My Top Ten Creepy Dolls In Movies & Television 

Well, you knew this would be my top ten list for Creepy Dolls Week. I hate dolls, puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist’s dummies, and mannequins (unless there’s some Starship on the movie’s soundtrack). Evil f*^kers! All of them!!!

It was hard to decide on the order for this top ten. I’ve kind of done a combination of how much I liked the movie crossed with how creepy the dolls are. Well, don’t take the order too seriously but I’ve ranked each doll’s creepiness factor.

So here are My Top Ten Movie & TV Creepy Dolls:

10. TIE: The Twilight Zone: Episode – Living Doll (1963) & The Boy (2016)
The Doll: Talky Tina (The Twilight Zone) & Brahms (The Boy)
Doll’s Creepy Rating: Tina: 6/10, Brahms: 7/10

– I adore The Twilight Zone & this episode, starring Telly Savalas as a mean step-father, is a great one. The doll isn’t that scary but it’s a fun story. The Boy, starring The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan, has a story with a retro 80’s feel & I really enjoyed it even though it’s predictable. Loved the design of the porcelain doll with the “sweet” face. Not all dolls have to be ugly to be creepy.

9. Trilogy of Terror (1975): Part 3 – Amelia
The Doll: A Zuni fetish doll
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 6.5/10

– It’s been a long time since I saw this horror classic starring Karen Black but I certainly remember the “Amelia” segment, unlike the others in the trilogy. The doll was kind of more funny than scary but it’s a must-see of the killer doll subgenre.

8. The Conjuring (2013) & Annabelle (2014)
The Doll: Annabelle, in real life a Raggedy Ann doll
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 7.5/10

I was quite harsh on Annabelle in yesterday’s review. The movie isn’t very good but the doll itself is effectively creepy while the real life story, as shown in The Conjuring, is far more scary than the made-up story in Annabelle.

7. Pin (1988)
The Doll: Pin (short for Pinocchio) – a doctor’s medical dummy
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8.5/10

I caught this bizarre movie on TV late one night when I was maybe about 18 or so & that creepy medical dummy has stayed on my mind ever since. Ugh! Look at it!!! From what I remember, this was actually a pretty good psychological thriller (despite some, er, Flowers In The Attic-y incestuous brother/sister stuff).

6. Dolls (1987)
The Doll(s): Various – there’s a creepy old mansion filled with loads of them
Dolls’ Creepy Rating: 7.5/10

This cheesy 80’s horror is loads of fun (and very tame for a Stuart Gordon film). And the chick from the A-ha Take On Me comic book video is in it!

5. Magic (1978)
The Doll: Fats – a ventriloquist’s dummy controlled by Anthony Hopkins
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

I reviewed this William Goldman written/Richard Attenborough directed film on Monday as one of my Blind Spot choices & recommend it for the great performances from Anthony Hopkins & Burgess Meredith. Good psychological character study also starring Ann-Margret.

4. Dead Of Night (1945)
The Doll: Hugo – a ventriloquist’s dummy controlled by Michael Redgrave
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

This British horror anthology classic is most memorable for the segment involving Michael Redgrave’s ventriloquist & his dummy, which he believes is alive. Fantastic film that was ahead of its time.

3. Child’s Play (1988)
The Doll: Chucky (aka Charles Lee Ray)
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 7/10

I always had a soft spot for the Child’s Play films (well, the first three – I’ve not watched any further). They’re bad. They’re cheesy. They’re SO Eighties (even though the second two were early Nineties. Never mind). They’re from my teen years, though, and we all like what we grew up on. I was in America & knew nothing of the banning in the U.K. & the reason why. I’ve not watched them since but I can’t leave Chucky off a “creepy dolls” list.

2. Poltergeist (1982)
The Doll: A toy clown
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

Who doesn’t hate a creepy clown? It’s a well-known phobia, which is why there’s a current “crazy clown” phase going on in the U.S. & U.K. Poltergeist is easily the best film on this list & its clown, although only a small part of the film, has haunted us 80’s kids forever.

1. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Episode – Where The Woodbine Twineth (1965)
The Doll: Numa
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 4/10
The Episode’s Creepy Rating: 10/10

This had to be my number one as it’s the one thing responsible for my fear (or, more like a deep distrust now in my old age) of dolls. As you can see, the doll itself in this story wasn’t creepy. Well, there’s a slight creep factor as ALL dolls look like they have murder on their minds but the doll in this was actually very cute and, slight spoiler… Friendly. She’s the best friend of the little girl in the story & the ending of this story scarred me for life. Seriously. The entire episode used to be on YouTube but, at the moment, I can only find a clip of the ending (watch it HERE if you’re curious but I obviously recommend seeing the entire episode if you can). I also found the whole short story, by Davis Grubb, online HERE if you’d like to read it (just remember that it was written in a very different time period). It’s funny – I can barely remember things I watched a year ago but the ending of Where The Woodbine Twineth, which I must have seen at the age of eight or so, is forever burned into my brain. I watched that clip just now, which I last saw probably 30 years ago, and I remembered it like I’d seen it yesterday. That’s the power of good storytelling.

