I recently watched “The Conjuring” which is the main motivating factor for my creative efforts to list the most menacing dolls in the horror genre. The dolls listed will not always be the blood thirsty killers, some serve the purpose of questioning what goes bump in the night or understanding why some people lose their marbles for loving them so dearly. Some horror dolls will not even be part of the primary plot point however their presence and subtitle influences solidifies the making of excellent horror films. Feel free to let us know if we missed a few good films, I will definitely make the time to catch-up. Let’s have a look at GeekShizzle’s 15 Most Terrifying Horror Dolls.
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1. The Conjuring (2013) Annabelle doll
The Annabelle doll added a very creepy touch to one of the most terrifying films made since “The Exorcist”. Director James Wan introduced Annabelle as one of the scariest dolls to enter the horror genre. The creepy doll served as a sub-plot that made it seem very plausible to experience a supernatural entity intruding your home. For those of you that have not made the time to watch “The Conjuring”, have an extra pair of shorts handy and watch one of the scariest horror films to make its way to the silver screen.
2. Child’s Play (1988) Chucky
Chucky is probably to most famous of all the horror dolls to grace the silver screen. I never really considered Chucky to be the scariest of evil supernatural toys for the simple fact that he is extremely likeable. He boasts with some impressive one-liners, the most famous of all: “Don’t f@$k with the Chuck!” Although the screenplay is a bit quirky at times, the film might surprise you right at the end with a frightening finale.
3. Magic (1978) Fats – Ventriloquist’s dummy
“Magic” will creep in under your skin and leave you thinking about maniac dolls for a day or two. Expect Anthony Hopkins to mess around with your head for a while as he delivers a chilling performance. The story follows a failed magician named Corky, who refines his craft and a year later is back, better than ever.
Much to the crowds delight, Corky introduced a foul-mouthed dummy named Fats to spice up his show. Soon the pressure of his demanding career gets to him and he retreats to a cabin owned by a woman whom he had a crush on in high school. They soon reconnect however someone else is fighting for Corky’s affections. No one will come between jealous Fats and Corky!
4. Trilogy of Terror (1975) ‘Zuni Fetish Warrior’ doll
The African doll that holds some kind of Zuni hunter’s spirit inside of it will be remembered by most horror fans who saw this film back in the 70’s. The little warrior doll equipped with sharp teeth and a spear is harmless till the golden chain that is strapped around it falls off. The ‘Zuni Fetish Warrior’ doll made horrific sounds as it stabbed its victims over and over again. The addition of Oscar nominated and two time Golden Globe winning actress Karen Black rounded of the film with fine acting which features one of the coolest horror dolls long before the famous “Child’s Play” and “Chucky” films.
5. Poltergeist (1982) Clown doll
The horror film that pops up almost every time a “top of” list is compiled in the horror genre. Poltergeist is one of those horror films that managed to get everything right! The attention to detail is what contributed to catapulting this classic horror film straight to cult status upon its release.
The creepy clown scene was absolutely brilliant and a constant reminder to not have any clowny things around the house… hey, you never know?! Having your house terrorised by ghost is already a challenge, leaving your clown doll lying around is making it way to easy for them.
6. Dolly Dearest (1991) Toy doll
Dolly Dearest is a close second cousin of the very popular ‘Child’s Play’ mentioned earlier on our list. The ripoff movie tells the story of a family that moves to Mexico, where the father hopes to start a doll-building business after purchasing an old factory residing close to a Mayan tomb. Well then… the next step you could have predicted.
The tomb unleashes the spirit of a legendary evil child into some of the left over dolls and the evil plaything makes it home with the daughter. The creepy doll slowly begins to possess the girl and starts a killing spree.
7. Dead Silence (2007) Billy – Ventriloquist’s dummy
Dead Silence is helmed by Saw director James Wan who brings to life a menacing ventriloquist’s dummy named Billy who’s linked to a local curse. The plot centres a vengeful dead ventriloquist who uses dummies as a means of murder.
Jamie (Ryan Kwanten) is sent a ventriloquist’s dummy in the mail but doesn’t know from who or why. Return to sender I say…anyway, when he returned home from the local takeaway he finds his wife murdered. He believes the dummy has something to do with it, as he starts his investigation to uncover the origins of the mysterious doll.
8. Puppetmaster (1989 Video) Handmade Dolls
Andre Toulon (William Hickey) casts an ancient Egyptian spell on his well crafted puppets. Toulon is eventually forced to hide his creations in the wall of his hotel workshop before he commits suicide when Nazis discover his unique puppets. Ten years later, the hotel has been inherited by Carlissa Stamford (Kathryn O’Reilly) who is desperately searching for the secret of transitioning the unliving to the living in this very hotel.
