'Sabrina' Review: A Netflix Original & Indonesian Spooky Doll Flick
I watched the Netflix Original Film Sabrina some weeks ago.
To be honest, the artwork sucked me in and I like spooky doll movies. Sabrina is an Indonesian flick from Hitmaker Studios, which dropped in November 2018. There is a film prior to this one called The Doll, which gives some history to Sabrina. Director Rocky Soraya wrote both films.
Sorya decided to make Sabrina a spin-off to The Doll. The dolls are different and the details are somewhat skewed. Most of the cast are the same though.
The original film did way better than this one, but it had way fewer viewers. Did I like Sabrina? Read on to find out.
Quick Film Information
Director and writer Rocky Soraya.
Screenplay: Riheam Junianti.
Starring: Shandy Aulia, Denny Sumargo, Sara Wijayanto, and Jeremy Thomas.
What's it About?
Maira and Aiden have a happy life. Aiden is a doll maker and toy company owner. Together they adopted Vanya, Aiden's niece, who is still dealing with the loss of her mother.
Kids at the school like to dabble in contacting the dead using a game called "charlie charlie.' Vanya tries to contact her mother. Strange things begin to happen but Vanya is happier than ever. Maira begins to get terrorized by the Sabrina doll. What is happening with the doll and what does it want?
What Did I think?
I have spoken to a few people who have seen this as well and the funniest thing happened. During a discussion of the movie, I discovered that had this film been purposefully a comedy-horror, I might have rated it higher than I would. I didn't like this movie, there is a lot that I found to be laughable. Despite my best efforts to take this one seriously, I found myself erupt with some giggles throughout the runtime of an hour and 53 minutes. But this is not a horror-comedy.
The special effects, makeup, and acting are stiff or overdone. The child actor annoyed me a bit. Kids in movies sometimes go really well like in Issa Lopez's Mexican film, Tigers Are Not Afraid, where the whole cast is made up of child actors. Here, however, through no fault of the young actress herself, I was bothered. She is probably a great performer, however, the dialogue and writing here in Sabrina left me feeling...well amused. I did like Aiden (played by Christian Sugiono) though. I found his role to be the most stable throughout. Where the narrative didn't work in most places when he was on screen, it seemed less comedic.
It's Not Supposed to be a Horror Comedy?
The amusement starts early on mixed in with some clever concepts. Vanya has a tablet with an app on it that tells you if there is a spirit about. I liked this aspect very much. It's a modern snippet of an idea trapped in a bad movie. Vanya's adoptive aunt and uncle discover Vanya has been playing a seance-like game to contact her deceased mother. They invite some psychic-exorcists around and they tell Maira and Aiden they will need to buy a new house immediately. I've seen a lot of possession films but I've never seen one where the advice is:
"Sorry, I will need you to buy a new house. Playing this game is fatal and this is the only solution"
While Aiden and Maira don't run out and purchase a new fancy house, they decide a holiday is pretty close.
Then there's the injuries in which various characters fall down, get tossed by the demon or get thrown into walls. The blood used is a gratuitous amount. In places where you would expect a small scrape, bruise or ouchie, someone in the crew must have said:
"Lookit' they fell, spray them with blood."
Later, a head is severed and produces no blood at all. Perhaps they ran out by then.
You can't keep a good demon down
When the demon is finally in a position to show itself, the real fun begins. I really can't describe just how funny I found it, you have to see it for yourself. Horror movies are my favorite and I am also a bit of a scaredy-cat. I usually leave the lights on to pave my way at night, clicking them off as I make my way through the house. Some of the least scary films with ghosts and possessions usually leave enough of a creepy feeling that I have a tiny bit of trouble sleeping for a little while and I never leave my feet hanging over the side of the bed. This movie gave me none of that feeling, but I did smile when it was over.
Sabrina has one of the happiest endings I’ve ever seen tacked onto the end of a religious laden possession horror script. Even the original sinner who caused everything is never punished. Although the twist is a pretty good one, the afterward when revealed goes something like this:
" And even though most of the family is dead and a little girl was almost orphaned, they all lived happily ever after."
Even the psychic and her exorcist friend stop to have a wedding. I expected a sunset to adorn the screen.
This film is weird enough to keep your attention and funny enough to see it through, but I don't recommend it.
I give Sabrina
2 where are the cops when there are multiple decapitations? out of 5.
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