The most scary and fun Creepy Dolls in horror films, selected by BigHorrorGuide.
In this article I have selected the most scary and fun creepy dolls, puppets, dummies and mannequins that feature in horror films. This article will be updated when a new film is added. So make sure you save this article to Favorites to stay up to date.
For a full review you can click ‘Review.’
At the moment this list contains 22 films, in alphabetical order.
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Annabelle has become a well deserved icon of horror. Based on the real doll Annabelle who’s supposedly haunted, she made her first appearance in The Conjuring (2013) before getting her own spin-off and even a franchise of her own. Although she doesn’t resemble the real Annabelle, she is much creepier. A rag doll looks more innocent, but a porcelain doll looks already more human. In this film we see what happened before Ed and Lorraine Warren visited the two nurses haunted by Annabelle and took her home. Annabelle has a whole history of death and violence and in this first spin-off it starts with gruesome violence to end with the haunting by a terrifying demon who has attached itself to the doll, haunting John and Mia Form and their newborn babygirl. Without moving herself, she looks incredibly creepy and as the story progresses her looks fade into something far more sinister and evil. Annabelle deserved to get her own franchise although she isn’t really alive herself but a conduit for pure evil. Review.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Annabelle Comes Home is the third installment of the doll’s franchise. This part takes place after Ed and Lorraine have brought her home and locked her up. But it seems nobody is safe from Annabelle and her demon. When a friend of Judy’s babysitter accidentally unlocks her cabinet, all hell breaks loose. All the cursed objects are coming to life due to Annabelle who also acts as a conduit and beacon for the other evil entities. While Annabelle herself plays minor role, she’s the onset and we get to see more of the black demon that is attached to her, but we meet some other ghosts and demons as well. This third film might be least scariest of the bunch so far, but the most entertaining one. Offering many supernatural threats and fun with a couple of brave kids who just have to hold it out until Ed and Lorraine come back home.
Annabelle Creation (2017)
Annabelle Creation is the sequel to Annabelle but takes place years before the ordeal John and Mia Form went through and before Annabelle finally got locked inside the basement of the Warrens. Now we learn her origins and it also connects this film with Annabelle (2014). We see that she was made out of love by doll maker Samuel in 1943 for his daughter. But she died in an accident, and Samuel and his wife invited a demon in to bring back their daughter Annabelle, but instead the demon attached itself to the doll, tormenting them. When Samuel offers his house to orphans and their caretaker nun, the demon sees a chance to escape. Resulting in the terrible incident years later. With more emphasis on the doll who still doesn’t move but seems to be more alive, it takes the form of a tragic occult tale, with no happy ending, making Annabelle creepier than ever.
Blood on Satan’s Paw (2017)
When in 1978 Tommy goes into the woods to search for coins and other treasures he stumbles upon something very weird and sinister. This film is full of weird happenings, but eventually all revolves around Tommy’s sister Grace, who went missing years ago. He encounters a scary creature Mr Bones who kidnapped her and who now is after him. But meanwhile he finds out more about the disappearance of his sister and Mr Bones through a puppet show. In the forest is a tiny little house, the size of a big toadstool. And when Tommy looks through the window he sees the most creepy puppet show. With a surreal and scary style this puppet show is excellently made, and is cause for some ominous vibes, while the puppets themselves look absolutely creepy. The whole film is a bizarre trip, but the puppets show really adds to that unnerving atmosphere. Review.
The Boy (2016)
The Boy is all about another porcelain doll, but this time it’s a boy doll called Brahms. When an American nanny is hired to look after Brahms in a mansion in England she doesn’t know yet that it’s a doll. But the parents act like he’s a real boy and so should she. When they leave, they give her instructions on how to treat him and these rules are of utmost importance. At first she thinks it’s crazy, but then she starts to treat him as a real boy too and that’s when she thinks he might be haunted or alive. For a long time it’s not clear whether Brahms is just a doll and she is imagining things or if he is really haunted by the dead son of the couple, who also was called Brahms. The end provides us with a great twist and answers and turns everything upside down. While we never see Brahms moving, just like Annabelle, by doing nothing makes him all the more creepy, making us wonder if he’s haunted or not.
