There are a number of phenomena designed to entertain children, but often simply frighten them with one of their looks. The clown’s make-up – a whitewashed bed plus hypertrophied clearly drawn facial features that change depending on the actor’s facial expressions, a disproportionate body – causes the effect of an ominous valley. Horror movies about dolls
However, making a clown scary in art is suspiciously rare. Stephen King’s It and the Horrific franchise are rare occasions when a clown in a horror movie doesn’t look ridiculous.
But the dolls were “lucky” much more. Toys that come to life for any reason are a scary business in and of themselves. And if there are still mysterious reasons (well, maybe not as mysterious as in “Superfluous”, of course), then this is a good reason to unfold a real detective story around mystical rituals or scientific experiments. Today we rummage in this closet with hellish dolls.
10 HORROR MOVIES ABOUT DOLLS
1. KIDS GAMES
- Grade5.7 / 5.7 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, fantasy
- CountryUSA, Canada
- StarringGabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry
- DirectorLars Klevberg
- Duration90 minutes / 01:30
- StudioMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
- Premiere date18 June 2019
- ScenarioDon Mancini, Tyler Burton Smith, John Lafia
Chucky, immortal Chucky! The doll, which resembles a baby doll, possessed by the same Pennywise, only speaks not in the voice of Bill Skarsgard or Tim Curry, but in the voice of the actor-meme (move over, Nick Cage) Brad Durif. But now I would like to mention a remake of the cult horror film, which was not very noticeable for a wide audience.
Although the very existence of reimagining Chucky’s story is a unique case that only the Star Trek franchise can match. Several TV series, feature films, and remakes, as well as stories from alternative timelines, are released at the same time. So the series “Children’s Games” is not completed and even replenished with a series, but the original has a remake, although it is not at all like it.
Offended by the unfair dismissal, a worker at the factory for the production of popular robotic toys, Buddy, programs one copy in a special way, disabling a number of locks. After which he commits suicide, and the high-tech doll falls into the hands of the boy Andy. The guy is closed, he doesn’t communicate with almost anyone, so his mother, who is raising her son alone, gives the guy a defective doll in order to somehow cheer him up.
Despite a rather sluggish advertising campaign (as if no one believed in the relaunch of the series) and mixed reviews from critics, the film clearly has something to offer both fans of the old series, which has long been marking time, and new viewers.
The picture is witty in its own way and tells an inventive bloody story about artificial intelligence. You can even say that the new “Children’s Games” – this is the antithesis of the “Upgrade” more famous than Lars Klevberg, the horror maker Lee Wannell. At the same time, the film is still teenage and frivolous, it remains a carbon monoxide attraction.
- Grade5.8 / 5.8 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, thriller, drama, detective
- CountryUnited Kingdom
- StarringSean Harris, Alan Armstrong, Andrew Turner
- Director Matthew Holness
- Duration85 minutes / 01:25
- StudioBFI Film Fund
- Premiere date25 June 2018
- ScenarioMatthew Holness
It is quite rare to meet “Opossum” in film selections. Besides the fact that this is an independent work of the former British comedian Matthew Holness, it is also the most incomprehensible story. To understand it, you will have to break your brain and watch the movie more than once. And it will not be easy to do this, since Holness’s film is practically mute, and the eerie atmosphere of the British hinterland can simply smear.
Puppeteer Philip (Sean Harris) came home to Norfolk, desperate to find his place in the world and build a career on the mainland. True, the peeling walls of the old parental home evoke terrible memories of childhood, and the hero’s old uncle does not get tired of adding fuel to the fire.
At some point, Philip begins to be pursued by a creepy spider-like doll with a human face, which he himself made and carried in a bag. No matter how the hero tried to get rid of the toy, she inevitably waited for him in the house along with fears and ghosts of the past.
To understand why the film is called “Possum”, in addition to the fact that the hero finds in the house a book with a poem about a terrible possum on black balls, is almost impossible. There are no possums here. Unless a scary doll periodically falls into a daze, not showing signs of life with a single movement, as opossums do in nature when life is threatened.
Kafkian’s motives are also on the face: the puppeteer making puppets himself is not much different from his creations. A weak man, trampled by the weight of the past, silently wanders around, as if coming from a feverish dream, in search of at least some meaning.
3. THE CURSE OF ANNABELLE: EVIL BEGINS
- Grade6.2 / 6.5 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, thriller, detective
- StarringTalitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Stephanie Sigman
- DirectorDavid F. Sandberg
- Duration109 minutes / 01:49
- StudioNew line cinema
- Premiere date19 June 2017
- ScenarioGary Doberman
It was impossible to do without the products of James Wang in this collection. The man put the production of high-quality horror movies on stream and united them into a single universe. Well, the craving for a talented producer for dolls is noticeable. The main villain of the Saw series communicates with his victims through a creepy-looking doll on a tricycle.
