The Doll – Review | Netflix | Indonesian Horror inspired by The Conjuring (2024)

The Doll is an Indonesiandoll horror movie. If you like Asian horror and the doll horror niche, then this should be perfect for you. Also, it isheavily inspired byThe Conjuring universe. Watch it on Netflix now!

The Doll is out on Netflix in the US now and it’s an obvious choice for fans ofAnnabelle fromThe Conjuring universe. Or anyone who likes the doll horror niche really.

Be warned though, this is much more along the lines of the sinisterAnnabelle and not the more mischeviousChucky.

Also, if you likedSabrina, then this should be for you. In fact, this is the first of two movies that came beforeSabrina. Here’s our review of the doll horror movieSabrina>

An Indonesian version ofThe Conjuring universe

WhenThe Dollhas an opening scene which is almost identical to the opening scene inThe Conjuring, then it sets itself up for comparison. If you rememberThe Conjuringopening scene, then it’s a group of people talking to someone about a possessed doll.

The doll is, of course, “Annabelle” while the people hearing the story are Ed and Lorraine Warren. InThe Doll, the people are Dedi and Laras. But you don’t need to pay much attention to Dedi since he won’t really be part of this movie. However, if you’ve watchedSabrina, then you will recognize them both.

UnlikeThe Conjuring, this movie doesn’t continue with a family in a haunted house of sorts. No, it delves straight into the story we know from theAnnabelle movie. With minor changes.

InThe Doll, the wife actually creates dolls herself. InAnnabelle, the wife collected dolls. In both movies, however, the dolls enter the house via their husbands. Though it does happen in different ways.

Immitation is also called the sincerest form of flattery. And obviously, the horror master and creator ofThe Conjuring universe, James Wan (who was born in Malaysia), should feel very flattered by Rocky Soraya’sThe Doll.

Still, there is also such a thing as plagiarism and this movie comes too close in some instances.For example, there was one scene with a large closet where I stated: “If so and so happens now, then Soraya is a bit over-inspired”.

And then it happened.

Enter Lorraine Warren… I mean, Laras

For a long time, the family consisting of Anya (the dollmaker) and Daniel (her construction worker husband) deal with the doll on their own. Their neighbor does help out as much as she can and is actually a true friend and lifesaver.

Of course, we all know that supporting characters can’t do this and get away with it in horror movies.

When things go from weird to bad to worse, help is called in the form of Laras. She has certain gifts which are very similar to those of Lorraine Warren. However, the character is still very much her own.

The doll turns out to be “Ghawiah”. It’s possessed by an evil spirit which follows its desires. Mostly, its desire is to play hide and seek since it’s possessed by a young girl. And yes, you will get to see the girl.

She will probably also seem a bit familiar but not really from a James Wan movie. No, this time around it’s more of aThe Exorcist vibe. It’s actually okay and does work pretty well.

Good casting and the awesome twist at the end

Also, I should mention that the actors portraying the young couple, Anya and Daniel, do a great job. Their relationship is portrayed really well and keeps you interested in their story.

Shandy Aulia plays Anya and has an uncanny resemblance to Rose Byrne (Insidious) at times. Denny Sumargo plays Daniel and is an overall good guy who just wants his wife to have a good life. As Laras, we have Sara Wijayanto, who is also inThe Doll 2 andSabrina.

Another thing that worksreally well forThe Doll is the ending. This has nothing to do with any of the movies inThe Conjuring universe and is a real saving grace for the story.

Trust me, hang in there and you will be rewarded with a story that actually makes sense and explains what is going on.

WatchThe Doll on Netflix

While you might not have had an easy time getting your hands onThe Doll before, you can now watch it on Netflix. It’s out in the US and many other countries.

It does seem like this is the result of how well theSabrina doll horror movie from the same director did. But, of course, it could also have been the plan all along.

Rocky Soraya directedThe Doll and also came up with the story (probably after watchingThe ConjuringandAnnabelle)while the screenplay was written by RiheamJunianti. The two have worked together on several projects includingThe 3rd Eyewhich is not about a doll but still very much a horror movie.

Check out our review forThe 3rd Eye (org. titleMata Batin) here >

If you liked Sabrina then you should enjoy this one. In my opinion, this is the better movie despite alower budget and the obvious inspiration from James Wan movies. I really enjoy most doll horror movies and think this was well worth my time.

Also, read our review of the sequel, The Doll 2, which is also out on Netflix now.

The Doll is out on Netflix in the US and many other countries from January 15, 2019.


Director: Rocky Soraya
Writers: Riheam Junianti (screenplay), Rocky Soraya (story)
Stars: Shandy Aulia, Denny Sumargo, Sara Wijayanto, Vitta Mariana


Eerie things begin to happen after a man gives his wife a doll, unaware it once belonged to a girl who was murdered. The first of the Doll films.

The Doll – Review | Netflix | Indonesian Horror inspired by The Conjuring (2024)
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