Child's Play Films, Ranked

With Child's Play being the latest horror franchise to get a twenty-first century reboot, it might just be time to re-examine the body of work that led to Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) becoming such an indelible horror villain. It's strange to think that the character will be rebooted since the original series is actually still going.

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Don Mancini, the writer behind the creation of Chucky and the entire Child's Play franchise, is still working on the original storyline, following the exploits of the possessed doll who wants nothing more than to put himself back in a human body. The story will continue in a new SYFY television series. Not all of the films are great, but the fact that the series is being carried on by its original creator is admirable in its own right.

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The second Child's Play sequel is probably the weakest film out of the entire series. It completely misses the mark on everything that made the first film (and even some of the later films) so entertaining. The edges have been sanded down, and the creativity present in other entries is nowhere to be found.

On top of that, the mythology of Chucky's creation starts to get more convoluted in this film, with new rules being made for his continued existence. The film series already has a problem with being kind of ridiculous and playing with its own logic, but in the third film, it goes a little too far. It doesn't help that the domestic terror of the first film is replaced with Chucky being set loose on a military academy.


Seed of Chucky

Don Mancini took over directing duties for the first time when he got behind the camera for Seed of Chucky, a movie that pushes every single boundary to the limit, and really answers the question of how far this film series about killer dolls is willing to go in order to tell a story. Apparently, so far that logic goes right out the window.

This is the film where things really got strange. sure, Bride of Chucky was bad enough, but Seed of Chucky throws a doll who is the son of Chucky and Tiffany into the mix. The movie conjures up more voodoo magic and plays with the rules of how it works, and while it's not a great film by any means, it's at least ambitious in its messiness.


The first sequel in the Child's Play franchise is also the most direct in terms of telling a coherent story to follow up on the events of the first film. Andy, Chucky's original owner, has been put into foster care, while his mother is placed in a psychiatric hospital due to backing up her son's claims about a killer doll.

Chucky is able to come back to life after he is repaired at the toy factory. From there, the film is basically a rehash of the first, with only the slight added wrinkle that by the end of it, the soul of Charles Lee Ray is trapped in the Chucky Doll forever. Though it is imperfect, Child's Play 2 does feature one of the wildest ways that Chucky has met his end in the entire series.


Bride of Chucky is a slick piece of late nineties horror filmmaking directed by Ronny Yu (who also helmed the ultimate horror showdown in Freddy Vs. Jason). This film started off the second phase of Child's Play films, which dropped the original title and focused more on the adventures of Chucky and less on the human characters.

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Some critics would argue that putting the focus mainly on a killer doll would rob the films of anyone for the audience to connect with. However, it was at this turning point in the series that Chucky pretty much became a deranged sort of protagonist. It didn't matter that he was a piece of plastic; he was always the most fun part of the movies anyway. The filmmakers also doubled down by introducing Tiffany, Chucky's doll bride (voiced by Jennifer Tilly).


Curse of Chucky

Though it seemed like the Child's Play films were taking a real left turn into full-on comedic horror, Curse of Chucky steered the series back into pure horror. Not only that, but the series was reinvigorated by a more story-centric approach to Chucky's reign of terror, rather than just having him take part in some weird voodoo rituals.

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Curse of Chucky finds the titular doll at the home of a paraplegic woman who lives with her mother. After several tragic and fatal incidents, the woman is convinced (rightfully) that Chucky is alive. This film is a great detour away from some of the weirder Child's Play films and really puts its emphasis on telling a good story.


Childs Play Interrogation

Obviously, the original Child's Play is where everything started. It's the film that made dolls scary for an entirely new generation and introduced a new horror villain right up there with any of the greats like Leatherface, Jason, and Freddy Krueger. Child's Play tells a lean horror story without overstuffing the film with a lot of exposition in regards to the voodoo spell.

The film is also remarkable in how it was able to portray a killer doll, utilizing both little people and animatronics to bring Chucky to life. Even though Child's Play took its inspiration from an early Twilight Zone episode about a living doll, it brought the idea of evil dolls into the mainstream, inspiring plenty of films that came after it.


Cult of Chucky

Cult of Chucky does the impossible by combining all of the good aspects of the entire franchise into one film and trimming the fat that had weighed down previous entries. The film is full of great Chucky kills and a lot of those fan favorite one-liners that Chucky is so prone to delivering.

The film also smartly ties in the original storyline by featuring a now-adult Andy (still played by Alex Vincent!), who has kept the original Chucky's head in order to keep it from doing any more damage and to hurt it continuously as a form of punishment. The movie truly pushes the boundaries of the Chucky mythos, and culminates in multiple Chuckys, possession, and an escape from a psychiatric hospital.

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