Chucky vs. Annabelle: The Ultimate Horror Movie Doll
Is it just me, or does it feel like we're being watched?
These are two dolls no child in their right mind would want to play with. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re pitting Chucky against Annabelle to see which is the ultimate horror movie doll. Since we’ll be discussing events in the Child’s Play and Annabelle film series, there’ll be some spoilers ahead.
What’s in a name? For Chucky, quite a lot. Prior to becoming a doll, he was a serial killer and voodoo practitioner named Charles Lee Ray—a name inspired by notorious killers Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray. And that pretty much sums up his character right there: Even as a human, he was one nasty piece of work. Cornered by police, and bleeding to death from a gunshot wound, he used a voodoo spell to place his soul inside a nearby doll. The rest is slasher history.
Annabelle is based on a real doll that paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren claim is haunted. In the movies, her backstory is incredibly tragic. When their eight-year-old daughter Annabelle dies in a car accident, grieving parents Samuel and Esther Mullins agree to transfer the essence of an unknown entity into a porcelain doll in exchange for contact with their lost child. After the demon attacks Esther, they have the doll locked up in an abandoned room. But as we all know, it doesn’t stay that way.
Chucky’s backstory is pretty straightforward. Annabelle’s backstory, on the other hand, is poignant, as well as chilling. The fact that she’s based on a real doll creeps us out even more, so we’re giving this round to her.
WINNER: Chucky 0/Annabelle 1
Chucky might be handy with household objects, but his true talent is his ability to take a LOT of punishment. Over the course of the Child’s Play franchise, he’s been shot, melted, blown up, cut to pieces, stabbed, and stomped, but STILL keeps on coming. For Chucky, death is only a temporary setback, as his soul eventually finds a way back into a new doll one way or another. He became even more powerful in Cult of Chucky when he learnt a new trick that allows his soul to occupy more than one doll at a time.
Annabelle’s abilities are more varied. The demon that possesses the doll has supernatural powers that range from creepy to downright murderous. Using telekinesis, it can manipulate objects around it, from books and doors to record players and stoves. It can also get inside its victims' heads, making them hallucinate. And don’t think it doesn’t also possess physical strength: It can gouge out eyeballs and throw people across the room with ease. Ultimately, if this demon wants to torment you, there’s really very little you can do about it.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how many bodies Chucky can control at a time. He’s no match for true demonic powers. Another round to Annabelle!
WINNER: Chucky 0/Annabelle 2
Having once been human, Chucky retains several characteristics he had in his former life as Charles Lee Ray. In addition to being a complete sadist, he’s prone to hostility and fits of rage. Though, to be fair, spending any significant amount of time as a doll would probably make all of us at least a little irritable. He also has a particularly twisted sense of humor, evident in corny one liners and his creepy, high-pitched cackle. For a doll, he’s surprisingly human. But not in a good way!
In contrast, Annabelle is more or less void of personality. Or at least, anything that we humans would recognize as such. The doll doesn’t speak, and hardly ever moves. Her face has the same expression regardless of what’s going on around her. While we also get glimpses of the demon who controls her, it doesn’t seem to have any sort of identifiable personality either... besides seeming to relish scaring the bejesus out of everyone. It’s an otherworldly figure that remains more or less enigmatic, and fixated on its larger goal: claiming human souls.
While Annabelle’s inhuman qualities are what make her creepy, Chucky’s cruel and sadistic personality scores him a win in round three.
WINNER: Chucky 1/Annabelle 2
When it comes to what makes Chucky terrifying, there are several aspects to choose from. Whenever he talks or moves, the unnatural, uncanny, valley effect is unnerving. This aesthetic quality is even scarier later in the series when Chucky’s face is stitched up, making him look even uglier. Then there’s his habit of hiding somewhere and popping out to attack his victims. For anyone who’s easily spooked by jump scares, it’s nerve wracking to watch a scene when you know Chucky is out there waiting to strike.
While Annabelle’s unchanging smile is creepy, the real horror comes from the evil that the doll represents. The demon that possesses Annabelle can manipulate the room around it to provide an unsettling atmosphere. It can also fool people with illusions, and charge at them for an effective jump scare. When it actually appears to people, it’s a black, humanoid figure with horns that looks like it crawled straight out of Hell. The fact that it can also suddenly disappear from view makes it that much scarier.
Annabelle definitely gives us chills, but her telekinetic tricks and demonic form are pretty standard fare. Chucky has cornered the market in the tiny, maniacal, assassin trope, and wins this one for being one of a kind.
Chucky takes Round Four.
WINNER: Chucky 2/Annabelle 2
Chucky has been racking up his body count over ever since his debut in 1988. And he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In Child’s Play 2 alone, he knocks off seven people. His experience and practice over the course of the franchise’s many installments has allowed him to get creative with his kills, moving far beyond knives and yardsticks into ever gorier territory. He became especially efficient in Cult of Chucky through the use of multiple dolls. No one is safe around this doll—not even random bystanders.
The Annabelle franchise is a different story. To date, few deaths can actually be laid at the doll/demon’s door. Annabelle and the prequel, Annabelle: Creation saw eight characters bite the dust, but most of them weren’t actually the direct result of Annabelle’s actions. For what it’s worth, they also weren’t quite as gruesome. As brutal as Samuel Mullins’ death was in Annabelle: Creation, with his fingers first snapped back around the crucifix, we’re not sure it really compares to what the factory technician got in Child’s Play 2.
With a body count amassed through sequel after sequel, Chucky easily wins the final round.
WINNER: Chucky 3/Annabelle 2
The final count: Chucky comes out on top, beating Annabelle 3 to 2.
Did we pick the right doll? Be sure to debate it in the comments and of course, don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo for more entertaining versus battles.