horror movies and think this was well worth my time.

Also, read our review of the sequel, The Doll 2, which is also out on Netflix now.

The Doll is out on Netflix in the US and many other countries from January 15, 2019.

Details

Director: Rocky Soraya
Writers: Riheam Junianti (screenplay), Rocky Soraya (story)
Stars: Shandy Aulia, Denny Sumargo, Sara Wijayanto, Vitta Mariana

Plot

Eerie things begin to happen after a man gives his wife a doll, unaware it once belonged to a girl who was murdered. The first of the Doll films.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

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Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Doll (2016)
Rating
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