Brahms: The Boy 2 (2020)
In this sequel to The Boy most of the lore about the boy Brahms is thrown overboard to create a whole new mythology around this creepy doll that dates way back. Brahms wasn’t designed by the grieving parents who kept their deranged son hidden but was made long ago and tormented every family that came to live in that mansion. Now he has attached himself to a troubled boy who has recently experienced a trauma as did his mother and his family rents a cabin on the grounds of the mansion where he finds Brahms buried. We learn that it isn’t a mere doll, but an evil presence that looks absolutely hideous underneath his porcelain exterior. This film not only messes everything up that was forged in the original film, but it also became a supernatural horror, turning Brahms into a demonic creepy doll.
Child’s Play (1988)
Who isn’t familiar with the Good Guy Doll Chucky? He might well be the most well-known and vicious doll out there. And that’s because he isn’t a doll at all, but a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray who put his soul into a Good Guy Doll with an occult ritual to escape the police. When Andy gets this doll as a present, Chucky is starting a new killing spree and wants to use Andy as his new body. The human traits of the doll make Chucky extra creepy and his kills are very original, brutal, with some great nasty one-liners on his part. Chucky has made himself immortal not only by the occult ritual and being stuck in one of the most friendly dolls ever made, which is full on irony but also through his legacy. This slasher has led to many sequels that turned Chucky into an iconic monstrous killer.
Child’s Play (2019)
This new remake of Child’s Play swaps the occult concept of a serial killer inside the body of a doll for AI and also alters his appearance. And in fact it’s an angry factory employee who alters the AI of Chucky. Turning him from a Buddi into an obsessed AI that needs to please it’s friend and in this case 13 year-old Andy. The AI offers many other kind of kills, while Chucky has control over the computer system Kaslan, giving him an opportunity to kill very creatively but without joy, only to please Andy and to be his best friend. It’s a fun concept but would Ehave worked even better if it wasn’t Chucky and Andy but a whole other doll and kid. Without the menace of a living doll who actually is a serial killer it’s less fun and more brutal. This time Andy is determined to fight back with his friends but it’s also questionable that a 13 year-old wants a doll instead of a game computer.
Dead of Night (1945)
This anthology horror film might be quite old and is shot in black and white, but doesn’t feel outdated at all, mainly due to the last part of the film that is brilliantly shot and in which a ventriloquist’s dummy plays a big scary surreal part. The film contains five spooky true tales that are told by a group of people, who try to confront one of them who thinks he has one big paranormal deja vu. One of those tales is about a ventriloquist’s dummy controlled by Maxwell Frere, or is he? Because Maxwell is convinced that the dummy is alive and dangerous. The dummy looks really creepy and strange things happen out of Maxwell’s control. While this tale itself is very creepy, wait till the end of the film when everybody has told their own spooky story. Then the real horror is about to begin and where the dummy shows up again even more frightening than before, actually coming to life in a surreal nightmarish dream or vision to finish it off. Review
Dead Silence (2007)
In Dead Silence you can find a huge theater full of creepy dolls with very sinister origins. In this creepy dolls movie it’s all about the legend of famous ventriloquist Mary Shaw with her puppet Billy. It’s a legend that originated in Jamie’s hometown and when he is sent Billy as a present, his wife dies gruesomely sending him on a journey home. Then he is about to unravel a sinister evil plot and we get treated many creepy dolls and a big creepy puppet surprise at the end. When you thought Billy looked creepy in his box, then you’re in for shelves full of them, among which a demonic creepy clowns doll and a life-sized terrifyingly sinister doll. The dolls look absolutely scary and they act upon it too, not being mere lifeless puppets who only look scary.