In Dead Silence, there was a demonic ventriloquist doll. Therefore, it is not surprising that after the success of The Conjuring and the positive feedback about the demonic Annabelle, the producer conceived a spin-off about the character. The first part of Annabelle’s solo adventures did not cause stormy enthusiasm from the audience, but the second has already become a hit.
Puppeteer Samuel Mullins has seven-year-old daughter Annabelle killed. The grief-stricken man, along with his wife, obeying the orders of the spirit of his daughter, who allegedly appeared in the house after the tragedy, encloses him in one of the dolls. True, it turned out that the couple thereby contributed to the arrival of the most dangerous demon into the world.
Yes, there is little independence in the film, director David Sandberg (“Shazam”) intentionally or at the request of the producer uses the techniques of Wang himself: he plays with silence, geometrically perfectly aligns the frame for the implementation of the screamer and builds up the atmosphere. But this is a stylish, fun, and clever horror game. Plus, Annabelle’s origin is a relatively bloody movie compared to other parts of the franchise.
- Grade6.1 / 6.0 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horrors
- CountryUSA, Canada, China
- StarringLauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell
- director William Brent Bell
- Duration98 minutes / 01:38
- StudioVertigo Entertainment
- Premiere date20 January 2016
- ScenarioStacy Menia
When Greta Evans accepted a lucrative nanny job, she had no idea that she would have to look after the doll. An elderly wealthy British couple considers Brahms to be their son and in general a living being.
“Doll” is a rare genre film in our time without postmodern quirks and psychotherapeutic overtones, but with a thick, forcing atmosphere. Where the viewer is already accustomed to seeing screamers and a terrible, but cute, bloodthirsty monster, the Brahms Doll does practically nothing: does not giggle viciously, does not troll the heroine, he does not even blink – this is what scares. Evil with which you cannot agree is a terrible thing. Plus, the film is made in a sort of neo-gothic style and gives off English scary tales.
5. DEAD SILENCE
- Grade6.7 / 6.2 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- StarringRyan Quanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg
- Director James Wang
- Duration89 minutes / 01:29
- StudioUniversal pictures
- Premiere date march 16, 2007
- ScenarioLee Wannell, James Wang
Jamie and his young wife receive a parcel with a doll. That same evening, his wife is brutally murdered, and Jamie begins to figure out what is really going on. The investigation leads him to his hometown, where he learns that once upon a time, city dwellers lynched one of the townspeople. Whether she was guilty or not – this is the second thing, her revenge comes to the fore, and then the tale begins. With puppets, witches, mysterious theaters, and urban legends.
This time, Wang, with screenwriter and future director Lee Wanell, turned out to be a dark, hopeless film where evil wins. The desire of the ventriloquist to find the perfect doll is so specific and undeniable that it becomes a little uncomfortable to live in peace.
- Grade6.5 / 6.3 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horrors
- CountryUSA, Italy
- StarringIan Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Carrie Lorraine
- DirectorStuart Gordon
- Duration77 minutes / 01:17
- StudioEmpire pictures
- Premiere date march 12, 1987
- scenario Naha
A group of people, not wanting to get lost in unfamiliar places during a thunderstorm, seek refuge in an old-old house. No less old owners of the mansion are engaged in the production of living killer dolls at their leisure. Lucky.
Despite the bloody scenes, Stuart Gordon’s film portrays evil as an avenger championing justice. Dolls know all the dirty secrets of the guests of their home, do not hesitate to pass a sentence and put it into action. A kind of twisted version of the Justice League
- Grade5.6 / 5.6 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller
- StarringPaul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle
- DirectorDavid Schmöller
- Duration89 minutes / 01:29
- StudioEmpire pictures
- Premiere dateOctober 12, 1989
- ScenarioDavid Schmöller, Charles Band, Kenneth J. Hall
Franchise “Master of the Dolls” in terms of duration can be compared, perhaps, only to “Chucky”. True, the quality of the sequels of the series is comparable. Overlord and its sequels have become the most successful and lucrative release studio Full Moon Entertainment in its history.
A group of psychics, in the course of studying rumors about the discovery of the secret of eternal life, finds out that it consists in the revival of inanimate objects. For example, the ancient Egyptian ritual allows the very same lord of the dolls, Andrea Tullon, to instill in them the souls of people. True, these dolls turn into killers, whom you cannot feed with bread, let them drill a hole in someone’s head, strangle the victim or, for a change, stab them with a hook.
All the action takes place in a luxury hotel, from which the film reeks of Kubrick’s “Shining”. And the German origin of that same dollmaker hints at the Holocaust theme, which is important for Stanley. So, while remaining a bloody fun attraction, “The Overlord” also turned out to be a deep film, over which you can sit and thin.
