By George Bate
Creepy dolls are a fixture of horror films in the same way slashers, zombies, and monsters are. Within this sub-genre of horror, there’s been more than a few attempts to strike fear into viewers with the use of seemingly harmless, but secretly devious, dolls. Here’s a ranking of the 5 best creepy doll movies of all time.
An underseen and underappreciated film, Magic represents a surprising turn for Anthony Hopkins in this late 70s horror flick. Hopkins plays Corky the ventriloquist, who is accompanied by his puppet Fats. The film is eerie from the get-go and keeps you wondering whether Corky is truly mad or if Fats is the mastermind behind it all.
4. Annabelle Comes Home
Annabelle Comes Home plays like a haunted house movie in the best possible way. In the first Conjuring film, we are introduced to the Warrens’ spectacular ‘trophy room’ of demonic and possessed objects. Finally, the franchise decided to center a film around this disturbing room.
3. Devil Doll
Another underappreciated gem, Devil Doll tells the story of an evil ventriloquist who plots to steal an heiress’ fortune. The titular doll is one of the most frightening brought to screen. A few slow moving scenes aside, Devil Doll is a low-budget, raw, and excellently crafted horror film.
As if Saw wasn’t scary enough, we have Billy the Puppet to contend with for 90+ minutes. Although visually disturbing, Saw is also effective in its usage of more outlandish, yet equally well-positioned, scares. Billy the Puppet plays a small, yet integral and creepy role in the Saw franchise and has since become a staple of horror cinema.
1. Child’s Play
The original Child’s Play has to top this list. Tom Holland (the director, not the actor) crafted a masterful horror film that perfectly captures why the 1980s was such an outstanding decade for the genre. Child’s Play is anchored by a great and truly frightening premise – imagine that your son has a doll that is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. Without the original Child’s Play, we wouldn’t have the slew of films in the franchise, nor would we have Chucky, one of the most iconic horror characters of all time.