Top 7 Creepiest Props in Horror Films
A good, creepy prop can make or break your production. If you get just the right item, you can make it a memorable and powerful addition to your film. In celebration The Monkey's Paw release on Blu-ray and DVD from Scream Factory, which contains a pretty gross prop of its own, we've decided to reminisce about some of our favorites.
Of course we must begin with some honorable mentions. The stickman figures that hung in the woods during The Blair Witch Project became the trademark for the film that scared the hell out of us that long ago summer.
If you pay close attention to Return of the Living Dead, you can see a reanimated half-dog (literally the left-hand side of a dog, bisected for research purposes) in the warehouse of the Uneeda Medical Supply Company. That's gotta get a nod.
Although perhaps more wardrobe than prop, "Buffalo Bill" Jame Gumb's human hair/scalp wig was definitely one to remember, and from "The Walking Dead" Season 4, Episode 9, Herschel's head. Indeed, Herschel's head was attached to Herschel most of the time, but when Michonne came back to the prison and put her sword through it, Herschel's head definitely fell into the prop category.
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The Evil Dead - The Book of the Dead
What better item to start this list off with than a tome bound in human flesh and inked in blood containing all types of nasty spells and incantations used for awakening evil? The particular Book of the Dead found in The Evil Dead was called Naturom Demonto (or Necronomicon Ex Mortis in the later movies in the Evil Dead series), a Sumerian version of the book. And to look at the thing, you just know it's got to be evil. With a hideously twisted face on the front and even an ear on the back, this has got to be one of the most memorably grotesque movie props ever.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Part 2 - Nubbins, the Hitchhiker Puppet
As we all know, The Hitchhiker (aka Nubbins Sawyer… is that not the best name ever?!) does not fare very well at the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The fact that he's flattened under a tractor trailer pretty much guaranteed the fact that he wouldn't be back for a sequel. But wait! Thanks to the artistic prowess of the Sawyer Clan, Nubbins' parts are reassembled and he returns in Chainsaw 2 in puppet form. Brought to life in a fashion that would make Jim Henson proud, Nubbins' corpse is animated by Chop-Top, his twin brother who was in Vietnam when the events of the first film occurred. In a movie with plenty of iconic lines and imagery, the Nubbins Sawyer puppet fit right in. Dog will hunt!
Hellraiser - The Lament Configuration
There may be no more legendary or recognizable movie item than The Lament Configuration, the Lemarchand's box used by Pinhead and the Cenobites throughout the Hellraiser series. The small, mysterious puzzle box opens a door across a schism and allows horrific creatures from other dimensions access to ours, thus usually creating a real pain in the ass for the unfortunate individual who uncovered the solution to the box. This infamous little gold-trimmed box sits quietly until accessed, and then it opens the doors to nightmares.
"Dexter" - Box of Slides
At first this one might not seem so creepy. So, big deal, Dex keeps a box of microscope slides that represent each of his victims… Now, let's say that line again, but instead of starting withm 'So, big deal,' we'll start with 'Oh, my god,' as in, 'Oh, my god, Dexter keeps a box of microscope slides that represent each of his victims!?!' See how when you really look at this item, it becomes something much more sinister than Dexter's likable persona allows us to realize? Indeed, this is a trophy case of a murderer. Yes, the victims Dexter killed were all basically really bad people, but the fact that Dex keeps the slides and lovingly runs his hand along the tops of them as he admires them makes for one creepy collectible.
Demons (Demoni) - Mask
Director Lamberto Bava needed the perfect mask to get the ball rolling, leading to the insane bloodshed that occurs in Demons, and he found it. The shining, polished silver replica of a demon's face, complete with huge teeth and menacing eyes, made for the perfect prop to begin a demonic apocalypse. From the moment Geretta Geretta donned it and pricked her cheek, you simply had to know that things were going to go bad in a big hurry. And wasn't that certainly the case? Beginning with Geretta's awesome transformation scene and ending with our cities becoming our tombs, the demonic mask in Demons was certainly one to avoid wearing. Your mother always warned you not to try on hats in the store… this would have knocked her bloomers off!
May - May's Doll Suzie
As lovable as May Dove Canady is as a character, there is one thing about her that just creeps you out, and that's her handmade doll, Suzie. Suzie was made by May's mother, being given to her with the advice, "If you can't find a friend, make one instead." These were words that May really took to heart. And even though May felt Suzie was her best friend, the doll was always her target of rage when things went wrong. Suzie made May make bad choices and do "weird" things. But when the glass case shatters, so does May, setting her on a path of destruction, leaving a trail of bodies (parts) in her wake.
The Conjuring - Annabelle
The opening scene of The Conjuring introduced us to Annabelle. This doll and the story behind it were so disturbing that she has her own film set to be released later this year. And to top it all off, the Annabelle back story is based on a completely true tale. And not "loosely based" on a true tale either; the tale behind the Annabelle doll is pretty well represented in the film. The real-life Annabelle was actually just a large Raggedy Ann doll, but James Wan and The Conjuring filmmakers decided to make the version of Annabelle that we see in the film quite a bit more chilling than its real-life counterpart. And what about that real-life counterpart? It can still be seen today in the Warrens' supernatural museum.
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