Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Child's Play 2019
Chucky returns in the 2019 reboot of Child's Play, and while the red-headed doll may be a little different than you remember, the movie is packed with Easter eggs and references to other horror franchises. Directed by Lars Klevberg, Child's Play 2019 is a modern take on the original tale of a boy called Andy (Gabriel Bateman) who gets a new best friend in the form of a doll (voiced by Mark Hamill) who promises to be his best pal. There's just one problem: the doll kills people.
In the original 1988 Child's Play, a Good Guys doll turns evil after serial killer Charles Lee Ray uses a voodoo incantation to transfer his soul into the doll's body. In the 2019 reboot, Chucky is a high-tech robot doll whose behavioral restrictions are lifted by a vengeful Vietnamese factory worker. After being unleashed on the world, Chucky learns all about concepts like anger and violence, and expresses his love for his new owner, Andy, by wreaking bloody revenge on anyone who wrongs him - whether it's the family cat, or mom Karen's (Audrey Plaza) douchebag boyfriend.
Though it may feel more like an episode of Black Mirror than a classic Child's Play movie, Klevberg's reboot clearly has a lot of love for the original movie - and for the horror genre in general. Here are some of the major Easter eggs and references in Child's Play 2019.
Lightning Strikes as Chucky is Born
When the factory worker removed the inhibitions on the Chucky doll and plugs in the new, corrupted microchip, the moment is punctuated by a sudden crack of lightning outside. This echoes the opening of the 1988 Child Play, in which the dying Charles Lee Ray uses the "Ade due Damballa" chant to transfer his soul into the Good Guys doll, as lightning rages outside. And just as Charles Lee Ray dies on that stormy night, so too does the factory worker violently commit suicide.
Buddi vs. My Buddy
Unlike the original movie, where Chucky comes from the Good Guys line of dolls, Child's Play 2019 introduces tech company Kaslan and its latest toy innovation, the Buddi doll. This name is actually a reference to the original inspiration for Chucky. Screenwriter Don Mancini, who wrote the 1988 movie and several of the sequels (as well as directing Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky) has said that Chucky was inspired by Hasbro's My Buddy line of dolls - something that's pretty clear in the character's design, which includes My Buddy's dungarees and striped shirt.
Your Best Buddi, Han Solo
In all of the previous Child's Play movies, Chucky has been voiced by actor Brad Dourif (who is also known for playing Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings movies). However, Child's Play 2019 shook things up by casting Mark Hamill, himself a veteran voice actor known for playing the Joker in various animated movies and shows, as the voice of the new Chucky. When Andy is asked to give his new Buddi a name, he chooses Han Solo - a character from the franchise that Hamill is most famous for, Star Wars. However, since Hamill played Luke Skywalker, not Han Solo, he rejects Andy's chosen name and calls himself Chucky instead.
Chucky Phone Home
The 2019 Chucky has a few new tricks up his sleeve, thanks to his connection to the Cloud, which allows him to control adjacent Kaslan products like a robo-vacuum cleaner, televisions, stereos, and even thermostats. When Chucky interacts with other technology, he raises his hand and his fingertip glows - just like another strange little buddy from the 1980s - E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial. And just like E.T., Chucky will soon have you saying "ouch!"
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Leatherface's penchant for wearing other people's faces over his own becomes a grim inspiration for Chucky's first human kill, after the doll watches The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 with Andy and his other buddies. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a contemporary of the original Child's Play that was released in 1986, more than a decade after the first movie. Unlike the bleak and chilling first movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 embraces comedy elements as well as horror - something else it has in common with the Child's Play franchise.
Poltergeists and Killer Klowns
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 isn't the only classic horror movie that gets a nod in Child's Play 2019. In Andy's room there are posters for Poltergeist III and Killer Klowns From Outer Space - both of which were released in 1988, the same year as the original Child's Play. Andy may be Generation Z, but apparently he has a lot of love for nostalgic horror classics.
A RoboCop Sound Bite
No, we're not quite done with the 80s movie references just yet! When Chucky takes control of a toy cop car in the movie's climactic third act, a recorded voice can be heard saying, "Dead or alive, you're coming with me!" That line is, of course, from the 1987 movie RoboCop, which - like this Child's Play reboot - was produced by Orion Pictures.
The "CP88" Model Rototiller
After Karen's mean boyfriend, Shane (David Lewis), pushes Andy to tears, Chucky decides to follow him home and teach him a lesson. It turns out that "home" for Shane is a wife and two children and a house in the suburbs - complete with a melon patch. When Shane goes to take down the Christmas lights, Chucky knocks him off the ladder and then turns on a nearby rototiller, which slowly mows Shane down and then rips off his face. Look closely at the rototiller, and you'll notice that its model number is CP88 - a reference to the original Child's Play and the year it was released (1988).
Buddi 2: Bride of Buddy?
The Buddi 2 line not only includes a blond-haired buddy, but also horrifying variants like a Buddi that's covered in hair. However, while four of the five Buddi 2 variants are revealed, one is not - and it would make sense for the final Buddi 2 to be a girl doll. There is, of course, precedent for this in the Child's Play franchise, as fourth entry Bride of Chucky introduced Chucky's equally murderous ex-girlfriend, Tiffany (played by Jennifer Tilly). Chucky murdered Tiffany and put her soul in the body of a female doll, creating the eponymous Bride of Chucky. Perhaps the fifth Buddi 2 was deliberately not shown because Child's Play 2 has a bride in store as well.
The Buddi 2 Leprechaun Costume
Child's Play isn't the only horror franchise about a diminutive psychopath. The Leprechaun franchise, which kicked off in 1993, starred Warwick Davis as a wicked and gleefully violent leprechaun with a single-minded determination to retrieve his pot of gold. There have been eight Leprechaun movies so far, including entries like Leprechaun 4: In Space and Leprechaun: Back 2 the Hood. Leprechaun gets a fun nod in Child's Play when Andy is checking out the Buddi 2 accessories in Zed-Mart, and walks past a leprechaun costume designed for the doll. Now that's some serious crossover potential.