GORE IN THE STORE

REVIEW INDEX

CHUCKY ****

Starring Brad Dourif, Zackary Arthur, Bjorgvin Anarson, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Devon Sawa.

Horror, US, 8 episodes.

 

Streaming on Now TV and Sky.

 

You cannot keep a child’s doll possessed by the spirit of a serial killer down it seems as thirty-three years after his cinematic debut, Chucky moves to television as the saga involving murder, mayhem, possession and social progression continues with absolutely no signs of slowing down. Charles Lee Ray, better known as Chucky, returns home to the city of Hackensack, somehow manoeuvring himself to a yard sale where he is purchased by teenage Jake Wheeler for an art project. Jake’s homelife is far from ideal after the passing of his mother and the strained relationship with his father, who disapproves of his son’s lifestyle choices and behaviour. When Alex discovers the secret of the vintage Good Guy doll, Chucky begins to manipulate Alex into showing him that there is no problem that a little creative homicide won’t solve.

 

After the 2019 remake, seeing the original Chucky back onscreen is a pleasant surprise. Especially with his creator Don Mancini back in charge of creative duties. Chucky’s acerbic personality, expertly portrayed as ever by the voicework of Brad Dourif, is back in full force and this eight-episode series is ideally suited for the miniature murderer. Also impressive is the fact that in an age of reboots and remakes this is a full-on sequel, choosing to embrace nearly every single aspect of the previous seven films but simultaneously coming across as extremely accessible to newcomers or those who have may have drifted away over the years.

 

These eight episodes move along swiftly, setting up the plot in a fashion that may have the viewer hitting the next episode option eagerly to see what happens next. The cast of characters are nicely introduced and portrayed, with some characters getting the chance to develop beyond their introductions which more often than not have you rooting for Chucky to take them out in increasingly inventive ways, a highlight being the sight of Chucky using a bottle of whisky and later a dishwasher to impressively homicidal use.

 

The first half of this season, which has already had its second season greenlit, is slightly reminiscent of teen soap operas with its very 21st century sensibilities, something Mancini has embraced since 2004’s SEED OF CHUCKY. The second half however pays off long-time fans with direct call backs to every film before and after with the return of some familiar faces; some who want to put an end to the doll’s reign of destruction and others more willing to help. Alongside these surprisingly complimentary directions is a series of flashbacks detailing the life of Charles Lee, portrayed by Dourif’s daughter Fiona making a return to the franchise with a seriously impressive prosthetic make-up job that uncannily echoes his appearance in the very first film.

 

All in all, this is a return to form, resulting in the strongest entry in the CHILD’S PLAY series in some time. The extra length affords it time to explore new avenues for its characters as well as picking up threads from the previous entries while never forgetting the enormous amount of fun there is to be had in watching a small foul mouthed doll creep around with a sharp knife.

 

Iain MacLeod.

 

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