When it comes to horror tropes, creepy dolls is hands down my absolute favourite. I can’t really explain why, other than the fact that I’ve always been a huge lover and collector of dolls, so the idea that said dolls could actually come to life has equally thrilled and horrified me. Considering that my first ever published work was for a school anthology when I was nine entitled, “Little Friends,” where the protagonists doll comes to life and guides the protagonist towards a haunted forest with a witch pretty much tells you all there is to know about child-me (I’m actually very surprised my school actually published a story that had both a witch AND a killer doll all in one but hey, guess the principal was a horror fan). Having said that, here are my absolute must-see creepy dolls horror movies.
A dysfunctional family of three stop by a mansion during a storm – father, stepmother, and child. The child discovers that the elderly owners are magical toy makers and have a haunted collection of dolls. If you happened to sleepover at my house between the time I was 6-12 years old, then you most definitely have seen this and I may have played pranks to amp up the scare factor, and maybe you know hate me (and dolls) forever. Sorry, not sorry.
A single mother gives her son a much sought-after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. There’s no way that I could have a creepy doll list without mentioning the most iconic and famous killer doll of them all, Chucky! Now, not only is Chucky uber creepy, he’s also hella funny spouting off one-liners with the comedic verve of Freddy Krueger, so obviously, I’m a huge fan of the franchise.
Psychics find themselves plotted against by a former colleague, who committed suicide after discovering animated, murderous puppets. This film franchise has a ton of sequels (that yes, I have seen) that take a turn for the campy, historic, and truly bizarre at some points. My favourite puppet of the group is Blade and Fangoria magazine was selling said puppets at one point when I was little but I could never get my dad to shell out $80 for a puppet (which I’m still salty about cause ya know, Blade was totally awesome).
A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists. Everyone is familiar with Annabelle, and what sets her apart from all the other dolls in this list is that said Annabelle actually exists and is believed to be totally haunted. The Warrens kept the real Annabelle in a locked glass case and had a priest bless it once a month to weaken the evil spirits. I really loved this film so much that I ended up watching it at a theatre twice.
A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a deceased ventriloquist. Before James Wan decided to scare the shit out of people with Annabelle he decided to go for the creepy puppet and I was there for it (honestly I’m gutted that it never had a sequel).
What are some of your favourite horror tropes? Let me know!
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