The art of making content for the internet incorporates tricks we’re all familiar with. Nobody’s jaw has ever actually dropped when they’ve seen that a once-successful actor now looks older than they used to, but you still might hover over the headline and consider a click.
Netflix are masters at this kind of stuff. So, just as the streaming giant has ploughed money into The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, their slightly-more-grown-up reboot of the beloved ‘90s show (no talking cat, not watching), they’ve also, it seems, purchased an Indonesian horror film called Sabrina on the cheap to catch the passing traffic of those searching for teen witch thrills.
But here’s the thing: even the trailer for this film is enough to have you praying to Baphomet to make it go away.
The film is the third in a series of movies called The Doll, parts one and two of which aren’t available on Netflix to watch but are – hurray! – completely unnecessary for understanding the plot. Here’s what makes it so horrible.
Creepy pencil Ouija board thing
Ouija boards ain’t nothing to fuck with. We all know this. Forget to sign off and all of a sudden you’ve got Zozo as a new roommate. Sabrina has its own type of spirit board that doesn’t crop up as much on screen – the Charlie Charlie challenge, a craze which briefly swept the playgrounds of the world in 2015. The reason for its popularity was its simplicity: two pencils, a square with two lots of YES/NO on it and – bingo – you’re on the line to your dead aunt. In Sabrina, young orphan Vanya (Richelle Georgette Skornicki) uses the board to communicate with her dead mum, who she then attempts to see using an iPad app. Yeah, it doesn’t work out great.
The most horrible haunted doll you’ve ever seen in your whole entire life
Creepy dolls are classic horror fodder, but it’s possible that we’ve never had one quite this horrible. Childs Play’s Chucky, to his credit, cracks out the odd one-liner among the stabbing. Annabelle is no looker, but she’s not really possessed herself, just a sort of plaything of another entity (yawn). Dolls have to be sentient to be scary.
The doll in Sabrina, however, looks like it was sculpted from reference pictures of Mr Punch and Cher. If you took this doll home to your young child, they could quite reasonably be expected to file their own adoption papers. It’s a doll that’s so hideous even ultimate nice guy Woody would evict her from the Toy Story toychest. And she’s sentient. Yuck.
Zombies aren’t scary. Ghosts are a bit scary. Satanic possession has its moments. But demons? Demons are the true bad lads and lasses of the supernatural world, hijacking bodies, rotting flesh, talking Latin, crawling on ceilings. And Sabrina’s got a side order of demons with your dolls.
Curiosity piqued? Check out the truly hideous trailer below.