Some weeks back, I guest-blogged on another site about a concept known as spontaneous generation—the likelihood of people exposed to the same mass media stimuli coming up with the same idea. This theory can explain why two movies with the same premise can be released by two different studios at virtually the same time. Armageddon and Deep Impact, for example.
I've now experienced this phenomenon firsthand. The idea for The Dollmaker was inspired by a 'twin' doll catalog and by the old Vincent Price horror classic House of Wax (not to be confused with the Paris Hilton version). I had the premise in my head for years before I actually wrote and sold the book.
It came out in March, along with two horror movies featuring dolls—The Abandoned and Dead Silence. And I saw a third doll movie on TV that month—The Perfect Prey—about a killer who collects antiques dolls. The CSI shows have also jumped on the doll band wagon with CSI: New York’s “City of the Dolls” and CSI: Las Vegas’s “Living Doll”(season finale). To cap it off, Jeffrey Deaver's next thriller is entitled The Sleeping Doll, although I don’t believe it’s actually about dolls.
So what is the deal with all these dolls lately? Spontaneous generation or just some weird coincidence?