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Horror films featuring creepy dolls that are bound to send a chill down your spine

You need to watch your back if you want to play around with these spooky childrens’ toys

Shilpa S
Nov 21, 2021

Horror movie makers love to play around with unusual concepts to invoke chills in their audiences, trying to turn even the adorable and unexpected into horror movie tropes. Horror films centered around eerie dolls are one prominent example.

From dolls possessed by demonic forces to the ones that serial killers like to hide behind their backs, it’s strange how something that can bring joy in one context can completely unnerve in another.

Such an outrageous concept of horror seems to work well, as is evidenced by the huge popularity that films featuring sinister children’s toys have gained over the years. Who can forget the evil laugh and murderous intent of Chucky; or the creepy look Annabelle has plastered on her face while she invites dangerous demons into the homes of unsuspecting victims?

Here are a few films where menacing dolls and toys make an appearance, bound to give you sleepless nights.

Child's Play
7OTTplay Rating
What happens when the doll of your dreams turns into your biggest waking nightmare? This 1988 film tells the story of a ruthless serial killer who transfers his dying soul into a doll, which comes into the hands of a young boy. The possessed doll then begins to wreak havoc in the boy’s life, killing those close to him. The slasher horror film became a cult classic and the killer doll Chucky became one of the most well known icons in horror history.
5.6OTTplay Rating
A film dedicated to the doll that launched the horror fest that is the Conjuring universe, this 2014 film is a spin off to The Conjuring. Annabelle tells the story of a young pregnant woman, who is gifted a vintage doll by her husband. After a gruesome incident where members of a satanic cult kill their neighbours and injure the woman, strange phenomena begin to plague the couple, centred around their new doll. The film spawned a sequel and a prequel as well.
8OTTplay Rating
The film that launched the career of iconic horror filmmaker James Wan, Saw tells the story of a deranged serial killer who puts his victims through a series of gruesome games after confining them to a locked room. The murderer communicates to his victims through a puppet called Billy, who delivers recorded messages and instructions to the victims on how the ‘games’ can be played. The puppet became symbolic of the Saw film franchise, with references of it being made in other media as well.
Dead Silence
6.4OTTplay Rating
Puppets may be the only ones who serve as a worthy contender to horror film dolls in terms of eeriness. Dead Silence tells the tale of a young man, traumatized by his wife’s death, shortly after the couple received a ventriloquist puppet as a gift. In search of answers to his wife’s death and the puppet’s origin, the man makes his way to his hometown, where he comes across some startling revelations during the course of his investigations. Although it was not a hit with critics, its unsettling storyline and gruesome elements, characteristic of a James Wan slasher, makes Dead Silence an entertaining watch.
6.7OTTplay Rating
Put a dysfunctional family, a pair of pickpockets, a child-like man and haunted dolls in a house in the midst of a raging storm and you get the perfect recipe for chaos. When the unlikely group decide to take shelter in the mansion of a dollmaker and his wife, they are put to test by the man’s many haunted dolls, who seemingly do not take kindly to strangers. The film features some harrowing moments involving the creepy toys, who seem to be acting with a hidden purpose in mind. With its chaotic and outrageous elements and a twist viewers won’t see coming, Dolls should definitely be on every classic horror fans watchlist.

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