The death of her husband Frank is the main motive for her actions; unfortunately she got more than she bargained for. Psychics group together for a reunion in order to attempt the unholy transitioning however they are unaware of what is hiding in the dark corners.
9. Dolls (1987) Handmade Dolls
“Dolls” may very well be the revival of the homicidal-maniac-doll premise films back in the 80’s. “The Re-Animator” and “From Beyond” helmer Stuart Gordon served behind the lens of the shock horror movie. The story centres an American couple driving through the British countryside with the husband’s daughter from his first marriage, Judy.
The car predictably breaks with them stranded only to find an old country home to take shelter. Soon after, they are joined by three stranded strangers, a couple of punk rock chicks and a chubby kid-like guy by the name of Ralph. Elderly couple Gabriel and Hilary seem harmless and inviting, allowing stranger to bunk up for the night. Gabriel’s speciality is hand crafted dolls because they take away the souls of the toys. Huh? The fun starts when one of the punker chicks tries to boost a few items from the house. Take a guess who decided to come out and play?
10. Tourist Trap (1979) Mannequins
Tourist Trap has certainly stood the test of time and survived in the memories of most hardcore horror fans as one of the most distinct mannequin horror films of the 70’s. Stephen King sang its praises in his 1981 book Danse Macabre.
The creepy story follows a group of twenty-somethings who get stranded on a lonely highway, and taken to a curious wax museum. Prepare yourself for a killer with telekinetic powers that controls diabolical mannequins to fulfill his every command.
11. Saw franchise (2000’s) Billy doll
Rumour has it that the white faced doll from the Saw franchise is referred to as Billy. The tricycle-riding doll will give you endless nightmares accompanied with Jigsaw’s dubbed voice. The Billy doll is the evil messenger who can’t be killed even after Jigsaw passed away. Always willing to play a game and winning most of the time, the Billy doll will haunt you till the bitter end of the sick games planned for you.
12. Love Object (2003) Silicone doll named Nikki
“Love Object” tells the story of a painfully shy writer of software manuals, who discovers a Web site that sells realistic life-size love dolls. Poor Kenneth (Desmond Harrington) decides to purchase his love interest in the form of a silicone doll named Nikki. Come to think of it, based on Kenneth’s character profile the world is filled with these “shy guys.”
Kenneth’s boss assigns a project to him and appoints a hot blonde temp (Lisa) to assist. Soon Kennith and the office blonde are romantically involved however Lisa discovers Nikki’s existence. Having no idea what she is getting into proves to be fatal as the story unfolds in Kenneth’s destructive world.
13. May (2002) Handmade Doll
May had no friends growing up so her over-protective mother gave her a doll with a piece of wisdom attached “If you can’t find a friend, make one.” That’s not creepy?! May being a misfit never parted with her best friend. Throw in the mix a few failed friendships and a misguided approach to meeting men, things quickly turn sour as she is emotionally hurt one too many times. The situation with May’s physiological issues escalates with disastrous consequences.
14. Twilight Zone (1963) Talking Tina doll
Fans of the classic sci-fi/horror series “Twilight Zone” might remember episode 6 titled “Living Doll”. Back in the day, the doll horror genre was still moving forward with baby steps. At the time, the “Living Doll” episode was imprinted in the minds of all “Twilight Zone” fans with this simple line, “My name is Talking Tina and I am going to kill you”. The late Telly Savalas gives an absolutely fantastic performance as Erich Streator who is displeased when his wife buys an expensive (killer) doll for his step-daughter in one of the scariest episodes produced for the cult classic series.
15. Pin (1988) Medical Dummy
“Pin” features no gore and very little blood throughout the film, which leaves most of the unsettling creepiness to catch up with you through a story of Dr. Linden (Terry O’Quinn), an emotionally detached father who chooses to raise his kids by throwing his voice into a life size medical dummy named Pin. If you have never appreciated medical dummies for some reason, Pin will send shivers down your spine.
Dr. Linden and his wife is killed in a car accident with Pin in the back seat. Their son Leon (David Hewlett) brings Pin home, eventually dressing him in his dead father’s clothes, insisting on letting his sisters dates meet the man of the house. Leon is eventually drawn in by his physiological problems and finds it difficult to function without Pin’s advice. Pin becomes the worst father figure of all time as he begins telling Leon what to do and who to kill.