Doll Parts: 13 of the Creepiest Dolls in Cinema

It’s scary enough seeing serial-killing humans on the big screen, let alone witnessing dolls come to life and going psycho on their owners. But for some odd 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 13 dolls that have creeped us out big-time on the big screen, kicking off with M3GAN, who hits cinema screens this week.

Doll ‘collection’ by Antonino Tati


↑ Megan in M3GAN

Horror geniuses James Wan and Jason Blum have joined forces to produce another breakthrough horror film – this one slicing into the genre of science fiction. Megan – scientific name: M3GAN – is a robot dressed as a doll that promises company, fun and even education to its owner. The problem is the doll is only at beta stage, and the scientist who created her isn’t aware of her full evil potential when she blindingly partners the doll up with her niece.

Young actress Amie Donald portrays M3GAN physically while the doll’s movements are a mixture of real action, animatronics, puppetry and visual effects – all adding up to one of the freakiest, most fantastical dolls to ever appear onscreen.

M3GAN’s gestures are mostly mechanical-looking but occasionally her body appears to sway – especially as she learns to dance. This dichotomy, along with her stoic ’emotional’ gestures are what make her a fascinating study. The doll is an avid student herself, her eyes constantly twitching and focusing on the minutiae of everything around her, so it doesn’t take long before she starts thinking for herself.

Over-protective of her owner, M3GAN quickly develops self-awareness and becomes hostile to anyone that comes between she and her human companion. Soon, neighbours are disappearing and her maker’s workplace becomes one of disaster and bloodshed.

Without a doubt, M3GAN is one of the most hard-ass, ball-busting (well, ear-ripping) dolls in modern movie history. She can cartwheel up walls, move from one side of a room to the other in a blink, and can even breakdance between breaking necks.

If you thought Chucky was killer; wait till you meet this little bitch.

‘M3GAN’ is in cinemas now.


↑ Chucky in Child’s Play

The first cruel doll to keep the mainstream interested enough for several (count eight!) sequels to have been made, hence laying the foundation for everything from Annabelle to the Saw franchise, Chucky is a horror icon that has stood the test of time. 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 2019’s Child’s Play (voiced again by Mark Hamill). In fact, this Chucky looked a little 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 continued the legend of Annabelle, the doll who 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 little mole is passive-aggressive incarnate.


↑ Benson & Gabby Gabby in Toy Story 4

There’s something about a ventriloquist’s dummy that probably frightened you as a kid – and has stuck to this day. In Toy Story 4, there’s not one – but four – ventriloquist dummies, all named ‘Benson’ and all of whom (ironically enough) fail to utter a single word but do a whole lot of evil under the instruction of controlling Gabby Gabby, a ’50s-style doll with her own freakshow going on. Still, we reckon these guys are the real stars of the fourth installment of the Toy Story series.


↑ The Clown Doll in Poltergeist

It’s strange to learn that Steven Spielberg wrote and produced Poltergeist considering all 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, ready for the kill. Yes, the early 1980s were bat-shit crazy times.


↑ 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 until the ripe age of 28. The doll, Suzie, is encased in a glass box but 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’ stamped 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 eccentric old couple, the Heelshires, who treat the doll as though it were human; their own son, if you will. It’s a very strange film to watch, and it must have done okay at the box office since it got a sequel, released in 2020. The Boy II is starred Katie Holmes and, since we haven’t actually seen it yet, we’re ordering our copy from Sanity online right now.


↑ Fats in Magic

Magic is a 1978 psychological horror flick 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 turn surreal and that’s where the real horror begins.


↑ 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 story arc, The Night of the Living Dummy Anthology. That’s him in the bow-tie, above, looking dapper but menacing.


‘Dead Silence’ is a cult-like mess where the lead protagonist – a ventriloquist doll named Billy – delivers better acting technique than his human counterparts.


↑ 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 technique 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-point-two pounds, and looks like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Freddie Krueger, but with hollower eyes than either. In short, he’s real freaky.


↑ Billy the Puppet in the Saw franchise

Every horror fan knows it’s 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 little guy, Billy the Puppet (another Billy, jeesh). Often appearing on a monitor and occasionally riding in on a tricycle, 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.


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