“The Cursed Doll” is as packed with cliches as the opener, and is somehow even less convincing — an impressive feat.
This recap of Haunted: Latin America episode 2, “The Cursed Doll”, contains spoilers.
There’s always a doll, isn’t there? Even I can concede that the one in “The Cursed Doll” is a creepy-looking thing, but that’s the only claim you can make a case for in this thoroughly daft second episode of Haunted: Latin America. Anyone hoping that the premiere being about a haunted house was the show getting all the obvious ideas out of the way will be disappointed to learn that obvious ideas are probably the only ones Haunted ever has.
Anyway, Zully Daza had a doll that was obsessed with her. Her childhood was uneventful; she had loving parents who raised her well, but when she was seven she began to feel “a presence” that appeared as an old, unhealthy-looking man in a hat. When she was 15 — what happened in the intervening years is left completely mysterious — her doting father throws her a birthday party and gives her the doll as a gift. Zully thought she had a “sweet look”, which is absolutely ridiculous, and doted on her as if she was a child. Quickly, she began to deteriorate and look increasingly haggard. Her hand fell off so that the wiry stump looked like a hook. At the same time, she began feeling and experiencing other things, such as presences and shadows. Shadows, really? I can see a few in my office. They’re perfectly normal!
The next thing we know, Zully is an adult with children. Haunted: Latin America episode 2 has its share of the usual problems, but its biggest one is keeping track of time. Are we to assume that the old man presence left Zully alone for eight years, then the doll rotted after a day or two but remained otherwise fine for several years more? The doll began to scare the kids, and the house got infected with roaches, and all Zully’s romantic relationships were ruined. She strongly suspects that the doll killed the family dog because it used to chew on her. To say a vengeful, obsessed, possessed doll is supposedly involved, these things seem to be happening quite sporadically. I’ve never heard of a patient demon.
Eventually, the doll starts to talk to Zully and blink at her; since she couldn’t accept the fact that the doll was evil since it was a gift from her kindly, never-hurt-a-fly father, Zully kept her feelings to herself for ages but eventually contacted a paranormal investigator for help. He’s present in the roundtable discussions and relays what happened when an all-star tag-team of “experts” made an appointment to analyze the doll, which involved asking it questions while holding two steel rods and the doll’s “energy” directing the rods in the direction of either “yes” or “no” on a little board. Is she in love with Zully? Yes. Does she want to hurt her? Yes. Does she want to kill her? Yes. Isn’t that the opposite of love?
Either way, Haunted: Latin America episode 2 ends with Zully seeing the old man in the hat in the radio station where this is taking place, and as she imagines him choking her, she topples back in her chair. The doll does the same. In what seems like a smart move, she left the doll with the researchers, though she thinks it’s still looking for her. Judging by how the thing has carried on in the past, it’d probably wait for years to do anything anyway.