‘Before Chucky… Before Annabelle… There was’
Robert – aka Robert the Doll – is a 2015 British supernatural horror feature film written, produced and directed by Andrew Jones. The North Bank Entertainment production stars Suzie Frances Garton, Lee Bane and Flynn Allen.
After Paul and Jenny part company with their sinister housekeeper Agatha, the disgruntled former employee gives a vintage doll called Robert to their son Gene. Soon after Agatha’s departure, strange events begin plaguing the household. Furniture is vandalised, objects are thrown around and maniacal giggles echo through the house in the middle of the night.
But nobody believes Gene when he claims Robert is to blame for the disturbances. Paul and Jenny consider the possibility that a supernatural force has taken over their home. But as the occurrences escalate they discover that it’s not the house that’s haunted… it’s the doll!
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“This is a film that tries to take established lore from a documented paranormal case, throw a modern coat of paint on it, and claim it’s a movie. Yes, by all rights it is, but it simply doesn’t look, sound, or even feel like you’re watching a movie. Instead, it’s like you’re sitting down to watch an unfunny Halloween episode of Bob Newhart or Frasier that was shot in England.” Apoch’s Metal Review
” …the screenplay insists on inserting a “wife might be crazy” angle making no narrative sense since viewers know there is no mystery to solve. Better puzzles to ponder might include questionable casting of a child old enough to know dolls aren’t alive, whether the laughably flaccid scene of a person tumbling down a staircase technically counts as a “stunt,” and do these filmmakers even know how to properly construct a movie?” Culture Crypt
“The film borrows many elements of scary doll films, Chucky obviously being the most influential, but Robert actually resembles a rather horrible version of ‘Fats’ from Magic. Less is more in these kind of films and Robert’s shenanigans are brought to the screen by clever photography, shadows and funny noises. Performance wise the cast do well especially the young lad who Robert wants to be friends with forever.” Fleapit Cinema
“Aside from like two or three very short moments, the doll just doesn’t do anything. And I’m sorry, but if you’re making a creepy doll film then maybe the doll should actually be doing something creepy. Most of the shocks occur off screen and when the doll is active, we have to suffer through some shaky POV shots.” Horror News
“The two leads remain resolutely British, with Bane, calm and measured, being his usual good self, but it’s Garton who steals the show. Her gradual descent into madness over the events occurring in her house in pitched just perfectly, without the tiresome over-hysterical hysteria that usually accompanies such a psychological disintegration.” The Schlock Pit
“If you are a horror fan that will only be pleased with special effects and fast paced action, then perhaps Robert is not for you. In this film, the drama, psychology and experiences of a modern family are just as relevant as the doll itself. If quiet, insidious and subtle creepiness is more your thing, then I recommend this film highly.” Study Paranormal
Cast and characters:
- Suzie Frances Garton … Jenny Otto – Hex; Werewolves of the Third Reich; The Curse of Robert; A Haunting at the Rectory
- Lee Bane … Paul Otto – The Revenge of Robert the Doll; The Curse of Robert; et al
- Flynn Allen … Gene Otto – House of Salem
- Judith Haley … Agatha
- Cyd Casados … Debbie
- Samuel Hutchison … Steven
- Megan Lockhurst … Martha
- Annie Davies … Marcie
- Ryan Michaels … Clarence
The real life Robert the Doll is currently located at the East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida, USA. The doll is annually rotated to the Old Post Office and Customhouse in Key West during the month of October. The doll used in the movie is not the doll on display in Key West.
The Curse of Robert the Doll (2016)
The Toymaker (2017)
Robert Reborn (2018)
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