Chucky is the latest incarnation of the red-headed murderous doll, this time in the form of an 8 episode TV series. Unlike the previous ill-advised Child’s Play reboot from 2019, this version sticks a lot more closely to the original films and aesthetics (the look of the Doll from the 2019 film is laughably bad) and is a pretty fun experience overall.
Brought back by original creator Don Mancini, Chucky centres on Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur), a teenage loner being brought up by a single father (Devon Sawa) after his mother died. On the hunt for dolls for an art sculpture, Jake comes across an old Good Guys doll in pristine condition at a local yard sale. His intention is to rip the doll apart for his sculpture, but he’s soon distracted by a visit from his family – his dad’s twin brother Logan [also Devon Sawa), his aunt Bree (Lexa Doig) and cousin Junior (Teo Briones). Their family relationship is strained, and Jake’s life is made more difficult at school by bully Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) and his crush on true crime podcaster Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson).
It ain’t long until Chucky emerges from hiding and starts his violent rampage by going after the Wheeler family cat, before moving on to more human conquests. Chucky catches on to Jake’s struggle with his family and classmates, and reveals himself as a friend and confidante, helping Jake to embarrass bully Lexy at a school talent show. Chucky attempts to coerce the traumatised Jake into murdering Lexy himself, while the bodies soon begin to pile up around him. As the body count soars, it soon becomes apparent that Chucky isn’t just on a murderous rampage and has a bigger plan in the works, that appears to involve the return of a number of Chucky’s old friends and acquaintances.
After the horrific 2019 reboot, it looked like Chucky might be in the grave for good, however, this series has managed to breathe new life into the story whilst still retaining everything that was good about the original films. Gone is that abomination of a doll from the reboot and instead, the original Good Guys doll is back, complete with Brad Dourif returning as Chucky. Not only that but there’s also a whole host of characters returning from the other films, including the 1988 original, and there’s an incredibly nostalgic feeling about the show in general.
The plot is quite frankly ridiculous and often over the top, but that’s what is so fun about it. Chucky is his usual blunt, offensive self and there are countless times where I laughed out loud watching this. The blood and gore are ramped up as the series progresses, and the finale is pretty bat s**t crazy. The cinematography is very well done and the overall aesthetic here is vibrant yet creepy, with a funky modern soundtrack that fits surprisingly well. There are a few missteps in some scenes as there seems to be an overreliance on blurry backgrounds with characters in focus in the foreground, but in general, it looks very good.
It does however falter a little with some of the storytelling. It is a very slow-burning series, and I did feel like some of the scenes could have been cut out in favour of a snappier, more fast-paced storyline. Also, the story takes place in Hackensack which is Charles Lee Ray’s (Chucky) hometown. While the link to his past isn’t necessarily a bad thing, what doesn’t work is the fact that this tries to fill in the backstory and explain Chucky’s origins, in a similar vein to how Halloween illustrates Michael Myers’s past. It’s just too much and it’s entirely unnecessary. We didn’t need to know Chucky’s history as it’s actually more of a mystery not to know, and cutting this out could really have improved the story. Some of the earlier episodes also needed more Chucky and more laughs and death to lighten up the bloated storyline.
While not all of the story was needed and the run time a little too long over the full 8 episode run, overall Chucky was a fun and entertaining romp and a rather humorous and enjoyable return for the homicidal doll.
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A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!