ROBERT 2 – THE CURSE OF ROBERT

1.5 out of 10

Release Date: 12th September 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Andrew Jones (The Toymaker / The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund / Robert / Conjuring The Dead / The Haunting At The Rectory / Poltergeist Activity / The Last House on Cemetery Lane  / Theatre of Fear  / Amityville Asylum)

Writer: Andrew Jones

Cast: Tiffany Ceri, Jason Homewood, Steven Dolton, Nigel Barber, Chris Bell, Clare Gollop, Christopher Hale, Richard Burman with Lee Bane and Suzie Frances Garton

Trailer: ROBERT 2

the-curse-of-robert-the-doll

By rights the first film about the cursed killer doll Robert the Doll should have been ridiculous. But it contained good performances and some effective chills. This sequel should be filed along side Nightmare On Elm Street 2 in the shit sequel box.

Robert the Doll gets stolen out of a police evidence box and sold to an evil American museum owner keen on making lots of money from people wanting to get a glimpse of the legend. Once Robert is installed he goes on a killing rampage pinning the blame on a glamorous Mrs Mop, Tiffany Ceri (THEATRE OF FEAR). Different cops get on the case only to be saddled with straight out the cliched cop box dialogue. Steven Dolton (THE HAUNTING OF ANNIE DYER) and Chris Bell (RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER 3) as the hapless cops are wasted and its sad to see them strait jacketed by director / writer Andrew Jones’ crappiest script yet. Tiffany Ceri, who impressed in previous Jones’ films is given a real plank of an actor to work opposite – step forward first timer Jason Homewood who is more wooden than the doll.  What the film lacks is Lee Bane (THE TOYMAKER) – who was killed in the first film. He pops up here in a new role at the end, in the films only strange / good scene.  By showing us a film without him, actually shows us how much he improves the material he’s been given in past Jones’ movies. An official spin-off called The Toymaker is next off the conveyor belt, so look out as Robert might be back.

Back to this film which is set in the worst excuse for a museum I’ve ever seen. Does it really exist as the exhibits seemed to consist of a few dummies and a fake shop? At least the director turns the lights off in this movie and attempts to create an atmosphere, but unfortunately the film is a massive blunt instrument. There’s no build up, as Robert just hops out of his display case and kills everyone without any preamble. In the first film there was a lot of smoke & mirrors, we never saw the doll move for the longest time. Here he’s a fully animated psycho. So creepiness adds up to zero and it’s about as scary as Chuggington.  Oh yeah, the film score is very bad too. Very bad.

We’ve caught Andrew Jones’ and co. on a serious ‘off’ day, so let’s see if they can make a comeback. It needs to happen, hopefully with Lee Bane back in the lead role to give some gravity to proceedings.

1.5 out of 10 – Very poor, lazy and pointless sequel that just seems like a set up for The Toymaker.

Another review below by Matt Usher

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “ROBERT 2 – THE CURSE OF ROBERT

  1. Review by Matt ‘Robert’ Usher… yes really… muhahaha.

    Willem Dafoe is back! Or at least the creepy doll that looks like the great man is back in circulation. Alas. Last time we encountered Robert the doll he was torturing a pretentious middle-class family. That first film (called ROBERT) was unexpectedly good, if you were watching it with really quite incredibly low expectations. This time he returns in a film which couldn’t be more vapid, dull and pointless if it tried.

    A rich American businessman bribes a policeman to remove some evidence. The evidence in question is (surprise, surprise) Robert the alleged killer doll. Having got his mits on the thing, the businessman (played by Nigel Barber who looks uncannily like popular megalomaniac conductor Herbert von Karajan) puts it on display in his museum. You might have thought the police might be interested (bribery, theft, receipt of stolen goods, corrupting a public official, tampering with police evidence), but then again, police procedure is not something the film is particularly strong on (a crime scene reopens for business minutes after the crime is discovered, an officer recites a police caution that is simply incorrect) (and if you’re noticing the wording of the caution, particularly at such a climactic moment in the film, then there’s something very awry).

