In the Chucky series, even more blood

May 20, 2022166748 min

In the beginning, there was “The Curse of Chucky” and “The Return of Chucky”, Don Mancini finds his famous killer doll in a series composed of eight episodes. A generous and joyfully outrageous program, which takes up the fundamentals of the saga while giving it a new breath.

At the end of 1998, following two disappointing sequels to Child’s Play, the franchise on the famous murderous doll reaches its peak with The Bride of Chucky. In this gory and hilarious opus, the toy dubbed by Brad Dourif gets a new lease on life thanks to the arrival of Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly), former girlfriend of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, whose soul has been transferred into the Good Guy doll.

This very successful feature film orchestrated by Ronny Yu, the writer and creator of the franchise Don Mancini tries his hand at directing with The Son of Chucky, a fifth installment that is even more rude, trashy and funny than its predecessors. The success is not there but the filmmaker and author do not put aside this cult character and returned in 2013 and 2017 with two Direct to Video more modest but deeply sympathetic: The Curse of Chucky and The Return of Chucky.

In these two films, Chucky terrorizes a new heroine, Nica (Fiona Dourif), a young paraplegic woman who helplessly witnesses the massacre of her entire family, before the toy possessed by Charles Lee Ray tries to take possession of her body. If this character occupies a central place, Don Mancini does not abandon Tiffany and Andy (Alex Vincent).

Don Mancini worked on the series Hannibal and Channel Zero and after these two successes, Don Mancini is convinced that the best way to continue to make Chucky evolve is through the small screen. For this first season, he proceeds in the same way as for the last two feature films, keeping the elements that made the success of the saga and incorporating them in a known landscape but filled with new elements, confronting from now on his toy to teenagers.

The success is total and the first season of Chucky succeeds on all levels where the last Scream fails. Before reintroducing its emblematic characters, the series takes the time to introduce its main protagonists and to give them enough thickness, where the recent victims of Ghostface are only caricatural archetypes acting as cannon fodder.

The success of the series is to make them sympathetic and touching so that Chucky can better destroy their universe later on, or detestable to offer them an interesting redemption. Don Mancini builds oppositions between them that will gradually give way to solidarity to try to overcome the monster, crueller than ever. Played by Zackary Arthur, the young Jake Wheeler must already face the mourning of his mother when the doll crashes into his life to reduce it to ashes. His fighting spirit is therefore credible. The same goes for all the reactions and evolution of the other teenagers.

Chucky has an objective in the different episodes is to succeed in convincing one of the young heroes to be guilty of murder. For this, he obviously does not hesitate to show them the way by redoubling his inventiveness. Impalement on perfectly sharpened cutlery placed in a dishwasher is for example memorable.

From the beginning, Chucky makes numerous allusions to his own mythology but prefers to wait before offering the fans the long-awaited reunion. This proves once again the pleasure of Don Mancini to continue to extend his universe and to create real opponents to the toy in the original town of Charles Lee Ray.

The small town of Hackensack is reminiscent of famous fictional settings like Haddonfield or Woodsboro. Despite its bloody past, treated through particularly funny flashbacks, horror is not supposed to arise in this quiet place where the houses look alike. If this ultra-referenced place could provoke polite reactions of boredom, it allows Don Mancini and his team to have fun.

In addition to the tasty nods to films like Halloween, the series hijacks classic events of the genre to bring in ideas that often work very well. The passage where Chucky fails to kill two characters in the middle of a romantic break in a room during a big party is one of them. These situations are more and more numerous as the episodes go on, and they totally assume their outrageous character. Their generosity makes us forget some crude ellipses.

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