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Six scary doll movies to watch ahead of 'M3GAN'
You can never have enough creepy toys. To mark the premiere of M3GAN, these are the best spooky doll movies.
You can never have enough creepy toys. Movies about scary dolls are a surprisingly rich horror subgenre. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this better than the ongoing success of the Child's Play franchise, which has spawned a TV series, SYFY's and USA Network's Chucky. But, a new killer doll is coming for Chucky's throne. M3GAN, the new film from producers James Wan and Jason Blum, starring Allison Williams, opens in theaters on Jan. 6, and it promises to be a worthy addition to the killer doll toy box.
RELATED: James Wan, Jason Blum, and Allison Williams agree: M3GAN would ruin Chucky in a fight
But, what if you can't wait for M3GAN? What if you want even more deadly toy mayhem? We're here to help. Here are six creepy doll films worth watching.
1. Child's Play (1988)
Child's Play is one of those films that fans of killer dolls absolutely never get tired of, particularly this time of year. It's been a long time, and Chucky's gone through many different incarnations since, but there's something that's still undeniably magical about his very first outing, even if you've seen it dozens of times. It might even be one of your favorite comfort movies, so throw it on in the background while you're putting up your Halloween decorations up, or carving this year's jack-o-lanterns.
2. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
If there's any creepy doll on the block who can compete with Chucky for pure name recognition at this point, it's Annabelle, the terrifying, braid-wearing antique who's proven popular enough to get her own sub-franchise within the world of The Conjuring. Annabelle's such a big deal for 21st-century horror fans that she's carried three movies all by herself at this point, but if you're looking to watch just one, Gary Dauberman's Comes Home is the winner, because it's the one that turns focus on Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, and tells the story of exactly how the legendary doll ended up in their little in-house horror museum.
3. The Boy (2016)
William Brent Bell's tale of a creepy doll named Brahms hasn't been on the horror scene long, but The Boy has already developed a devoted fandom thanks to its creepy atmosphere and undeniably effective design for the title character. The story of a nanny (Lauren Cohan) who discovers she's caught in a ghost story driven by the grief of a family who've used a doll as a stand-in for their dead son, it's both scary and loads of Gothic fun. Plus, Brahms might not be in the same supernatural league as Chucky, but we're betting they'd get along in a crossover situation.
4. Dolls (1987)
The late, great Stuart Gordon could balance horror and comedy like no other, and he proved it once again with this creepy film packed with, you guessed it, creepy dolls of all sorts. The story begins as a riff on old, dark house tropes, as various stranded strangers make their way to a mysterious mansion to seek shelter from a storm. What they find when they get inside, of course, is more than just room after room after strange antiques. If you want maximum per capita killer toy mayhem, this is the movie for you.
5. Magic (1978)
Technically Magic isn't a creepy doll movie. It's a creepy ventriloquist dummy movie, and depending on who you ask, that's even scarier. Written by the great William Goldman and directed by the great Richard Attenborough, the film follows an aspiring magician (a young Anthony Hopkins) who picks up ventriloquism as part of his act. The act turns out to be very convincing, but as the people surrounding the magician soon discover, it's not just because he's talented. It's because the dummy just might have a murderous mind of its own.
6. Puppet Master (1989)
When Child's Play proved to be a hit in 1988, it was only natural that more killer toy movies would follow, and exploitation legend Charles Band was not about to be left out of the fun. Puppet Master, produced by Band under his Full Moon Pictures banner, is the result, and it's a very wild, very strange ride. It's the story of a puppeteer who just happened to unlock an ancient secret to imbuing inanimate objects with life. What begins as a story of psychics trying to solve a strange mystery soon descends into puppet murder mayhem. Plus, if it's exactly your kind of weird, you've got quite a few sequels waiting for you.