A Guide To All The Truly Wild Chucky Movies Ahead Of The Child's Play Reboot

PHoto: courtesy of Orion Pictures.
Warning: spoilers for the Child's Play franchise and 2019 film reboot ahead.
As Jessica Lange once said in American Horror Story: Asylum, "All monsters are human." True, except perhaps when they are dolls inhabited by the spirit of a notorious murderer. In 1988, Child's Play introduced us to Chucky, a Good Guy doll in a striped shirt and overalls whose sole purpose in life was to be your best bud — and also, to be a serial killer.
Whatever you do, don't underestimate the most iconic doll in the horror genre. What Chucky lacks in size and speed (those tiny legs can only get you so far!), he makes up for in creative kills and clever catchphrases. He's a pint-sized psychopath but, if you are a fan of scary movies, he's a very entertaining one. Chucky is the central character in a whopping eight movies, plus one TV series that is reportedly on its way.
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The 2019 Child's Play reboot does things a little differently from the OG Chucky flicks. Here, Chucky's not the doll embodiment of a human murderer, but a malfunctioning piece of artificial intelligence straight out of a Black Mirror episode. After watching the Child's Play movies, you'll never look at dolls the same way again.
With 2019's reboot hitting theaters, it's time to brush up on all the history of the Child's Play franchise.
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Child's Play (1988)

The first film in the Chucky franchise tells Chucky's origin story. Serial killer Charles Lee Ray is cornered by the police in a toy store, and gets the brilliant idea to use a voodoo spell to transfer his soul into the nearest thing he can find. In this case, it's the Good Guy doll — and thus, Chucky the killer doll is born. (He's voiced by Brad Dourif, who delivers a pitch-perfect performance as the sarcastic-yet-totally-diabolical doll.)

From there, the story follows Karen (Catherine Hicks, aka the mom from 7th Heaven!) and her son Andy (Alex Vincent), who become Chucky's "family" of sorts when Karen gives the doll to Andy for his birthday. It takes about a day before Chucky starts his murdering spree, which is initially blamed on a young Andy. To be fair, "the doll did it!" is never going to be a good defense.

Karen and Andy catch on to the whole "maybe this doll is alive" idea, and attempt to defeat Chucky — a good thing, as now Chucky has his sights set on embodying Andy, rather than the inconvenient toy.

Fortunately, all is well that ends well: Andy and Karen defeat Chucky by shooting him through his human heart (every villain needs a weakness, don't over think it) and Chucky the killer doll dies.

Just kidding! We're only on movie one of seven.
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Child's Play 2 (1990)

Chucky returns, obviously. Andy is in foster care because his mom got sent to a mental hospital after the whole "my son's doll is evil!" thing. If you saw the first Child's Play, you pretty much know how this movie works — except, there's a twist. Andy befriends his new foster sister Kyle (Christine Elise), and she's eventually blamed for some of Chucky's crimes, too. Fortunately, Kyle comes to discover that Andy is telling the truth about Chucky and vows to stop him, even if it's too late for their foster mother (Jenny Agutter) to be saved from the deranged doll's clutches. Andy and Kyle ultimately defeat Chucky by blowing up his head with an air hose, which is a fun treat but does not stop the next five movies from happening.
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Child's Play 3 (1991)

One of the darker films in the Chucky franchise, Child's Play 3 ships Andy (now portrayed by Justin Whalin) off to military school, where — surprise, surprise — Chucky follows him. This time, Chucky attempts to possess a fellow cadet at the military academy and Andy, who has been through this thing two times before, must stop him from going through with it. Bodies pile up and, at one point, Chucky swaps out fake bullets for the military school's "war game" with real ones, causing the students to kill one another accidentally. (Like I said: dark.)

The film ends with Andy once again defeating Chucky, this time in a haunted house at a carnival. The murder weapon? A giant fan.
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The Bride Of Chucky (1998)

Were we all so cynical in the late '90s that a movie about a talking doll no longer read as scary? Maybe, because the Chucky franchise decided to swap out straight scares for a more comedic tone. Enter Jennifer Tilly, a national treasure, who joins the franchise as Tiffany, the long-suffering girlfriend of Charles Ray. Tiffany resurrects Chucky, only to be turned into a doll herself after she and Chucky get into a lover's spat. Chucky declares that the two dolls can live happily ever after, though — they just need to transfer their souls into the bodies of Tiffany's neighbors, Jesse (Nick Stabile) and Jade (Katherine Heigl).

