All of the Chucky Movies Ranked

Against all odds, the Chucky franchise endures. Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween have all been rebooted, and even before they were rebooted, their original creators usually departed after one or two films. Yet the Child’s Play franchise has maintained the same driving force for almost 30 years. Writer Don Mancini was the person who came up with Chucky, and he’s been writing the series ever since, eventually making the shift to behind the camera to direct the films as well.

Now, as Cult of Chucky, the latest film in the series, hits Blu-ray and Netflix, it’s time to do the only logical thing: it’s time to rank the Chucky movies.

The basic set-up, in case you aren’t aware: serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) racked up quite a body count in Chicago as the Lakeshore Strangler. In addition to being a serial killer, Charles Lee Ray also dabbled in voodoo, and he used his voodoo powers to transfer his soul into the plastic body of a “Good Guy” doll (a toy modeled after the popular My Buddy dolls) after being fatally shot. Ray, now reborn as Chucky, must transfer his soul into a human body or be stuck forever. The rules of voodoo, which are apparently very strict, say that he has to transfer his soul into the first person who learned his true identity. That would be Andy Barclay, a hapless young boy who receives Chucky as a birthday present. From this scenario sprung a high body count and an entire franchise. Eventually, the filmmakers stopped worrying about Chucky transferring his soul and instead focused on all the mayhem a little killer doll could cause. Along the way, Chucky picked up an accomplice, his former girlfriend Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), who quickly found her soul transferred into a doll as well.

I’ll be upfront: I love this series. Even the bad movies in the Chucky franchise are enjoyable. There’s something delightful about the fact that Chucky has soldiered on while other horror franchises have come and gone. What also makes the series so special is its ability to adapt and change – Chucky works in almost any setting and scenario, and over the years the franchise has shifted in tone and focus while always keeping its core elements in place. You have to respect that.

And now, let’s rank the Child’s Play franchise from worst to best. Beware of spoilers.

7. Seed of Chucky

How Does Chucky Come Back From the Dead at the Beginning: Chucky’s son Glenn resurrects Chucky (and Tiffany) from the afterlife and transfers their souls into the dolls being used as props for a Chucky movie.

Why It’s Ranked Here: Okay, the fact that Seed of Chucky places last likely will surprise no one. It’s the silliest film in the franchise, and that’s saying something, since this is an inherently silly franchise. It’s also the first film that goes for full-blown comedy rather than a mix of comedy and horror. Even the more popular Bride of Chucky, which preceded this film, managed to balance horror and comedy better. Seed of Chucky was the first film with Chucky creator Don Mancini in the director’s chair, and it’s not a very nuanced start.

The premise has promise: there’s a film being made about Chucky’s murders, and Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected on the film set. The murderous couple finds out they have a son, another doll named Glenn (voiced by The Lord of the RingsBilly Boyd). Meanwhile, Jennifer Tilly, playing herself, struggles to land a part as the Virgin Mary in a new biblical epic being directed by rapper Redman (also playing himself). All of these plotlines converge into a truly stupid movie where almost none of the jokes work and Chucky becomes a shadow of his former self. Still, there are a few things to enjoy about Seed of Chucky. First and foremost is a cameo from trash cinema master John Waters, playing a tabloid journalist. And also…well, I guess that’s it. The Child’s Play franchise was never high art, but Seed of Chucky took the series to an all-time low. Thankfully, it eventually recovered.

How Does Chucky Die at the End: Glenn dismembers him with an axe.

6. Cult of Chucky

How Does Chucky Come Back From the Dead at the Beginning: Chucky’s just sort of already alive at the start of this, in various different forms.

Why It’s Ranked Here: It pains me to say this, but the newest film in the series, Cult of Chucky, isn’t great. As a fan of the franchise, I was eagerly anticipating this film, but the end result left much to be desired. Yet I cannot deny this film deserves credit for being committed to being insane. We’re talking even more insane than Seed of Chucky. Writer-director Mancini sets the film within the confines of a mental institution, which seems like the perfect opportunity to take the series to a new location. But the institution is almost an afterthought here – the film could take place almost anywhere and unfold pretty much the same way.

Much of the pre-marketing push for the film focused on the return of Alex Vincent, the actor who played Andy, Chucky’s first “friend”, in Child’s Play 1 and 2. While Vincent does appear here, his character is underused, and seems to only be present to set up another sequel. That’s fine, but it would’ve been nice if he had been given more to do do here as well. The one (or technically speaking, more than one) thing Cult of Chucky has going for it is the fact that there are multiple Chuckys here. Chucky has been brushing up on his voodoo, and is now able to transfer his spirit into multiple dolls at once. It’s a neat idea, and it’s a hoot to listen to Brad Dourif converse with himself. But I can’t help but wish the film had done more with the concept. Once it’s revealed that there are multiple Chuckys, the film doesn’t do much more with the idea.

From a visual standpoint, Cult of Chucky is often surprisingly gorgeous, with a stark minimalism at play within the walls of the asylum mixed with a snowy winter backdrop. Yet just as often, there’s a cheapness to everything, particularly in scenes featuring Chucky props that look more unconvincing than they ever have before. I’ll never get tired of this franchise, and I’ll keep watching it until Mancini decides to stop making these movies. Still, I wish this latest entry had more to offer.

How Does Chucky Die at the End: Andy beats the crap out of one of the Chucky’s, then shoots him a bunch of times. But the main Chucky lives on.

Continue Reading All of the Chucky Movies Ranked >>

Pages: 1 2 3Next page

Cool Posts From Around the Web: