Hey babe, this isn't written by me but is a guest post provided by Dylan from Starcostumes.com. It's a look at horror alternatives to Toy Story 3, but you can read that for yourself, so I'll let Dylan take it away…
While Toy Story 3 is making quite a big splash both critically and commercially, it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, especially for those who prefer their tea blood red. Yes, the Toy Story movies offer very little to horror fans, save for some pretty freaky toys in the second movie, so those looking for some scares are left out in the cold. While everyone is getting their thrills with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, here are five films that horror fans can turn to for their toys-come-to-life fix.
The Child's Play franchise is arguably the most infamous example of toys coming to life and murdering people, so I'll get these out of the way right off the bat. The original Child's Play was released in 1988. When the serial killer known as "The Lakeshore Strangler" transfers his soul into a Good Guy doll via some serious dark voodoo, it kicked off a franchise that spanned over fifteen years. Chucky and crew have been in five movies and a reboot of the series has been planned for a few years now. The one major difference between Chucky and the Toy Story gang? Chucky won't play dead when people are around. Instead, he'll just kill everyone.
Puppet Master is a popular horror movie from the tail end of the 1980s. If you haven't heard of it, maybe you've heard of one of its nine sequels? In true horror movie fashion, Puppet Master became a cult classic and little baby Puppet Masters started shooting out every few years, with the latest entry - Puppet Master: Axis of Evil - scheduled for release later this month. The first movie in the series involved rival psychics battling it out with puppets brought to life by an Egyptian spell. Later in the series, the puppets became the protagonists. Even weirder, some of the later movies involved Nazis. Yeah, it's an odd series.
This isn't as well known a movie as some of the others on the list, but it's possibly the most appropriate. Whereas Child's Play is about dolls and The Puppet Master is about puppets, Demonic Toys is all about, well, toys! You'll find no Slinky Dogs or Mr. Potato Heads here, though. There's an evil teddy bear, a terrifying jack-in-the-box, and more. And like Toy Story, they all have names, like Grizzly, Jack Attack, and Mr. Static. They actually sound a little cuddly, but don't be fooled, the teddy bear swings a mean baseball bat. Nobody's going to be upset if these things get sold off at a yard sale.
This movie holds a special place in my heart because it was actually filmed about 20 minutes from my podunk town in Northern California. It's probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to this county. Magic features Anthony Hopkins as Corky, a magician/ventriloquist who uses his dummy Fats in his magic act. And yes, of course the dummy is evil. Fats convinces Corky to do unforgivable things before eventually getting in on the act himself. But Fat's intimidating presence extends beyond the fictional realm of the movie. Hopkins reportedly took the doll home once to work with it, but became so unnerved by it that he called the ventriloquism consultant for the film and threatened to throw the doll into a nearby canyon if it wasn't picked up immediately.
In Child's Play, a serial killer transfers his soul into a doll to prolong his life. In Dolls, Gabriel and Hillary Hartwicke, a seemingly-innocent elderly couple, have been trapping the souls of the immoral into dolls and puppets for who knows how long. And when guests visit their rather large mansion, those toys spring to life and make short work of them. Dolls was never as big as Child's Play, which is a shame, as it came out a year and a half prior and was possibly the inspiration.
So there you have it. If you have a hankerin' to watch some murderous toys go about their business, these five films will get you started. If you're still not satisfied, Child's Play, Puppet Master, and Demonic Toys spawned several sequels you could plow through.