- Grade6.1 / 5.7 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, thriller
- CountryKorea South
- StarringKim Yoo-mi, Im Eun-Kyung, Shim Hyun-thak
- DirectorJung Young-gi
- Duration90 minutes / 01:30
- StudioPilma pictures
- Premiere date august 6, 2004
- ScenarioJung Young-gi
Korean films in the world, and even more so in Russia, are a rare thing. Only after the victory of Pong Joon Ho’s “Parasites” at the Oscars began to speak and study more closely about the uniqueness of the film language of Korean filmmakers. It is all the more surprising to find that a Korean horror film was officially released in Russia in the middle of the 2000s. Maybe ours confused him with the then fashionable J-horror movies.
The talented puppeteer gathers young people in his remote home. The guys were supposed to become models from which the master would make dolls in the future. Who could have guessed that all his creations are alive and terribly evil?
“Puppeteer” has nothing in common with Japanese and even more so American horror films. Despite the fact that the film has all the attributes of gothic horror: a house on the outskirts, a mysterious owner, and monsters hiding in the shadows – the atmosphere of the picture is different. The director decided to practically not show killer dolls, moreover, the nature of the life force of the inhabitants of the house remains unclear to the end. And it works, the movie is just creepy.
9. BANANA SPLITS
- Grade4.6 / 5.1 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, comedy
- CountryUSA, South Africa, Canada
- StarringDaniel Kind, Steve Land, Celina Martin
- DirectorDanishka Esterhazy
- Duration89 minutes / 01:29
- StudyBlue ice pictures
- Premiere date17 July 2019
- ScenarioJed Elinoff, Scott Alan Thomas
Banana Splits is a unique specimen in our selection. The not very successful children’s show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was remembered by the audience for the most non-functional unconvincing costumes and idiotic jokes. The film version of bizarre characters, it seems, could only become a horror film, and in due time receive the status of a cult thrash frenzy. In 2019, people did not understand the joke at all, the more interesting the film was.
Popular heroes of the TV show are robots and need to be flashed. But something goes wrong, and dolls the size of a man begin to kill fans who are lucky enough to get on the set. Probably, if Nick Cage got into the cast of the picture, then people would close their eyes to the absurdity and absurdity of what is happening on the screen (see “Willie’s Shop”).
In fact, the unnecessary and foolishness of the film, which makes it akin to some “Tales from the Crypt”, looks very nice and easy in combination with outright bloodiness. Where modern horror films go too far and load the viewer – after all, even the presence of a silent Cage in an idiotic plot obliges the viewer to be ready for a certain kind of spectacle and tone – the young director Danishka Esterhazy gives the audience pure fun.
10. THE TERRIBLE WILL OF THE GODS
- Grade6.5 / 6.4 (KinoPoisk / IMDb)
- genre horror, fantasy
- StarringSota Fukushi, Mio Yuki, Ryunosuke Kamiki
- DirectorTakashi Miike
- Duration117 minutes / 01:57
- StudioToho pictures
- Premiere date18 October 2014
- ScenarioHiroyuki Yatsu, Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Akeji Fujimura
The author of the ode to cruelty and addiction to violence, “Ichi the Killer” Takashi Miike is famous for his productivity. The director releases 2-3 films a year, and almost each of them can break the brain and melt the eyes of an untrained viewer. Unsurprisingly, the director’s portfolio includes a number of eclectic Japanese comics. The original eponymous manga itself is a confusing work, difficult for a superficial acquaintance and damn bold in visual performance, from those copies that, as they say, are better to see for yourself.
High school student Takaha is an ordinary teenager who is sick and tired of everything in life. The same faces every day at school and at home, dull activities, and a complete lack of understanding of what to do in life. Takahu is not particularly happy even with entertainment, of which he only has violent video games. And then one morning a guy in a fit of despair asks the universe to make his life diverse, and the universe does not fail.
Upon entering the school, the hero realizes that all the students have become participants in a strange survival game. Right in the classroom, in the place of the teacher, children discover a strange toy Daruma (a kind of tumbler). A creepy sentient doll offers students a game:
when Daruma turns to face the board, the students can try to press the button on her back, but as soon as the toy turns to face the children again, the heads of everyone who did not have time to freeze without moving will be blown up. And this is only the first game, and it is impossible to refuse. The school’s doors and windows are barricaded, and the bizarre entertainment itself is broadcast on television and over the Internet.
Miike is satisfied with a uniform madness: there are huge porcelain cats chasing people in mice suits, and a cube hovering right over Tokyo, and telekinetic dolls with laser vision. The seeming pampering and trashiness of what is happening are in sharp contrast to the fact that an ordinary young man was simply bored with life, and God heard him. As you know, it is difficult for God, God is tired.