While the concept of a killer doll wasn’t exactly unexplored territory in the ‘80s, it was Chucky’s witty character that made the Child’s Play franchise so popular within the world of horror. Who would have known that this foul-mouthed Chucky Good Guy Doll with a blood lust for murder would become a cinematic wonder with eight feature films? That said, not every installment lived up to the hype, so it’s time we reexamined the franchise and ranked each movie from worst to best.

#8: Seed of Chucky (2004)

Of all of the Child’s Play films, we firmly believe that Seed of Chucky lacked the most depth. While gore remains the general theme throughout the film, it’s the introduction of Glen/Glenda, the sexually confused prodigy, that throws the entire movie out of wack. Instead of building up a body count, Chucky and Tiffany spend much of the time bickering about how they will raise their offspring and how they to set an example by not killing anymore. While the usual comedic appeal was present, the theatrical clout almost slashed the franchise for good.

#7: Bride of Chucky (1998)

While this installment wasn’t terrible, per se, it did abandon the convention that Chucky was going to keep stalking Andy Barclay—the kid he wished to use as a body for his soul. Reinventing the mold of the franchise, Bride of Chucky debuts Tiffany, a former girlfriend of the serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Introducing an almost criminal lover on the run storyline, this movie tosses aside much of the horror elements we loved about the earlier Child’s Play entries. Love it or hate it, it certainly belongs at the bottom of the list.

#6: Child’s Play 3 (1991)

It’s unlikely that a third installment can live up to the same level of hype as the first film, so the sixth place is where Child’s Play 3 belongs. Our favorite evil Good Guy Chucky Doll has been revived to once again terrorize Andy, who has been spent living at the military academy as a means of settling his childhood fantasies about a killer doll. In our opinion, the real problem with this movie is the weak supporting characters.

#5: Child’s Play (2019)

Although the Child’s Play remake lacked many of the amazing qualities we love from the original film, it did present a more modern approach to the famous story of the killer doll. Instead of a human soul trapped within a Good Guy Chucky Doll, the doll was a robotic friend whose morality was flipped from good to evil—an understandable fear given the technologies of contemporary society. That said, instead of simply reframing the OG film, this movie attempted to rewrite horror history for the new generation.

#4: Curse of Chucky (2013)

Bringing the franchise back from the dead was no easy vice, but we believe that Don Mancini was able to pull it off with the help of Curse of Chucky. Going back to the roots, this film sets the stage as a mean throwback slasher but establishes a new protagonist to not exhaust the original plot. Nica Pierce, a paraplegic woman, finds a tragic connection to the serial killer Charles Lee Ray in the past. Gore and violence were present and it set the stage for a fantastic sequel.

#3: Cult of Chucky (2017)

Aside from the fact that the Child’s Play franchise is known for embracing the extremes, Cult of Chucky plays into the famed mythology with a film whose plot revels in the spirit of the possessed. With Nica Pierce back for a second round, the movie finds her confined within a mental institution for clinging to her delusions about Chucky. Looping back in some of our favorite characters, the franchise becomes neatly woven once again.

#2: Child’s Play 2 (1990)

In our opinion, this horror sequel’s second-place slot is well-deserved. Not only are horror geeks everywhere familiar with its old-style slasher vibe, but we also think that the Chucky Good Guy Doll was impressively designed with the best psychopathic visage he bears throughout all eight films. That said, the plot picks up where the first film left off—with Andy living in foster care. While this installment is a bit less tense than its predecessor, it opens a realm of mystery to the murders and a little more insight into why we love this odd, murderous killer.

#1: Child’s Play (1988)

We’ve saved the best for last with the original Child’s Play coming first! Making its debut in the late ‘80s means that, naturally, it has earned its defined place among classic slasher horror films. Being the most serious-minded, this film does a fantastic job of humanizing the iconic killer with Brad Dourif’s becoming the voice of one of the most beloved horror characters. Call it perfect casting but the charisma of Chucky is the main reason it extended to seven money-making sequels, making the Child’s Play franchise a cultural touchstone for horror fans and movie fans alike.

What do you think of our role call of Child’s Play films? Drop a comment below to let us know the order you’d pick.

December 07, 2022 — Nightmare Toys