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Fake babies: A very real horror
“Nanny, you’re a numb-nuts. That’s a doll not a baby”, said real Harry, aged about three, as he stared at his grandmother and the fake Harry she’d had made as his
replacement. Out of the mouth of babes!
Thankfully, his comments came via the safety of a webcam thousands of miles away - the best place for him I’d wager under the circumstances.
Had I been able to get the words out, that’s exactly what I would have said. What I actually was doing was rocking with fear(wrapped in my duvet) trying to decide who I’d rather be stuck in a room with: the Exorcist child or Sue Smith - the proud mother of nine fake babies. I chose the Exorcist child.
Honestly, a word of advice to the schedulers at Channel 4, this Halloween, if you really want to scare the crap out of people, don’t show Halloween H20, Nightmare on Elm Street or any one of the fifty sequels of Saw. Show the Channel 4 version of Child’s Play starring the aforementioned Sue Smith and Harry’s granny instead.
Chase this with a documentary about men who live with life-sized silicone dolls and you’re laughing all the way to the TV Quick awards. Dolls, as “My Fake Baby” proved, are on par with puppets, clowns and most things in a mask in the scary stakes.
The documentary, aired on Wednesday night at 10pm, told the stories of women who for whatever reason (undiagnosed OCD, in the case of Sue, or just general hand-that-rocks-the -cradle-type insanity, in the case of Harry’s granny) were unable to have real babies in their lives.
Instead, they spend obscene amounts of money purchasing dolls known as “reborns”. The “reborns” look remarkably life-like, complete with peeling newborn skin, real hair and eerie fixed smiles. Some of them come with in-built warming pouches to give the impression that they are alive and not what they really are inanimate objects that only in the most warped of imaginations can offer the happiness a real baby brings or even a puppy.
And could they have chosen a scarier name than reborns? The word ‘reborn’ implying they had previously been alive. I couldn’t help myself from thinking of the scene in Silence of the Lambs when the crazed serial killer debuts his human coat - an amalgamation of the skin of his chubby female victims. It made me wonder what the reborns were made of. Or whether in the dead of night the dolls actually came alive.
It would make a great horror film that. I can hear the trailer now, “They thought it was just a doll until it became....reborn!” Cue an evil baby dragging itself across the floor with murder in its eye to exact revenge on the women who accessorised it with Roberto Cavalli and change the wheels on its pram every other day to keep them clean.
If you watched it, you’ll know what I mean. If you didn’t, be afraid, be very afraid.