When socially awkward technical writer Kenneth is given a female assistant to help him produce a set of instruction manuals, romance starts to develop. But there is another woman in his life already. A life-size, anatomically correct, silicon sex doll called Nikki. And she is not pleased at all.
While the ideas behind Love Object might not be totally original, they are certainly interesting and unusual. Rather than a story about supernatural sex dolls coming to life, we have an account of a man's mental decline from social awkwardness, to obsession, kidnapping and even murder.
Kenneth likes life to be ordered, with clear rules. Like the instructions in the technical manuals he writes. ("Everything's easy if you just read the instructions.") But real humans are complex and unpredictable, and don't always follow rules in the way Kenneth would like. And there begins his confusion and frustration, manifesting in increasingly bizarre hallucinations. Whether it's the inanimate Nikki "phoning" him or telling him to do bad things, or the unpleasant red rash that he sees on people he considers perverted, it all makes for eerie psychological horror.
The final act seems to go in a slightly different direction, and ends with an unexpected but dramatic twist. The film has a strong central performance from Desmond Harrington as Kenneth, and there is a sleazy, creepy feel throughout. I'm always slightly uncomfortable when horror films use disability as part of the character's motivation (Kenneth could be seen as having autistic traits). But otherwise, Love Object raises some interesting questions and themes, and would probably give film students a lot to talk about. 3.5/5