Things don't work out exactly as planned for the dolls, who bicker their way through multiple murders and never make the transition into human forms. However, there is some (good?!) news for fans of the franchise: at the end of the movie, Tiffany gives birth to a baby doll...whom we'll meet in the very next movie.
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Seed Of Chucky (2004)

If you don't stan Chucky and Tiffany's adorable child Glen (Billy Boyd), then this film in the franchise is not for you. Glen may be the titular seed of Chucky, but he's a sweetheart who, unlike his parents, believes that violence is bad. ("Violence isn't bad," declares Chucky when Glen earnestly tells him murder is wrong. "Violins. Violins are bad.")

It's pretty hard to unpack Seed of Chucky, but let's just say it's meta as hell. Jennifer Tilly portrays Tiffany, but also a version of herself who desperately wants to be in the directorial debut of rapper Redman. Once again, Chucky wants to possess a human body — in this case, he and Tiffany will take over Redman and Tilly, while their son Glen will embody the child to whom Tilly gives birth. (Unfortunately, this movie features a scene of Chucky masturbating to doll porn. Sorry!)

Unfortunately, Chucky and Tiffany can't overcome their marital problems, and Chucky attempts to murder Tiffany before she jumps into Tilly's body. Sweet Glen — whom, it's revealed, also contains the soul of his evil twin "Glenda," a la that Ed Wood movie — kills his doll dad as vengeance.

Despite Chucky attempting to prevent Glen and Tiffany from jumping into human bodies, the body swap is a success. Glenda and Glen, now separated, take over the bodies of Tilly's daughter and son, while Tiffany lives the life of Tilly, movie staaaar.

Notable kills of this movie: Chucky murders both a fake Britney Spears (Nadia Dina Ariqat) and melts the face off a photographer played by none other than John Waters.
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Curse Of Chucky (2013)

No movie on the planet will ever be as surreal as Seed of Chucky, so it makes sense that the filmmakers chose not to push things and went back to a more horror-centric approach with this one. The straight-to-DVD Curse of Chucky stars Dourif's real-life daughter Fiona Dourif as Nica, whose mother was murdered by Chucky years earlier and who has to confront the doll despite the rest of the world thinking she's crazy. The reason Chucky chose to target Nica and her family this time around ties back to the first film: Chucky killed Nica's father and, while running from the police, found himself in that toy store.

After a bunch of creative kills, it's Chucky who finds himself face-to-face with a familiar enemy: Andy (portrayed by original performer Vincent). He shoots Chucky in the head in the final moments of the movie.
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Cult Of Chucky (2017)

If you've seen all six of the previous films, you may feel like you are in the cult of Chucky. Alas, the fandom surrounding the killer doll franchise is not what's referred to here. Nica from the Curse of Chucky finds herself in a mental institution after being blamed for the murders from the previous movie. What goes down in this film is a complicated mess. Chucky, who is now just a head, is tortured in the home of his original buddy Andy. He finds a way to embody multiple people at once. In a dark twist, Chucky embodies Nica, who rides off into the sunset with a very glam Tiffany/Tilly and we're left asking: who even is anyone anymore?

For fans of the second film, Christine Elise reprises her role of Kyle to torture Chucky once again in the post-credits scene. You have to love that brother and sister bonding!
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Child's Play (2019)

If you found yourself exhausted by all the complicated Chucky lore in Cult of Chucky, good news: The new Child's Play is a clean slate, one without voodoo magic or a snarky serial killer. Is that as much fun as the OG franchise? That's debatable, but it's certainly oh-so-2019.

In this version of the killer doll story, Andy (Gabriel Bateman) is gifted a doll for his birthday by his mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza). The names of the characters are where the similarities between the two films virtually stop. The "doll" is a high-tech piece of artificial intelligence — sort of like a human-like Google Home or Alexa. As Westworld taught us, when the robots revolt, they really revolt. If the posters of Chucky barbecuing toys that looks suspiciously like that other Andy's toys weren't enough to warn you, let me make myself clear: This is not a doll you want to play with.
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Child's Play: The TV Series (2020)

Child's Play creator Don Mancini, as well as producer David Kirschner and Channel Zero and The Act scribe Nick Antosca are bringing Chucky back to life once again: This time, for an eight-episode series on SyFy.

"I’ve long wanted to bring Chucky to television and Syfy is the perfect network for us," Mancini told Deadline. "The show will be a fresh take on the franchise, allowing us to explore Chucky’s character with a depth that is uniquely afforded by the television series format while staying true to the original vision that has terrorized audiences for over three decades now."

For those wondering how Mancini feels about Charles Ray being reduced to an AI, Mariah Carey's "I don't know her" speaks volumes. Is there enough killer doll to go around? Audiences will have to make that call.
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