From Chucky to M3gan: these killer dolls made it big in the movies

The so-called “killer toys” or killer toys have always stood out in horror movies. The triumph at the international box office of “M3gan”, the most recent film in the genre, has given them new impetus among younger viewers, also exploiting the fascination and fear of technological advances.

These types of fictional characters recreate based on toys, dolls or puppets that come to life and commit violent or scary acts. Possession by demons, demons themselves, monsters, ghosts, supernatural creatures, dark magic, and malevolent or faulty technology are the reasons for the “awakening” of these creatures.

According to the specialized portal Screen Rant, the phenomenon of the murderous toy dates back to the film “The Devil-Doll” from 1936. However, some point out that Talky Tina, who appeared in episode 6 (« Living Doll”), from season 5 of “The Twilight Zone” (“Unknown Dimension”), in 1963.

The outlet points out that it was in the late 1970s and then the late 1980s when the killer toy genre gained strength with films like “Magic” (1979), “The Devil’s Gift” (1984) and “Joey” (1985).

The debut of the film by American filmmaker Tom Holland “Child’s Play”, titled in Latin America “Chucky, the devilish doll”, the genre became popular among lovers of horror movies, something that has been maintained over the years.

4 scary dolls


It was introduced in 1998 and is a Good Guy doll that was possessed by voodoo magic. The first of his films starred Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent and Dinah Manoff. It centers on a widowed mother (Hicks) who gives a doll to her son (Vincent), unaware that the doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

The plot was so successful and had an impact on pop culture (it has six sequels), that it spawned a media franchise. His most recent installment is a television series released in 2021.


Along with Chucky, Annabelle is one of the most iconic evil dolls in horror pop culture. Although the first film of its spinoff of the film series “The Conjuring” did not convince, the second installment of it, “Annabelle 2: The Creation”, offered an efficient story with great scares and a mysterious atmosphere. A great fusion of ghost and doll horror movies.

Annabelle, it is worth clarifying, is a porcelain doll created by the Raggedy Ann brand. He has the ability to unleash the most terrifying and unthinkable evils. It remains locked away in an occult museum, where a priest blesses it twice a month. John R. Leonetti directed the first installment and David. F. Sandberg the second.


Billy is the name of the puppet and avatar used by Jigsaw and his successors in the gore horror saga “Saw”, known in Latin America as “The Game of Fear”. He represents another type of killer toy since there are no paranormal elements around him. It is used by the main character of the story, John Kramer, the assassin nicknamed Jigsaw, to communicate and terrorize his victims.


M3gan is the newest star in the evil doll universe. Ella gives name to the newest film of the genre that has become the most recent horror film phenomenon due to its box office revenue and impact on pop culture (with viral dance on TikTok included).

Its name highlights the acronym for Model 3 Generative Android (Model 3 Generative for Android). It is a doll created with artificial intelligence, designed to be a loyal companion to the boy or girl for whom it is programmed, as well as an ally for her caregivers.

When Gemma, her creator, decides to link her with her niece Jessica, the consequences will be unimaginable. The film is currently in theaters.

From Chucky to M3gan: these killer dolls made it big in the movies