Disney has a lot to answer for when it comes to the depiction of classic fairy tales, with their saccharine dilution of frequently sinister and violent stories leaving people with the wrong impression of what they were originally like. In such a tradition is British horror flick The Curse of Humpty Dumpty, a trailer for which has now been released.
The plot sees sisters Hazel and Elizabeth arriving to care for their mother Wendy, whose dementia-afflicted mind has deteriorated to the extent that it’s no longer safe for her to live alone. They’re greeted at the door by a creepy old doll thought disposed of years ago and who has ties to a tragic incident in the past, the details of which, along with whether or not the hideous creation might actually be alive, are locked in the faded shadows of Wendy’s memories.
Although it’s standard to depict Humpty Dumpty as an anthropomorphic egg, nowhere in the famous rhyme does it explicitly state him to be such. While the image of a pool of yolk and shell irreparably smashed on the ground certainly fits the lyrics, the notion actually stems from a description of the character in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, published in 1871. This interpretation blends the two, with the doll’s smooth pallid skin certainly being reminiscent of an eggshell, while the spiderweb of black cracks invokes the idea of it being broken and put back together.
It’s entirely possible that rather than merely being a straightforward tale of a killer doll coming to life, the story will be a metaphorical one exploring the ramifications of the soul-consuming black hole that is mental illness, if for no other reason than it would be a little disappointing to see the condition used merely as a plot device to justify why nobody remembers what previously happened. Either way, we’ll find out when The Curse of Humpty Dumpty is released in the UK on November 21st.