I was walking by a Redbox this evening when the cover of the ‘Poltergeist’ remake reminded me of something that has been driving me nuts recently.
Here’s the deal, Hollywood; If you’re going to make a movie with a freaky doll in it, you’re going to have to understand something…
The creep factor associated with “children’s dolls” in movies resides solely on the idea of “it could happen to you.”
One of YOUR toys could be the one that comes to life and tries to kill you, right?
That idea is what makes you come home from seeing the movie, go to bed and immediately start side-glancing your toys because the movie creeped your mind into thinking it was a possibility.
The ONLY way this works is if the movie uses a doll that a kid would actually have in their room.
It makes it real.
The clown in the original ‘Poltergeist’ TERRIFIED me as a kid, simply because it could have been any old clown doll that my weird aunt would have bought me as a kid.
It wasn’t dirty and broken and distorted. It didn’t look like it had traveled from the 3rd circle of hell, …it was a frigging clown.
What DID make it terrifying was the fact that it was moving around on its own and oooh… trying to kill the kid in the movie.
Fast forward to the Poltergeist remake, (which I really enjoyed by the way, despite this) where the clown toy shows up looking like the spawn of Satan himself.
No child on earth would EVER have owned this toy and loved this toy.
In the movie, there is no “Oh, it’s just creepy looking because toys looked creepy back then” implied. It was straight up designed to be terrifying… but at the same time they were trying to imply that it was just a simple toy that a previous owner’s kids used to own.
Listen, no 5-year-old back in 1941 said “No, Daddy… I don’t want the teddy bear! Buy me that clown that looks like it wants to eat my soul!”
Same thing goes with Annabelle…
The movie is based on a “real life” case of a haunted doll named Annabelle. The real life Annabelle is a Raggedy Anne doll.
Now, for the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the movie couldn’t get the rights to show Raggedy Anne. That’s fine. But at LEAST make the doll one that a child would actually own!
The fact that the doll looked like this:
Raggedy Anne isn’t scary enough?
You can’t tell me that if you walked in on a horrific murder scene and saw a Raggedy Anne doll next to the body …slowly turning its head toward you …you wouldn’t loose your bowels all over yourself.
Why are you trying so hard with this, Hollywood?
Is it because you’re trying to sell the mood of your movie by showing a doll on your poster? Take it down a notch or twelve.
Dolls are creepy enough by themselves! Make them more realistic and you make the people take the nightmare home with them.
Hey… and another thing, stop making the term “demon possession” actually mean “a girl in pajamas does more contortionism than the lead in a Cirque De Soleil.
We can handle the idea of an exorcism without a girl bending in 18 different places and screaming in Latin.
You’re all trying to rip off the “spiderwalk” in The Exorcist, when EVEN THEY thought it looked too stupid to put in the final cut of the film.
Stop trying so hard.
You know what the scariest part of the recent horror movie “It Follows” was?
A character slowly walking toward you.
And it was fan-damn-tastic.
What do you think, Moguls?