The horror film “Annabelle” found its inspiration from a doll first seen in the 2013 hit “The Conjuring.”
The film was based on the exploits of a real husband and wife ghost-hunting team. The on-screen duo’s doll didn’t mirror the one the actual couple kept, though. That latter figure was more like a Raggedy Ann throwback toy.
The ghoulish doll from “The Conjuring” proved far creepier. How much so?
The frightening figure inspired its own film as well as a 2017 sequel, “Annabelle: Creation.”
This isn’t the first time a doll caused all sorts of movie mischief. The idea of a doll that moves on its own stirs something deliciously scary within us. Consider these horror movie dolls which gave us plenty of scares over the years.
- The Mannequins from “Tourist Trap” -- One of the lesser known horror flicks to escape the ’70s proved one of its most unnerving. The tale of a tortured soul (Chuck Connors) who could bring mannequins to life is one of the genre’s least appreciated gems. The budget may be low, and the acting on the crude side, but the haunting score and visuals more than make amends.
- The Ventriloquist’s Dummy from “Magic” -- Before Anthony Hopkins brought cannibalism to the masses via Hannibal Lecter he starred as a flailing magician dependent on a dummy named Fats. His colorful prop proves deadly as it acts out the magician’s darkest desires.
- Chucky from the “Child’s Play” Series -- Chucky, the red-haired doll behind a string of horror hits, quickly lost his shock value through subsequent sequels. That wasn’t the case in the 1988 original film. The first time the doll came to life proved memorable, even if the era’s FX limitations hampered his horror potential.
- The “Trilogy of Terror” Doll -- Karen Black starred in this triple-play of shock stories. The tale every horror fan remembers came last. She plays a woman who receives a Zuni fetish doll as a gift. The creation, freed after its gold chain fell away, chases Black’s character with a ferocity that startled TV audiences then … and now.
- The Clown from “Poltergeist” -- This Tobe Hooper classic gave the genre so many iconic moments, from the notion of a girl whisked away by her TV set to the shock of living atop a Native American burial ground. They all bow to the chilling image of that clown coming to life in the children’s bedroom.