When Agatha, the old housemaid is not able anymore to do a decent job in the Otto residence, Jennifer Otto fires her. As a form of vengeance, she gives to her son Eugene a very sinister doll, called Robert. Upon acceptance of the gift, strange occurrences starts happening in the family residence, and Jennifer rapidly becomes suspicious of the awkward macabre doll. Because of her history of mental illness, Paul, her husband, do not accept her explanations pointing the doll as the culprit for the heinous things that has been happening. Things become increasingly severe when she realizes the doll talks to her little son, Eugene.
Despite the similar Child’s Play franchise premise, the movie is in fact based in a real life supposedly cursed doll named Robert, who belonged to a painter and author named Robert Eugene Otto, that is now exhibited in the East Martello Museum, in Key West, Florida. Both the real life doll and the movie doll are dressed in a sailor uniform. Nonetheless, the movie is entirely fictitious, with a story loosely based in the actual doll.
Remarkably, Robert is a surprisingly good movie. Sometimes, falls in the error of becoming more like a family melodrama than an horror film, but still, it is worthwhile watching it. The acting is very professional, dramatic, desperate and filled with anguish, and the difficulties the family has to endure that are all caused by the doll are able to intrigue and captivate the attention of its audience. The drama that Jennifer Otto has to fight to make her husband believe in herself is convincingly credible and heart-breaking. Despite very little horror scenes, tension in the movie is well done, constructed carefully, under a thin layer of anxiety, fear and expectation. The only problem in the movie is the aggression scenes involving the doll. Because of the obvious low-budget of the movie, those scenes are rare, and the little you can actually see is almost always very subjective, since they probably couldn’t afford a special effects team to make scenes of the actual doll moving itself along, to make the horrendous things that a cursed doll is supposed to do.
Well, this movie certainly falls in the very good three stars and a half category. If you like a good horror movie, you will certainly enjoy Robert, the cursed doll!