09th Nov2022

‘The Cult of Humpty Dumpty’ VOD Review (Amazon Prime)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Sarah T. Cohen, May Kelly, Kelly Rian Sanson, Matthew Baunsgard, Gillian Broderick, Georgina Jane, Sara Maurelli, Sonja Quita Doubleday, Chris Cordell, Amanda Himsworth | Written by Sam Ashurst | Directed by Jack E. Bell

I was a HUGE fan of last year’s The Curse of Humpty Dumpty from writer/director/producer Scott Jeffrey, so when a sequel was announced I was very excited to see it… Turns out I didn’t have to wait too long as distributors ITN Distribution have, like the last half-dozen or so films from Jeffrey’s Jagged Edge and Proportion Productions, dumped it’s sequel, The Cult of Humpty Dumpty (aka The Curse of Humpty Dumpty 2 or the miss-monikered The Cult of Humpty Dumpty 2 it’s also branded as online), to Amazon Prime with zero fan-fare, along with the Jack and Jill sequel. Good job I’ve got an alert set up for his films isn’t it?!

This time round we follow a group of troubled teenage girls (well, more like twenty-somethings) as they’re taken to a special camp – away from civilisation, without contact with the outside world and with no mobile phones in sight. The camp, dubbed “Green Cleanse” promotes healthy living, “clean body, clean mind”… However it’s actually a front for a cult, a cult that has bought, repaired and resurrected the titular Humpty Dumpty doll and have no qualms about feeding the girls, literally in some cases, to the creepy killer clown.

Yes, as you can tell from that brief synopsis, The Cult of Humpty Dumpty has pretty-much jettisoned everything I loved about the original film – gone is the metaphorical nature of the original film, which was a powerful look at dementia and the impact it has on sufferers and their families – all wrapped up in a horror film that made you question whether ANYTHING you saw was real, or in the mind of its lead character Wendy (Nicola Wright).

In its place comes a more generic, slasher-movie-style horror that sees the group of “terrible teens” picked off one by one by the titular egg-faced killer in an all-too-familiar fashion. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t want to see the creepy-ass clown from the first movie in action again? It’s just a shame that we had to lose the more meaningful aspects found in the original film… Though given that this film sees people using the titular character to gain its power for themselves, it could still be something of a socio-political metaphor for current times!

What The Cult of Humpty Dumpty does offer is more backstory for the killer character, revealing its true nature, how it can be defeated and how its power can be taken… The film also answers one of the big questions from the first film – that a connection to Humpty makes one absent-minded, explaining what happened to Wendy in the first film oh-so brilliantly. Though altogether it’s little compensation for turning the series into a generic horror franchise but still, I can just about live with it, especially given how well this film pulls off its inherent creepiness. For this film is ridiculously creepy – from the solemn music on the soundtrack, which sets an eerie tone; to the performance of Gillian Broderick as Miss Harrity, who channels a similar absent-minded performance to that of Nicola Wright in the original film.

There’s a plot twist that is hinted at throughout The Cult of Humpty Dumpty which comes to fruition in a way I actually didn’t expect. You see one of the teens isn’t as virginal and “clean” as people think – which is a story beat we’ve seen in other horror films, after all the virgin final girl is something of a cliche so to subvert that also became something of a cliche in more modern slashers – so to see that cliche used in a new, refreshing way, yet one that sticks to the core of what is now Humpty Dumpty “lore”, came as a pleasant surprise!

What was not a surprise was the hints, both subtle (as the film ends) and not-so-subtle (in a mid-credits scene), that we haven’t seen the end of Pennywise wannabe Humpty Dumpty. And I’m honestly OK with that.

*** 3/5

The Cult of Humpty Dumpty, aka The Curse of Humpty Dumpty 2, is available to rent or buy now on Amazon Prime.


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