Why Horror Movies Are So Obsessed with Children and Creepy Dolls?

2019.07.12
Why Horror Movies Are So Obsessed with Children and Creepy Dolls?
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The Dude
by The Dude
Why Horror Movies Are So Obsessed with Children and Creepy Dolls?

This is something that has been bothering this writer for quite some time now.

Why do horror movies like to use children or creepy dolls as conduits or gateways to the supernatural?

While this writer has no definitive answer, you will learn that the idea of conjuring kiddos and dolls as dramatic device to the nether world is neither rare nor fresh.

 

Toshio

Appears in: Ju On series

Scary power: Meowing the life outta you

What is his state: Vengeful spirit after being murdered by his dad

Why him: Somewhat cute?

Asia represent!

Ok, seriously, what the heck is this buck naked, literally white boy with the darkest of eye rings doing in every scene he appears in?

He screams. Like a cat.

 

Granted he’s not the scariest spirit in the film; his mother Kayako takes the crown. But the sight of this somewhat cute (when his mouth is closed) boy sitting at a corner drumming his fingers on his knees while looking at the victim still gives this writer the creeps.

Meow.

 

Damien

Appears in: The Omen

Scary power: Basically the Antichrist

What is his state: Five-year-old human body

Why him: Nobody can say no to an evil smirk

The boy with the 666 birthmark on his scalp; the boy who decides not to enter church despite being all of five years of age (which kid understands the concept of religion at 5?); the boy who frightens even animals in the zoo.

Damien is the boy -- or rather the body is just a vessel. And judging from his many talents, he’s the antichrist.

The best thing about being the antichrist is that he can do things without really doing things. A hard stare, some childlike crying and most adults are done for.

Oh, and what a smile.

 

Chucky

Appears in: Child’s Play series

Scary power: Cracks killer jokes in intense situations

What is his state: Doll with poor fashion sense

Why him: Somewhat wholesome when there’s no butcher knife.

What can we say about Chucky, the ginger doll with the serial killer spirit? This is also the same dude who can still rock the ugliest overalls in cinematic history without anyone judging him -- guess those who commented on his fashion sense died some really horrible deaths.

Sure, we get you: a serial killer’s spirit trapped in a doll’s body? Sounds incredulous but have you seen Sharknado?

Yes, the success of Chucky is commendable: there are eight movies in the Child’s Play series, including a remake out in theatres this month.

A serial killer of the box office indeed.

 

Cole Sear

Appears in: The Sixth Sense

Scary power: Can see dead people.

What is his state: A real boy.

Why him: Kids are good conduits?

“I see dead people.”

Enough said. The Sixth Sense is the defining horror movie of the 90s.

This critically acclaimed box office darling rejuvenated the whole plot twist thing in movies (poor Bruce Willis). The best thing about the movie, other than that twist, is the performance of Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear -- the boy who sees dead people, who also embodies polar opposite qualities: brave yet fragile in equal measure.

Osment was even nominated for Best Support Actor in the Oscars. Not bad for a horror movie.

 

Danny Torrance

Appears in: The Shining

Scary power: Also can see dead people.

What is his state: Another real boy

Why him: Kids are good conduits, confirmed.

Years before Cole Sear, there’s Danny Torrance, who not only can see dead people, he also has the psychic ability called “the shining”, which enables Danny boy to communicate telepathically with spirits and see events from the past, present and future.

Spoiler alert

And with Danny successfully escaped the evil clutches of his deranged dad, he’s all grown up now and will feature in the sequel of The Shining -- Doctor Sleep.

 

Annabelle

Appears in: The Conjuring universe

Scary power: Conjuring spirits

What is her state: A creepy doll

Why her: Hollywood needs a female Chucky. No, Bride of Chucky doesn’t count.

Annabelle

Last but not least we have good ol’ Annabelle -- vessel of one too many demonic spirits.

Which is a bad thing for the protagonists of The Conjuring universe, who have to deal with Annabelle’s many powers like telekinesis, manipulation and mind control.

As the only female represent in this article, this writer is happy to note that Annabelle is a successful character in the same vein as Chucky and has racked up five movie credits (and counting, for sure).

Oh, how Hollywood has been crying out for an equal to Chucky.