    Anyway, the businessman is now coining it in as thousands of people are queuing up to be photographed with the devilish doll of death (we don’t see any of them, obviously). Presumably the businessman has other interests, because, as far as I can see, the money-spinning museum comprises three rooms (including a staff room) and a corridor. Which means the film’s depiction of the businessman is quite curious. He’s meant to be some evil, money-obsessed monster, the sort of money-lover that sacrifices employees for profits. And yet, at night, his museum is staffed by two security guards and two cleaners, which, given the tininess of the building, is pretty generous.

    So the cleaners and the security staff. One might argue the film was trying to strike a blow for underpaid exploited workers by concentrating on such menials. But no, the film is anxious to show that the younger workers are still hopeful of better things, and the older two demonstrate that sometimes the better things don’t necessarily come along. Gosh, that makes the film deeper than I thought. By millimetres. (Or will it be 16ths now we’re on our way out of Europe?)

    The older (and therefore more doomed generation) are represented by cleaner Ethel and security guard Stan. They are salty, earthy individuals, who, as the names no doubt suggest, are over the age of, well, thirty. Maybe the screenwriter envisaged octogenarians, but to no avail. You will not be astonished to learn that they are the first to die, and they do so in quite mind-numbingly dreary sequences. Stan’s death will suffice: we follow him as he walks through the museum, doing his dutiful security guard thing. We follow him as he shuffles along for three and a half minutes. The tension never even begins. Not even when a plastic bag flutters by. And then he gets killed by the doll. But it’s quite dark so it’s a bit difficult to tell exactly what’s going on. Poor Stan. Poor Ethel too, not least for being called Ethel.

    But never mind about the dying geriatrics (combined age easily 73), what about our hot young sexy thrusting leads?

    Tiffany Ceri plays the glamorous young cleaning lady, but she’s really a student (her intelligence is indicated by one line of dialogue and the fact that she wears glasses) (but not very often) (indeed her principal character trait is that she removes her glasses every time the camera is pointed in her direction) (annoyingly this is not accompanied by a shampoo-advert-style flick of her hair). Jason Homewood is the other security guard, a junior-Stan with still some spark of hope. Mr Homewood seems a likeable young man, but the wooden doll has more acting ability than he is allowed to display here. Unsurprisingly they manage to find time to become slightly lovey-dovey in and amongst all the doll-based mayhem, and, like the oft-invoked Scooby team, attempt to prove that Robert the doll is indeed a killer. Otherwise the police (as incarnated here by a bored looking Chris Bell, and an almost good Steve Doulton) might pin the murders on our innocent, sweet duo.

    Who wins in this battle of wits? I must not say, but the final quarter of an hour of this short (barely 80 minutes) film is devoted to a sequence where we see the doll reunited with its creator. It’s a very odd scene, not least because the Geppetto is played by Lee Bane, labouring beneath many layers of ageing-make-up/masks. Now, I love Lee Bane. But. Quite simply. No. This is just … utterly, dreadfully, quite abysmally wrong, and I urge the film-makers not to continue down this atrocious, unhealthy and ill-auguring path. The whole ageing thing is bad enough, but then there are the moving dolls which make it all a bit Camberwick Green. A final, trilogy-forming, film is threatened, please don’t let it be anything like this final segment.

    And this is the final nail in the coffin. There’s no attempt at making Robert’s moving about a mystery. Everyone, including the police, seems to regard a doll padding about the place as unlikely, rather than utterly impossible. It’s almost as if the impossible thing is him getting out of his glass case, when the impossible thing should be the doll moving at all. And frankly, although the Robert doll is excellent, whenever the director films his feet you just find yourself saying ‘awwww, they’re sooooo cuuuute’.

    We here at Britpic have generally been quite amenable to the odd filmmaking ambitions and mannerisms of writer-director Andrew Jones and his team. This time the film feels like a lazy rehash which was put together in less time than it takes to watch. New script, new ideas and more imagination now required please.

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