Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ took some serious flak in 2015. Critics and Hollywood stars lambasted its political stance, but for us, the furore over its use of fake plastic babies was much more fun to follow.
In honour of those limp lumps of baby-shaped plastic, here’s Hollywood’s 9 creepiest ever fake babies.
Warning: There’s some absolute nightmare fuel coming up.
The film’s screenwriter Jason Hall was so incensed by the backlash over Clint Eastwood’s decision to use dolls instead of actual tots, he took to Twitter to answer the film’s critics.
He revealed that the real babies they’d lined up for the film failed to show up on the day, hence the use of the creepy dolls instead. Still creepy, whatever the reason.
Danny Boyle’s grim Irvine Welsh adaptation features the most iconic of all creepy movie babies. Allison’s dead baby haunts Ewan McGregor’s withdrawal-wracked Renton as he attempts to go cold turkey at his parent’s house, and the animatronic doll – complete with Exorcist-style rotating head – is guaranteed to give you nightmares.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1’
The birth of Edward and Bella’s human-vampire hybrid baby Renesmee was always going to be a big challenge for the ‘Twilight’ films, but what we got on screen was so much better than what was originally planned. An animatronic doll, dubbed Chuckesmee (above right) on set due to its similarity to the Child’s Play doll, was ditched in favour of a slightly less uncanny CGI baby (above left).
Ivan Reitman’s far-fetched comedy saw Arnold Schwarzenegger falling pregnant as part of a science experiment. If that wasn’t horrifying enough for you, there’s a dream sequence which sees Arnie giving birth to a baby blessed with the adult face of the Austrian Oak.
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.
‘The Passion Of The Christ’
There were many stomach-churning moments in Mel Gibson’s religious epic, but none were more disturbing than the sight of Satan’s hairy man-baby turning to the camera during the flogging scene. When quizzed on the symbolism, Gibson explained, “It’s evil distorting what’s good. What is more tender and beautiful than a mother and a child? So the Devil takes that and distorts it just a little bit.” You’re not kidding Mel.
‘Dawn of the Dead’
Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake took the zombie myth down a horrific route with the introduction of an undead baby in one of the biggest “oh no they didn’t” moments in recent movie memory. Kill it. Kill it with a shotgun.
‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child’
In a dream sequence during the fifth film in the horror franchise Freddy Krueger is reborn as a horrific baby. It scuttles away from its traumatised mother before it grows back to adult size in seconds proclaiming “It’s a boy!”. Dream child? Nightmare child more like.
Before he disappeared up Bag End making six Middle Earth movies, Peter Jackson was best known for his schlock horrors ‘Braindead’ and ‘Bad Taste’. Baby Selwyn, who was brought to life by an actor wearing prosthetics designed by the Weta Workshop team, was one of his most horrific and memorable early creations.
Critics panned this sanctimonious romantic drama, directed by Martin ‘GoldenEye’ Campbell, and it’s not hard to see why. Angelina Jolie earned a Razzie nomination for the earnest but ultimately misjudged film which features a scene in which Ange attempts to save the life of this misconceived CGI baby.
Image credits: Warner Bros./Channel 4 Films/Summit/Universal/Icon Films/New Line/Wingnut Films/Paramount