The Child’s Play franchise is definitely a peculiar one. It started out as a hit film that turned the killer doll into an overnight icon of horror. Merchandise and memorabilia are everywhere. More films came along and were more on the comedic side. Chucky became something of a joke. Studios attempted a reboot and it quickly faded away. Now, the franchise is stronger than its ever been. A television series titled Chucky was released in October of 2021 to high acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Since season 2 is coming out, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the franchise and decide which film was really the best. This is my ranking of the Chucky films.
7. Seed of Chucky
Chucky and his wife are back for this fifth entry and this time they have a child. A child who does not share his parents’ love of killing. Can Chucky and Tiffany stop their murderous ways for their kid? Or will their lustful taste for violence return?
This is easily the worst film in the franchise. Nothing wrong with a horror comedy at all. But this movie lacks in both humor and scares. Completely awkward and disjointed. Redman, John Waters, and a fake Britney Spears appear in what comes off as more of a long skit rather than a full-length movie. It’s no wonder why this franchise went on hiatus for almost ten years. How does a doll even give birth? Forget it. I don’t wanna know.
6. Cult of Chucky
Chucky has learned how to split his soul so he could create more versions of himself to cause havoc. He infiltrates a mental hospital looking to kill and convert as many as he can.
The movie is not bad per se but for such a wild concept it comes off as dull. There are many pacing issues throughout and lackluster kills. The characters are never really likable or memorable. A highlight is seeing the character of Andy Barclay return and knowing that the television series is right around the corner.
5. Child’s Play 3
Andy Barclay goes to military school. Chucky follows him still on the lookout for a soul to become human again.
Even if a Chucky movie isn’t great, I can always appreciate that just about every installment tries something new. Child’s Play 3 doesn’t really do anything different. Repetitive when it comes to horror can be okay. It’s just too bad the movie isn’t more interesting. The military school setting is a good idea. It is too bad not much is done with it and the kills are few and far between. Also, Justin Whalin now playing Andy Barclay seems really miscast.
4. Bride of Chucky
Chucky is resurrected once again. This time by his ex-lover, Tiffany Valentine. Soon enough, her soul becomes transferred into a doll as well. Soon the pair are off looking for two bodies now to transfer their souls into.
I have this memory from when I was younger, of everyone loving this movie and talking about how great it was. To me, it is just fine. The characters are just fine. The kills are just fine. It is an okay movie. What makes it memorable is the introduction of the bride herself. Jennifer Tilly is perfect as Tiffany. At one point she is warm and comforting and at another moment she is just as depraved as Chucky is. She alone is enough to make this entry better than some of the others.
3. Curse of Chucky
Looking for revenge for something in his past, Chucky attacks a wheelchair-bound girl and her family one by one.
Curse of Chucky is the first Childs Play film to be released straight to video on demand. There wasn’t a need for a new Chucky film but writer Don Mancici had some new ideas. Originally the writer for all the Chucky films, this is the first one Mancini directs. In my opinion, he hits it out of the park. The movie moves away from the comedic tone of the other sequels and gives us a truly scary suspenseful film. The movie is shot well with some brutal kills. Fiona Dourif (daughter of actor Brad Dourif who voices Chucky) does a great job carrying the weight of the film as well as the lead.
2. Child’s Play
A serial killer named Charles Lee Ray is about to be caught. With the help of black magic, he transfers his soul into a Good Guy doll and escapes. A young boy named Andy Barclay receives the doll as a gift and soon discovers he is alive and will do whatever it takes to become human again.
Some might say it’s blasphemy to not put the original at the top spot but it doesn’t mean the movie still isn’t great. Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay is very good for being so young and this works for the film because we care and hope for his safety. He is always in constant danger. With Chucky being a serial killer we wouldn’t put it past him to hurt a child. The kills are great and the suspense before we find out if the doll is alive or not is really well done. This is the one that started it all and it is a great first entry.
1. Child’s Play 2
No one believes Andy’s mom about the killer doll so they lock her up. Andy is put into foster care while Chucky is resurrected and still on his way to destroy the young boy’s soul and take his body.
Child’s Play 2 is my favorite in the franchise because to me it is Chucky in top form. The humor is there without becoming overbearing. The kills are creative and the story darker. The stakes are higher as now Andy is without his mother to care for him. His foster parents are good people who just don’t understand what Andy went through. The fact that they take him in only to be eventually (Spoiler Alert) mutilated by Chucky is so deliciously mean-spirited.
Another highlight is Christine Elise as Andy’s foster sister Kyle. The connection she has with Andy is so genuine as she does what she can to protect him. The television series even decided to bring her character back. The movie concludes with a great fight scene in a toy factory too. The movie has a little bit of everything.
What is your favorite Child’s Play film? Are you excited about the new season of the show? Chucky season 2 premieres October 5th on both Syfy and USA and will be available the next day on Peacock.