For a whole house full of dolls that are out to punish the bad guys, this film does deliver. Little Judy and her father and stepmother are stranded with their car in a storm, and they take shelter in a doll-maker’s house full of dolls. Judy is delighted but the others, including two punk hitchhiker girls soon will get very well acquainted with the killer dolls who punish everyone who’s bad. Only Judy and the innocent Ralph get spared for the obvious reasons. This results in a very fun dark fairytale, with some gruesome deaths, a big surprise in the attic and two endearing characters that embody kindness and innocence. The dolls are all very different and wonderfully made and cause some great mayhem that will make your cheer them on. This is creepy campy fun at its best. Review
Hell House LLC (2015)
When five friends want to turn the old abandoned Abaddon Hotel into a haunted house attraction for Halloween, it seems a great idea, but at opening night something goes terribly wrong. And the creepy clown mannequins are just part of it. Well, that’s what you get when you ignore the sinister history of the place and an occult sign in the basement where you also put some very creepy clown mannequins. And one of them is the main attraction of this horror film. Popping up at night at different places in the hotel, without anybody moving him. And you don’t see him moving either, but you do see that he had just moved his head. He’s so terrifying and life-sized creepy that you suspect somebody is in that suit. He makes up for some great jump scares and a very creepy atmosphere while you expect him popping up after every corner. Review.
Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (2018)
This sequel brings us aback to the Abaddon Hotel for further exploration and after the incident at opening night, the original crew might have disappeared, but luckily the clown mannequins have not. So the iconic clown has some more opportunities to scare us real good. And some of the other prop mannequins are left too, creating a very creepy atmosphere. Although this sequel is less scary, they have left just the right things in that worked brilliantly the first time and actually do scare you again. Review.
Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire (2019)
This third and final sequel in the Hell House trilogy brings back the creepy clown mannequins and adds new mannequins to create a different vibe and to bring in some new scares. Now the Hotel is being used for a last time as a play that is performed throughout the hotel, as a walk-through performance play and white angelic mannequins are new and create a new vibe that fits within the final conclusion. The film might be the least scariest of them all but tries to do something new, while wrapping it up nicely. Review.
When Max after a disastrous Christmas Eve refuses to believe in Santa anymore, Krampus shows up to teach him and his family a lesson he won’t forget. They get snowed in and everything seems different they get the fright of their lives when they are attacked by snowmen, evil elves and the Christmas Angel, Gingerbread men and all the toys. Not per se dolls, but toys and they are just as close and therefore deserve to be on the list. The Jack-in-the Box turned evil devouring them, the Teddybear with teeth and the super evil looking Christmas Angel all steal the show and turn this Christmas in campy mayhem full of horror fun, that is often hilarious. It’s finally up to Max to end all the madness and save his family.
Lisa and the Devil (1973)
For a creepy mannequin we travel to picturesque Italy. In this gothic horror Lisa gets lost in an Italian village and is taken in by a Conuntess and her son in an old big mansion with three other strangers to stay the night. But something is really wrong and Lisa finds herself caught in a surreal nightmare. The dolls in this film are mostly mannequins and one in particular, a lifelike and life-sized mannequin which is the spitting image of Carlos the dead husband of the Countess. But it seems that this mannequin comes to life, probably by the hands of the devil himself played by Telly Savales who drags the mannequin around, with in his other hand a lollipop. The story is shown and filmed in a very surreal but creepy way, lifting the veil between limbo and a dream from where is no escape. Very atmospheric and creepy, enhanced by Carlos the mannequin. This version is different than the American version with the title The House of Exorcism, that doesn’t have an exorcism at all. Review
This artistic and expressionistic film tells the creepy and devastating tale of a disgraced puppeteer who has to return home to his abusive uncle. His puppet Possum is a creepy little thing that has the face of Philip the puppeteer but a body of a spider. He looks absolutely disturbing and that’s exactly what he represents. The puppet Possum is a symbol for Philip’s childhood trauma that he didn’t cope with but now wants to get rid off by getting rid of Possum. But Possum seems to find his way back to Philip. This film is disturbing, tragic and surreal in so many ways. The cinematography and the storytelling are impressive and are artistically beautiful but realistically horrifying. Due to the symbolism this puppet might be scariest of them all.
