Directed by Azhar Kinoi Lubis, the Indonesian horror film Spirit Doll revolves around the story of an actress, Dara, who is being haunted by a spirit doll. The film is replete with elements of the supernatural, black magic, and mystery. How the thread of jealousy is woven into a web for the protagonist has been showcased in the film. The death of Dara’s daughter brings about a psychological blow, causing her to become more emotionally vulnerable, and that is when her household and personal life are attacked by her secret rival. Starring actors like Anya Geraldine, Anantya Rezki, Samuel Rizal, and others, the story is sure to give the audience goosebumps. Asian horror films like Kuntilanak, May the Devil Take You, and Satan’s Slaves are similar to this film in terms of the intensity. Will Dara be able to regain her senses and use the eyes of the heart to see that the doll she is nurturing is not her daughter? Let us find out!
What Affected Dara The most?
Dara, a famous actress, has recently split up with her husband, Darius, making her psychologically vulnerable. The producer Rafi is intent on casting her in his films in exchange for physical intimacy. Dara’s life falls apart when her daughter Embun loses her life after falling from a flight of stairs. We see that before her death, Embun was being haunted by an unknown spirit, who had some part to play in her death. Dara is unable to bear the pain of losing her only child and grieves her death day and night. She feels guilty for not taking care of Embun and not giving her enough time. After her daughter’s death, she starts acting weird, blaming others for her daughter’s death, driving Darius’ new wife Niken out of the house, and calling her a home-wrecker; she also was having hallucinations that her daughter’s body was breathing.
Dara is taken to a shaman by her friend Jenny after a failed suicide attempt. Jenny tells her that she could meet Embun by visiting the shaman. She is given a potion to drink, and the shaman also gives her a tree root, asking her to care for it as her own child, and only then could she meet her daughter. Dara, however, throws away the root, saying that it could never turn into her daughter. Dara is seen to become mentally unstable slowly after she is sent a doll by someone. She tries getting rid of the doll initially, but later is seen embracing and taking care of it as her own daughter. She feeds it, bathes it, and does everything for it that she can’t do for Embun anymore.
Who Was Behind The Damages Caused To Dara?
People closely associated with Dara strangely start turning up dead. Her housekeeper, Mbok, gets murdered by the evil spirit after she sees the apparition of Embun around the house. Rafi also gets murdered in a bathhouse, and the family shaman, Mrs. Laura, trying to save Dara, is also killed during the series of events. It is revealed that Dara’s friend Jenny was behind all the murders. She had feelings for Darius, and after being rejected by him, she tried to take revenge on the entire family. She had cast a spell on Dara with the help of the shaman that she had taken her to. The potion that she had given Dara was a medicine to make her delusional and give her hallucinations. She had also cast an evil spirit into her house with the help of black magic to break apart her entire family.
All this time, Jenny had pretended to be Dara’s well-wisher, poisoning her mind against Darius and Niken. She also used to text Niken from an unknown number, pretending to be Dara, harassing her by calling her a home-wrecker, and wishing that her unborn child with Darius was dead. She had created a rift between them so that she could get closer to Darius after driving both women crazy. She was the one who sent Dara, the spirit doll, to ensure that her mental peace and fame were lost. She wanted her to look like a lunatic so that she would lose all contact with Niken and Darius, who actually wished good for her. Jenny wished to separate her from all her well-wishers and isolate her so that she would be alone, helping her to cause more conflicts in her life.
How Was Dara Rescued?
Darius had gone to Dara’s house to help her after receiving a call from Mbok. On reaching there, he finds Mbok to have been brutally murdered and searches for Dara but finds her nowhere. He encounters a woman at the house who introduces herself to be Gendis, who was sent by Dara’s personal shaman with a letter for her. She had written that the doll was sent to her to take away her peace of mind and that it was not the spirit of her daughter but something evil that wanted to harm her. Meanwhile, Niken receives a message from an unknown number saying that Dara and Darius were at the Embun villa and that they had planned to get back together. On reaching the villa, Niken is attacked by Dara, as she was under the influence of the spirit. Niken gets pushed off a railing and then stabbed; just then, Darius arrives and saves Niken. He tries to bring Dara back to her senses and then burns the doll. Just then, Jenny arrives and tries to kill Dara, revealing her true nature and intentions. Darius is stabbed and killed by Jenny when he tries to save Dara. Later, when Jenny attacks Dara again, she is stabbed by Niken from the back.
What Happens In The End?
The scene shifts to 7 months later, when Niken gives birth to Darius’ child, and Dara goes to visit her. She promises Niken that they can take care of the child together. The dangers are not yet resolved, as at the end of the film, we see Dara being haunted again by the same doll. She holds the doll in her arms as she rocks in a chair. The same spell on Dara might have been repeated again by the evil shaman, with whom Jenny had a connection. It is also possible that Jenny was closely associated with the shaman and had a family relationship with him, causing him to again take revenge on Dara and Niken for being the cause of Jenny’s death. It is also possible that the initial spell and the tragic incidents traumatized Dara, causing her to lose her mental stability for life.
Spirit Doll lacked a solid weaving of the storyline, and the narrative was haphazard. There was also no solid motive for Jenny to cause such great harm to Dara, even after she had split up with her husband. Why did she mainly target Dara? Her main target could also have been Niken! Despite having a lot of loose ends, the film is entertaining. The element of horror is intensified with a pinch of gory visuals and jump scares. The elements of psychological thrills also intensify the sense of fear throughout the film. Asian horror films are spooky indeed! The audiences are sure to be spooked out because of the thrilling plot twists and the cliffhangers, causing uncertainty at the end. Overall, Spirit Doll has all the elements that are required to create a good horror film.