Friends ’til the End – A Child’s Play Retrospective

Friends till the end banner

In 1988 Child’s Play started a franchise about a doll who was possessed by the murderous soul of Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray (Brad Dourif). 25 years later the fifth sequel of the franchise arrives and this is a welcome excuse for me to do a complete retrospective of the Child’s Play – franchise, a string of stories that have accompanied me through a large chunk of my life and have been very personal experiences:

A personal Chucky encounter
When I was still at primary school I remembered watching an episode of the TV-show Family Matters where a doll got possessed:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHkOyiqoHUM]

And yes it was cheesy even back then. But in school we got talking about the episode and that the concept of a killer doll was actually quite scary when a friend of mine started with a sentence that would cause a wave of terror stories:

“It totally reminded me of Chucky.”

After that Chucky became an icon for us despite only one person having seen parts of the first movie. Stories were told how scary Chucky was and that you couldn’t escape him. The amount of stories our friend told us about how Andy and his mother tried to get away from the crazy doll had long exceeded 20 parts – yes, I believed that there were over 20 Chucky movies out… seeing as there are “just” 6 out right now I would say that writer Don Mancini has a lot of catching up to do.

I tried watching Bride of Chucky in the cinema in 1999 (one year Austrian delay) but was way too young to be allowed in and in a time before the internet and regular Amazon orders it was not that easy to get one’s hands on a movie like this – especially if your parents didn’t want you to watch them.

I was 13 when Bride of Chucky was on television (a censored version missing about 20 minutes of an 80 minutes movie) and I finally decided to buy that DVD of the first Chucky movie Child’s Play. And after years of being scared by the mere image of the doll and spending time discussing if Chucky 19 really was the best part I was terryfied by the 1988 original. It was such a horrible experience it caused nightmares for weeks and had me dreading to fall asleep because Chucky might get me.

Chucky is my friend 'til the end!
But Chucky is my friend ’til the end!

My cousin took it even worse and my aunt kept wondering why he was so scared to sleep alone for weeks.

The legacy lives on
After a while I was able to watch Child’s Play without panic attacks and it would take a very long time and some chance until I finally had all (at that time) five DVDs. The killer doll never stopped to grab my fears and fascination and I was pretty bummed when it seemed that 2004’s Seed of Chucky was the last entry in the series – especially since it wasn’t the high point of the franchise. Yet rumors started to surface about a remake of the original. And always looking for new Chucky I was rolling along after the motto “Better a remake of Chucky than no Chucky”.

When the remake was cancelled and instead a direct to DVD standalone movie called Curse of Chucky announced I was very uncertain if this might be the ungrateful ending for the franchise.

Yet all the ingredients were still there on paper:

  • Brad Dourif’s voice acting
  • Don Mancini who has written all the movies
  • David Kirschner who had produced all the movies

And the word of mouth was actually quite solid. And with Halloween being my favorite holiday after Christmas – and because there wasn’t that much horror going on in the cinemas – I decided to go back through Chucky’s cinematic adventures to prepare myself for Curse of Chucky.

Curse

The movies
This special coverage will go through each movie of the series starting with 1988’s Child’s Play and ending with 2013’s Curse of Chucky:

It will be a bizarre journey through a franchise whose individual entries switch through various horror genres and eventually I will try to figure out the question:

Where does Curse of Chucky fit into this story and is it a good Chucky movie?

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Wolfgang Verfasst von:

Der Host des Flipthetruck Podcasts. Mit einem Fokus auf Science Fiction und Roboter sucht er ständig jene Mainstream Filme, die sich nicht als reine Unterhaltungsfilme zufrieden geben.

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