5 of the Creepiest Horror Movies About Dolls

Toys have long been used for tropes in the horror genre, serving as creepy and unsettling symbols of childhood innocence gone awry. What’s scarier than an inanimate object moving on its own? Dolls, in particular, are some of the creepiest toys, with their life-like features and dead stares.

Despite their creepiness, dolls are not often used as the subject of horror films. So with the latest release in the sub-genre, M3GAN, I wanted to reflect on some of the creepiest horror movies featuring dolls.

1. Child’s Play (1988)

Of course we have to start with a movie featuring Chucky, one of the most iconic horror villains: Child’s Play. The film follows the story of a young boy named Andy, who is given the doll as a birthday present from his mother. However, as strange and violent events begin to occur, Andy becomes convinced that Chucky is not at all what he seems. The film is well-known for its suspense and use of black humor and has gained a huge cult following over the years. It has also spawned numerous sequel films and a TV series:

  • Child’s Play 2 (1990)
  • Child’s Play 3 (1991)
  • Bride of Chucky (1998)
  • Seed of Chucky (2004)
  • Curse of Chucky (2013)
  • Curse of Chucky (2017)
  • Child’s Play (2019)
  • Chucky (2021 – present)

2. Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle is a spin-off of the popular The Conjuring film series. The film follows the story of a couple, John and Mia, who are expecting their first child. As they prepare for the arrival of their baby, they are terrorized by a demonic doll named Annabelle. The film is notable for its use of jump scares and intense atmosphere, as well as its strong performances from the lead actors.

  • Annabelle: Creation (2017)
  • Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

3. Dead Silence (2007)

Dead Silence is an early collaboration between horror icons James Wan and Leigh Whannell. It follows a man named Jamie Ashen (played by Ryan Kwanten) as he investigates the mysterious death of his wife and becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding a cursed ventriloquist dummy named Billy. The film was criticized by some for its jump scares and not-so-shocking twist. Despite its flaws, I think Dead Silence is a lot of fun and a must-watch if you’re a fan of the sub-genre.

4. The Boy (2016)

The Boy stars Lauren Cohan as a young American woman named Greta who takes a job as a nanny for an English family. Upon arriving at the family’s remote mansion, she is shocked to learn that her primary responsibility is to care for a life-sized doll named Brahms, which the family treats as if it were a real child. As strange and terrifying events begin to occur, Greta becomes convinced that the doll is possessed by a malevolent spirit. Although the premise is pretty ridiculous, it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for answers to be revealed.

5. M3GAN (2023)

Last but not least we have M3GAN, a horror-comedy produced by James Wan and directed by Gerard Johnstone. It stars Allison Williams as a robotics engineer at a toy company who builds a life-like doll and gives a prototype to her orphaned niece. Soon, the doll begins to take on a life of its own. Critics praised the film for not taking itself too seriously, while introducing us to a new horror icon.

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