The horror genre is one of the few film genres that manages to create long-running, and worthwhile, franchises based around an iconic central character.
From Friday the 13th’s Jason Vorhees through to more recent entries into the genre such as Billy in Saw, there have been a number of franchises to choose from over the years. Pretty much every franchise has had wobbly moments, we’re looking at you The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but for the most part all of the films remain entertaining.
Don Mancini’ Child’s Play is one of the best-loved and most consistent franchises out there with killer doll Chucky (Brad Dourif) now considered a horror icon. As someone who is very passionate about the films, I do genuinely enjoy them all but to celebrate the release of Curse of Chucky, I’ve ranked all seven instalments from worst to best!
Keep reading to find out which Chucky film comes out on top!
7. Seed of Chucky (2004)
There’s a place in my heart for campy fifth instalment in the series. Chucky and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) are reunited with their long-lost child Glen/Glenda (Billy Boyd), who is averse to killing and they try to encourage him to participate in the family hobby. The film goes very meta with Jennifer Tilly voicing both Tiffany and playing herself in the movie. S Club 7’s Hannah Spearritt and rapper Redman also feature in the cast.
It’s a bit of a muddled affair and the meta angle doesn’t always work but it is amusing in places. Sadly we’ve never seen Glen since or Jennifer Tilly’s Chucky fathered children Glen and Glenda again but there’s always time for that in a future instalment!
6. Child’s Play 3 (1991)
When the Chucky series was at its original peak, the studio wanted to churn out a movie every year. Child’s Play 3 wasn’t a great film and the controversy that wrongly surrounded it effectively put an end to the franchise for 7 years. The film focused on a grown up Andy Barclay (this time played by Justin Whalin) as he tried to settle in to military school.
There are some fun deaths in Child’s Play 3 but it didn’t capture the spirit of the first two movies and without Alex Vincent as Andy, it just didn’t feel right. I can see what they tried to do here in terms of moving the story on but it just didn’t quite work unfortunately. Mark this one as a guilty pleasure.
5. Child’s Play 2 (1990)
My fondness for Child’s Play 2 comes from loving seeing the film as a kid. It’s not as good as the original movie but as far as first sequels go, it’s a very entertaining watch. Following the events of the first movie, Andy (Alex Vincent) is placed into foster care after his mother is committed to a mental institution. Chucky tracks Andy down and targets Andy’s new family including fellow foster kid Kyle (Christine Elise).
What Child’s Play 2 does well is play on the fears that Andy is going to get pulled into a vicious cycle once again. It’s similar to the first movie in that no one believes him until it’s too late but there’s more humour present in the script. The ending is a little abrupt but the final showdown is a spectacular pay-off that leaves you wanting more.
4. Curse of Chucky (2013)
People were sceptical when it was announced that a sixth Chucky film would be arriving nearly a decade after the last. The memory of Seed of Chucky didn’t fill me with hope but Curse of Chucky pulled off a pretty incredible reboot of the series. The storyline established a connection between central character Nica (Fiona Dourif) and Charles Lee Ray, and the film got the franchise back to its horror roots.
Curse of Chucky is genuinely scary but maintains a good sense of humour too. The film was way more involving than I’d expected and the way it ties to the first movie is actually pretty clever. Of course the film left things wide open for a seventh film and I was surprised at just how good a movie it was.
3. Cult of Chucky (2017)
The most recent entry into the franchise is also the most bonkers to date. Given the things that have happened over the Child’s Play films, that’s a bold statement but I’m not wrong. Continuing the story of Nica, Cult of Chucky takes the film in a bold new direction injecting plenty of unique and fresh ideas into the mix. It’s unusual for a seventh film in a franchise to deliver to such a high standard but Cult of Chucky manages.
Cult of Chucky also serves to loop the franchise together. Andy is back (with original actor Alex Vincent) and Jennifer Tilly in human form as Tiffany. There’s another huge surprise in a post credits sequence and if we don’t get an eighth movie I’m going to eat my hat. Cult of Chucky is original, innovative, scary and very funny.
2. Bride of Chucky (1998)
Once the furore around Child’s Play 3 died down, Chucky returned in 1998’s Bride of Chucky. The film moved the franchise into a more comedic direction and introduced a wife for Chucky in the shape of the wonderful Tiffany. The central story has very little to do with the plots of the original 3 movies but it’s so funny and entertaining. Ever wanted to see dolls have a domestic? This is the film for you!
Katherine Heigl starred in the movie, before her Grey’s Anatomy days, and she made for a good lead alongside Sunset Beach actor Nick Stabile. Bride of Chucky was a big hit at the box office and with good reason, it’s a fantastic movie. It has great deaths, a compelling storyling and plenty of laugh out loud moments.
1. Child’s Play (1988)
It may be cliché to say it but the original Child’s Play will always be the best. It was unlike any other horror film at the time and it played it straight. There was no funny one-liners or multiple dolls to contend with. Single mother Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) buys her son Andy a Good Guy doll from a tramp for his birthday. Little does she know it’s possessed with the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray and about to wreak havoc on her family.
Child’s Play left the reveal of Chucky being alive until around half way through the film and watching it back now, you realise how clever it was. At first you think Andy is imagining his doll is alive but that babysitter scene will go down as one of the best horror moments of all time. Child’s Play is genuinely creepy with jumpy moments and a very tense final act. Who knew back in 1988 that nearly 30 years on, we’d still be watching Chucky movies?
Cult of Chucky is released on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 23rd October 2017 through Universal Pictures. What’s your favourite Chucky movie? Let us know by leaving a comment!