Andre Toulon is a puppeteer with many dolls who has fled to the Bodega Bay Inn for the nazi’s. Toulon has the secret to bring the dolls to life and the nazi’s are after that secret ritual. Toulon hides his dolls and kills himself, keeping the dolls and the secret safe. Years later a group of mediums is looking for the dolls and the secret. Although the dolls seem evil, they are in fact not, but they do reflect the personality of the one who’s controlling them. Blade, Tunneler, Jester, Pinhead and Leech Woman make their first appearance when some mediums try to find the key to animate objects, the way Toulon did, but instead stumble upon the dolls who are out to kill them. With great gory kills, wonderful roles for the puppets and the puppeteers, and a mystery this is a cult classic that was the start of a great franchise. Review
Puppet Master II (1990)
In this sequel after the incident in the Bodega Bay Inn, the puppets now decide to dig up the corpse of Andre Toulon. But when they reanimate him he is not the same anymore but a corrupted body who is now the villain of the story, trying to find himself a new body. When a new batch of paranormal investigators arrives at the hotel, they stumble into his scheme and serve as his new victims. With new original and brutal kills and a new puppet called Torch, the puppets cause some pretty fun mayhem, especially in the farm. But we also have to say goodbye to one of the puppets. And Toulon himself has a sinister plan of his own, corrupting the puppets as well. It’s a great sequel with really scary lifelike dolls at the end as a bonus for Toulon’s personal use.
Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991)
However, Toulon, just as his dolls wasn’t a villain. On the contrary, they each are heroes who fought the nazi’s. This third sequel explains and shows more about the origins of all the puppets and the dramatic and heroic past of Andre Toulon. It’s actually a prequel that takes us to 1941 and tells the story about Andre and his wide Elsa who stood up against the nazi’s who wanted the spell to animate the puppets for themselves. We learn that the dolls aren’t killer dolls at all. They all were in fact real heroic brave people, all killed by the nazi’s. With Toulon’s help their souls were transported into dolls so they could continue the fight against evil. Turning the whole concept into a heroic epic tale of superdolls. Of course there’s a new puppet who makes his appearance Six-Shooter with his six arms and loaded pistols.
Tourist Trap (1979)
We all know a tourist trap, but luckily they aren’t so sinister and deadly as the one in this film. When five young adults are stranded with car trouble in the middle of nowhere, they take shelter at a doll museum owned by Mr Slausen. But a killer is on the loose and an old mansion is inhabited by lots of creepy mannequins and a man who turns people into dolls. It’s a deadly tourist trap, from which there is no escape. The living killer dolls under control of the real killer wearing creepy masks, are all very scary and original. It’s a whodunit with occult elements, creepy masks and dolls and a sinister background story, that offers a big twist, some gruesome scenes and a last scene that offers a big surprise and a nightmarish ending, that makes this film an unforgettable watch. Review.
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
This anthology film tells three stories in which Karen Black plays all the leading roles. The film offers three scary tales of the macabre and supernatural. The first tale is about a teacher who is not to be trusted. The second story is about two rivaling sisters, both played by Karen Black. But the last story ‘He Who Kills’ is the story why this film made it to this list. For the evil and ugly Zuni fetish doll is not only the most fierce and best story but also the most creepy one when the doll comes to life to haunt and kill Amelia. It has a great structure and buildup with suspense and with smart storytelling, focusing completely on Amelia and the fetish doll. With terror and dread this is a cat and mouse game and a doll on the haunt with his gleaming eyes, his spear and his deadly intent. Wait for the twist at the end for an unforgettable creepy doll segment.