Honorable Mentions:
– The Saw film series (first one 2004) (Doll: Billy The Puppet)
– Dead Silence (2007) (Doll: Billy, a ventriloquist’s dummy)
– The Fear (1995) (Doll: Morty, a wooden mannequin)
Goosebumps (2015) (Doll: Slappy, a ventriloquist’s dummy)
Finders Keepers (2014) (Doll: A possessed doll that may have had a name but I can’t remember & don’t want to watch the movie again because it’s BAD)

A Few Movies I’ve Not seen:
– Puppetmaster (1989) & its sequels
– Demonic Toys (1992)
– Two truly bizarre looking films I’d never heard of until I started looking up creepy doll movies and now I really want to see them! Tourist Trap (1979) & The Pit (1981). Anyone seen these??

The Boy (2016) Review

The Boy (2016)

Directed by William Brent Bell

Starring: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

My Opinion:

I was very much in the mood for a “light & predictable psychological horror movie without lots of gore” this weekend. Yay! That’s exactly what I got with The Boy! Is it some groundbreaking horror film? No. Did I know exactly where the story was going? Yes. Is it full of all the usual horror tropes? Oh god yes. Did I enjoy it, though? Yes – I thought it was perfectly fine for its genre.

I admit that I’m a sucker for any “creepy doll” horror movie and this one has a great, creepy little bastard. Look at him! Porcelain face & everything. That’s the stuff of nightmares. And, of course, the movie is set in a big, old, British house in the middle of nowhere (with no phone signal, of course!!) and the boy’s “parents” are two eccentric, posh old British people (because there’s something seriously disturbing about eccentric, posh old British people). And an attractive man the same age as the pretty American nanny who has been hired to babysit “the boy” for the summer drops by once a week to deliver groceries. He’s super cute. He could deliver MY groceries anytime!

It was nice to see Maggie from The Walking Dead wearing make-up & getting to actually take a shower. Hey, why do women taking showers in these movies always seductively soap up their legs? Who actually scrubs their legs clean (unless you’re washing off zombie blood or something)? Also, women never shave their legs in these movies. They get in the shower all hair-free & slowly rub their legs with soap then get out of the shower with full eye make-up on. Anyway! As much as I hate creepy dolls, I think I’d choose living with one & getting to take showers over living in a zombie apocalypse. Plus the grocery guy is way cuter than anyone on The Walking Dead. Oh… I forgot about Jesus! Jesus is quite hot. Am I going off on a tangent? I might as well just wrap things up. Here’s Jesus from The Walking Dead:

Summary:

The Boy may not try anything new but, well, who cares? When it comes to horror, I admit that I have lower standards and when one surprisingly manages to not totally suck, I’m happy enough (which is why I’m actually giving this a higher rating than the movie I watched with extremely high expectations the same day, Zootropolis, which I trashed HERE). This movie is the type of horror that I always enjoy: atmospheric, psychological, low on gore. And has a creepy doll, of course!

Sure, it’s amazing that there have finally been some truly fantastic & original horror films the past few years with things like It Follows and The Babadook but horrors as good as those are very few & far between. In the meantime, I’m satisfied with ones like The Boy. It had no hateful idiotic characters who did extremely stupid things, the story was solid even though it was predictable to anyone who has watched more than two horror movies in their lifetime, and it looked good and seemed to have had some effort put into it. Good enough! It’s unlikely that I’d ever watch it again but it was all I expected it to be for 1 hour & 37 minutes of veg-out entertainment.

My Rating: 7/10

**Speaking of creepy dolls, I keep meaning to do a week of “creepy doll horror movies“. I’ve only reviewed a couple – the silly but quite fun 1987 film Dolls and the 1945 British horror classic Dead Of Night, which has the creepiest type of doll possible: a ventriloquist’s dummy.

Yikes! I hate those things! That’s why I’ve chosen to do the Anthony Hopkins film Magic as one of my 2016 Blind Spot picks. I think I just want to never be able to sleep again… So I’ll review Magic & some other creepy doll/puppet/ventriloquist dummy movies all in the same week (probably in October). I guess I’ll finally get around to watching Annabelle for that but I thought that one looked pretty dodgy… Does anyone have any other recommendations for movies of this type?? 🙂