M3gan, Annabelle, Chucky… these movie dolls are scary

For horror fans, a photo of Chucky with Annabelle It would be a desired portrait that would pay tribute to that subgenre of the possessed, evil and terrifyingly cute dolls that seems to have a new air at this moment.

(Also: ‘M3gan’, the diabolical doll: this is the robotic Annabelle that arrives at the cinema)

Evil has always felt comfortable in the false skin of paste, rubber or cloth, and the cinema has witnessed, to a large extent, this trend.

Proof of this is that chucky has seven movies in a franchise that has gone from supernatural horror to gory caricature of the character, along with a paved road to success for Annabelle, who went from being a major fixture in The Conjuring saga to the total star of three productions.

One of the referents of this theme is the film ‘The Great Gabbo’ (1929), by Erich von Stroheim and James Cruze, which was more related to drama, but which exposed a strange psychological relationship between a puppeteer and a marionette, which ends up controlling him.

The theme caught on so much that it became the source of inspiration for other productions, such as ‘Dead Night’, from 1945, or ‘Magic’, which in 1978 recounted the success of a magician and the consequences he has to deal with when he decides to add a act of ventriloquism with a doll named Fats, who becomes a kind of negative conscience for the protagonist.

Magic featured a performance by Anthony Hopkins

‘Magic’ was a film that caused a stir due to the impressive performance of Anthony Hopkins. This narrative bet also cultivated some cinematographic pieces of little plot value, but which won the affection of unconditional fans of horror and suspense.

Sagas like ‘The Puppet Master’, in which puppets take revenge and kill; the story of a doll possessed by a Mayan spirit in ‘Dolly Dearest’ (she is arguably Chucky’s close cousin); the bizarre twist to the suspense of ‘The Boy’, in which an older couple hires a nanny to care for their son, who is actually an inanimate child; added to the enigmatic doll that scares a family in the Mexican film ‘Vacaciones de terror’ –considered a cult piece, since it shows one of the few interventions in the genre by the singer and actor Pedro Fernández– realize that there is no limits nor borders to broaden the panorama of cursed dolls.

This cinematographic formula works so well that not even classics like Pinocchio are spared from being part of the recipe. An example of this is ‘Pinocchio’s revengea low-budget film that shows how the famous wooden doll ends up in the hands of a serial killer and then becomes an extension of its owner’s evil.

The Boy also explores tension through a doll that plays the role of the son of an elderly couple.

The elderly did not escape unscathed either, as many of the creators of these toys are middle-aged, lonely, strange and mentally unstable people, as in the case of Gabriel and Hilary, an elderly couple who make handicraft dolls that are actually they are miniature human beings in the crazy story of ‘Dolls’, a film released in 1987 that, despite its low budget, received positive reviews for its originality.

Chucky and Annabelle, two icons of horror.

Photo:

United Artists / Warner

However, the great turn of the screw was given precisely by the first production of chuckywhich was released in 1988, and which was an almost instant hit with audiences and horror fans alike.

The premise in which a serial killer manages to transfer his soul to a toy through a strange voodoo prayer managed to be credible in that mix of terror, violence, leveraged on some efficient visual effects and a charisma so powerful that it made everyone tremble. millions of people.

Annabelle, A possessed doll – which is inspired by a true story of a doll found in the museum of the Warrens, the famous demonologists – has become another symbol of horror thanks to a trilogy of films that were derived from The Conjuring, work From the mastermind of James Wan.

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M3gan, Annabelle, Chucky… these movie dolls are scary