I’m going to start with the obvious: Why did they change the doll? Yes; this is based on a true story, which you can read about here. You can see the ACTUAL doll below:
How different are these dolls? EXTREMELY. I see intense commercialization here, and I’m not happy about it. Yeah, the doll they chose is really creepy looking, but, at least for me, I think that keeping the doll as it actually looked would have a more profound impact on viewers.
At first glance, the doll (which is the once-popular Raggedy Ann doll) is just cute. And that’s why it works! Here’s why: At first glance of the other doll, you’re already freaked out. This one looks completely innocent; that’s why it’s so powerful. For those that scoff, it’s true; the unexpected can be terrifying. Don’t we always whine about the predictability of horror movies? Don’t judge a book by its cover.
The aforementioned phenomenon has been used in the past, specifically in The Shining. Kids are creepy, let’s just admit it.
Anyway, the fact that the doll was different made the movie lose a few points. It was a nice horror flick, though. There were some great moments. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will just point them out in a vague way.
1- The coloring pages: See? Kids are terrifying. Case in point.
2- The elevator/stairway scene: The pure panic and terror in the elevator scene combined with the horror in the stairway scene was just PERFECT. Kudos.
3- The truck scene: We all saw it coming, but the little gasp that came out when you know what happened was spectacular. It was a big surprise that pretty much flustered everyone in the audience.
It was interesting to see a husband that actually believed the wife this time; that doesn’t happen a lot. There’s always a doubter that eventually has to get slapped in the face to realize the truth. He was a supportive husband. It was nice.
I also enjoyed how they started with the ending. It was a great setup for a sequel.
All in all, a great little horror flick. By no means would this film ever triumph over the incredibly successful Chucky series, but it’s got its place in the horror realm. It topped the box office right along with Gone Girl.
Overall, I give this movie 4 out of 5 hearts.
The Good: Some really awesome moments that are very well crafted. Great actors. Good atmosphere.
The Bad: They changed the doll. A bit too short.
Gore Rating: Low. Some violence and blood, but nothing Saw-esque.