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Child's Play: Why Chucky Movies Have So Many Psycho References

Child's Play movies have a lot of references to Psycho, so just why is Chucky so obsessed with the Hitchock classic (and its sequel)? We explain.

Childs Play Chucky Psycho

Like most horror films, Child’s Play has taken inspiration from those that came before it, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho. The Child’s Play franchise began in 1988 with director Tom Holland’s film of the same name, which was created by Don Mancini, although the script went through various treatments with the help of Holland and John Lafia to turn it into the story fans now know.

Child’s Play spawned six sequels, all with slasher doll Chucky as the main villain, who was later joined by his girlfriend Tiffany in Bride of Chucky and then their child in Seed of Chucky. Mancini was inspired by the frenzy around Cabbage Patch Kids back in the 1980s to create the main character, but throughout the series, the influence of other horror films could be felt in the stories, with Psycho making some subtle appearances in a couple of Chucky films.

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Related: Child's Play 2019 Makes Big Changes To The Original Movie (& They're Good)

Hitchcock’s Psycho has been the inspiration of many filmmakers and artists in general for decades, and Mancini made sure to add some nods to this classic in Child's Play. Perhaps the most obvious ones can be found in Seed of Chucky, the film that introduced Chucky and Tiffany’s child, Glen, who unlike his parents feels violence is bad – but he has a “double soul” (not exactly a double-personality, as this is all about voodoo and black magic) and shares his body with his twin sister, Glenda, who is very into killing. This is reminiscent of Norman Bates’ alternate personality as his mother, Norma Bates, who is the one that kills the women that arrive to the hotel (and P.I Arbogast).

Seed of Chucky

A more obvious reference is at the beginning of the film when Glen has a dream about killing a family: the father’s death is a subtle nod to Arbogast’s death, while the mother’s death is a direct reference to Psycho’s famous shower scene. Another reference later in the story is the film within the film Chucky Goes Psycho, as well as Glen’s relationship with his mother, with him even killing Chucky to defend her. Curse of Chucky has some links to Psycho 2 as they both have a character trying to make another one believe they’re falling into insanity – Mary and Lila to Norman, and Chucky to Nica. It continues in Cult of Chucky, which also has a death scene (nurse Carlos’ death by the hands of the three Chucky dolls) in which the quick shots are reminiscent to those in Psycho’s shower scene.

These details are no coincidence, not only because of the strong influence of Psycho in the horror genre, but also because Mancini himself has shared that he’s a fan of Psycho 2 (which was written by none other than Tom Holland). Intentionally or not, that was translated to the three Child’s Play films directed by him, and it’s always fun to find these details, no matter how subtle or obvious they might be.

Next: Child's Play 2019 May Tease A Bride For Chucky

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