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This classic horror movie made James Wan obsessed with creepy dolls

James Wan has brought an iconic creepy doll to the screen once per decade since 2003. His love of killer dolls can be traced back to one particular movie.


Writer, director and producer James Wan has a long association with creepy horror dolls. Going all the way back twenty years to 2003’s Saw – which features the iconic Billy the Puppet – and then ten years later in 2013’s The Conjuring, which spawned that little scamp Annabelle. Another ten years have passed and Wan is back to his creepy doll ways, this time with a technologically advanced robot – M3GAN.

M3GAN isn’t even out yet, but some genius marketing techniques have led to her – and her dance – going viral all over social media. Wan came up with the story for M3GAN with Akela Cooper, and Gerard Johnstone directs.

Speaking to Yahoo, Wan says; “One of the things we like to do at [his production company] Atomic Monster is, at the end of the week, sit around and chat about films. At one of these sessions, we came up with the idea of doing a killer-doll movie. Saw was definitely the first time I did that. People really liked it, and so I thought, oh, this is great, there are people out there who are as disturbed as I am. I’m very grateful for that.”

Wan can trace his love of killer dolls back to one classic horror movie in particular; “I would just jot it down to watching Poltergeist at a very young age. That was definitely a very influential film for me, and I saw it at a very young impressionable age, and it made a huge impression on me, and that creepy clown doll definitely scarred me for life.”

“But I also like to say that I’m a big collector of these kinds of things. I love my collectibles, my action figures, and so naturally, the idea of making movies based on one of these things coming to life is exciting for me. It’s thrilling, and, of course, in the horror genre, it means I can have a lot of fun with a story like that.”

Check out our guide to the best monster movies. Just don’t call M3GAN a monster!