It’s scary enough seeing serial-killing humans on the big screen, let alone witnessing dolls coming to life and going all psycho on us. But for some strange reason, viewers can’t get enough of freaky dolls who (far from the original purpose they were created for) appear to have only homicide and vengeance in sight.
Cream takes a look at 10 dolls that have creeped us out big-time on the big screen. In no particular order, since they’re each as freakish as the next…
Compiled by Lisa Andrews & Antonino Tati
Benson & Gabby Gabby in Toy Story 4
There’s something about a ventriloquist’s dummy that probably had you scared as a kid – and has stuck to this day. Maybe it’s because this ‘talking’ doll is one you had witnessed in your formative years, making the whole doll-comes-to-life scenario somewhat more realistic. In Toy Story 4, there’s not one – but four – ventriloquist dummies, all named ‘Benson’ and all who (ironically enough) don’t utter a single word but do a whole lot of evil under the instruction of controlling Gabby Gabby, a ’50s doll with her own freak show going on. Still, we reckon these guys are the real stars of the fourth installment of the Toy Story series.
Chucky in Child’s Play
The first cruel doll to keep the mainstream interested enough for several (count seven) sequels to get made, hence laying the foundation for everything from Annabelle to the Saw franchise, Chucky is a horror icon that has lasted the decades. Small and stumpy in stature, he’s nonetheless a serial killer of the highest caliber, frequently escaping death by performing voodoo rituals so as to transfer his soul into a ‘good guy’ doll. A newer, slicker version of Chucky can be seen in this year’s reboot of Child’s Play (voiced again by Mark Hamill). In fact, this Chucky looks a bit like Donald Trump. And that’s some scary shit right there.
The thing about dolls, you see, is that they are such hollow, blank little things, it only takes a small amount of evil to possess them. Once that bad ju-ju is wrapped in tough plastic, there’s potential for all hell to break loose.
Annabelle in all of the movies
Who’d have thought an old-school porcelain doll would be the star of such a successful franchise? Annabelle Comes Home will be in cinemas in Australia soon and it continues with the legend of the Annabelle doll, first introduced to us in The Conjuring. The thing about dolls, you see, is that they are such hollow, blank little things, it only takes a small amount of evil to possess them. Once that bad ju-ju is wrapped in tough plastic, there’s potential for all hell to break loose. Annabelle just makes it look easy. Indeed, this bitch is passive-aggressive incarnate.
The Clown Doll in Poltergeist
It’s strange to learn that Steven Spielberg wrote and produced Poltergeist considering its freakish factors. First conceived as a dark horror sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spielberg took away the sci-fi elements and suggested more of a “ghost story”. Enter an evil spirit (or poltergeist) that moves shit around the house at will, sucks children into television sets, and sees a clown doll come to life, all ready for the kill. Yes, the early 1980s were bat-shit crazy.
Suzie in May
May is a 2002 horror/thriller that follows a lonely young woman who remains traumatised after a difficult childhood. Between desperate attempts to connect with the people around her, May’s mother makes her a doll, one who remains her only “true friend” right up unto the ripe age of 28. The doll, Suzie, is encased in a glass box and is occasionally let out to play. Strangely enough, the film stars a younger Anna Faris in an odd lesbian scene in which she tries to seduce May. The film’s protagonist also gets a taste for cannibalism. A plot that’s all over the shop, yes, and a film that has ‘cult’ written all over it.
Brahms in The Boy
The Boy is a 2016 film about a creepy doll named Brahms that looks a little like Jared Kushner (what is it with that family and their semblance to plastic dolls?). Anyway, Brahms is owned by an old odd couple named the Heelshires who treat it as though it were human; their own son, if you will. It’s a very strange film to watch, but must have done okay at the box office since it’s getting a sequel. The Boy 2 is set to star Katie Holmes who will battle the boisterous bastard child. And we can’t wait.
Fats in Magic
Magic is a 1978 American psychological horror film that starred Anthony Hopkins, who plays Corky Withers, a failed magician who makes a comeback as a ventriloquist. His prop (and sidekick) is a foul-mouthed dummy named Fats who quickly becomes a huge success. Since Fats is a manifestation of Corky’s id, and since Corky is not all there in the mental department, things quickly start to get surreal real quick.
Slappy in Goosebumps
Slappy the Dummy is a recurring antagonist in the children’s horror-book series Goosebumps. The books were turned into a TV series. The TV series saw a film spin-off. And Slappy the Dummy became the stuff of horror legend. He is considered one of the most evil creatures in the Goosebumps series, and a key factor to the success of its popular story arc: The Night of the Living Dummy Anthology. That’s him in the bow-tie, above, looking dapper but dangerous.
Billy in Dead Silence
Dead Silence is a 2007 supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell (both of Saw fame). It stars Aussie heart-throb Ryan Kwanten, Marky Mark’s brother Donnie Wahlberg, and model Amber Valletta in a cult-like mess where the lead protagonist – a ventriloquist doll named Billy – delivers better acting than his human counterparts.
Blade in Puppet Master
Blade is the leader of the puppets in the Puppet Master movies, and the only puppet to have appeared on each of the films’ poster art. Blade is 1’9″ tall, weighs four pounds, and looks like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Freddie Krueger, but with hollower eyes than either. He’s real freaky.
Billy the Puppet in the Saw franchise
Every horror fan knows it is a guy named John Kramer who is behind all the heavily contrived killings in the Saw franchise. But Kramer communicates with his test subjects by delivering recorded messages through this guy, Billy the Puppet (another Billy, jeesh). Often appearing on a monitor and occasionally riding in on a bike, Billy delivers the details of the traps that are set up and the means by which the test subjects might, just might survive. No one has managed to shoot the messenger yet.