Child's Play (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Hi, I'm Chucky. Wanna play?

"You'll wish it was only make-believe."

A horror film franchise that began in 1988

The films were also followed by a TV Series (2021-)

In addition to the mainline series, there was also a 2019 Remake as well as the 2013 mobile game Chucky: Slash & Dash.

For his birthday, 6-year-old Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) gets the "Good Guy" doll he saw advertised on TV. Little did Andy know that the doll, later to be known as Chucky, is actually a Soul Jar for the Serial Killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif). His babysitter Maggie Peterson (Dinah Manoff) is only the first of several people to die. His mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) has to find what is going on in time to save her son from becoming Charles' next host.

The film was a low-budget movie but turned out to be a modest box office hit. Its worldwide gross estimated to 44,196,684 dollars. About 33 million of them came from the United States market, where it was the 33rd most successful film of its year. Reviews were mostly positive. Naturally, a sequel was soon put on the schedule.

The second film does not feature Karen Barclay, though the character survived the previous film. But her story about a killer doll resulted in her being taken away for "psychological evaluation". The 8-year-old Andy has been placed in the Foster Care System. He is placed in the care of Phil and Joanne Simpson (Gerrit Graham and Jenny Agutter). But Charles Lee Ray has found a new doll to be his host and is still obsessed with the boy. He soon locates Andy and the incidents start again. Unfortunately the Simpsons suspect fostered teen Kyle (Christine Elise) as the culprit. Now Andy and Kyle have to face the killer with no outside help.

While considered rather corny and inferior to its predecessor, the film performed well at the box office. Its worldwide gross is estimated to 35,763,605 dollars. About 29 million of these dollars came from the United States market, where it was the 40th most successful film of its year.

The third film features a 16-year old Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin). He has apparently lost contact with Kyle and been through several foster homes. He failed to adapt and is currently attending a Military School. His main problem being Lieutenant Colonel Brett C. Shelton (Travis Fine), a high-ranking cadet who is notorious for bullying weaker recruits. Andy is developing an attraction to female student Kristen De Silva (Perrey Reeves). Meanwhile, the old "Good Guy" doll line is being revived for a new generation. Charles Lee Ray immediately possesses one and goes in search of Andy again, which spells doom for the military school.

Don Mancini, the main script-writer of the series, admitted to having run out of ideas by this time. The series continued to decline in commercial value. The worldwide gross of the third film is estimated at 20,560,255 dollars. About 15 million of them came from the United States market, where it was the 76th most successful film of its year.

The fourth film is actually a Horror Comedy with an emphasis on comedy. It opens with events immediately following the previous film. The Chucky doll has been destroyed and Charles may be gone for good. However, his former lover and accomplice Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) has other ideas. She crudely stitches Chucky's remains back together and reenacts the voodoo ritual which instilled Ray inside the doll a decade ago. Charles is successfully revived. Tiffany at first makes fun of his condition and torments him. He retaliates by killing her body and transferring her soul to a female doll. Now they both need new bodies and local teenage rebels Jade (Katherine Heigl) and Jesse (Nick Stabile) seem good candidates. Meanwhile, Charles and Tiffany explore their mutual feelings of love, lust, and hate for each other.

This film was the biggest box office hit of the series. Its worldwide gross is estimated to 50,671,850 dollars. About 32 million of them came from the United States market, where it was the 62nd most successful film of its year. The film received mixed reviews but this was still much better than its immediate predecessor.

The fifth film was again a Horror comedy and features the returns of both Charles and Tiffany. Six years have passed since the events of the previous film. However, the film focuses on their son Glen, born during the events of the previous film. He makes a meager living as a ventriloquist's dummy and dreams of meeting his famous parents. He successfully tracks the dolls to Hollywood and revives them. They have somewhat unique approaches to parenthood. Now they want to have some family fun, with Tiffany intending to possess actress Jennifer Tilly who portrayed her on-screen.

The film mostly parodies its predecessors and other horror films, while poking fun at Hollywood and various celebrities. Its worldwide gross is estimated to 24,829,732 dollars. About 17 million of them came from the United States market, where it was only the 110th most successful film of its year. Reviews were mostly negative.

Following a recent trend of remakes for classic horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, plans for a Child's Play remake were announced in 2008. The creators intended to abandon the comedic approach and make Chucky scary again. As of October 2010, Don Mancini was reported as still working on the script.

TikGames announced a video game series based on the property in which you play as Chucky in a literal murder simulator.

Not to be confused with the charity or the Bill Cullen game show.

Tropes used in Child's Play (film) include:

Chucky: You've gotta be fucking kidding me...

    • You can't actually blame Chucky for the death of Maggie the Babysitter. He was intending to murder her when he hit her in the face with a hammer, but her actual death was more the result of her tripping over while she wildly stumbled backward, which caused her to fall out of the apartment window. In other words, her own clumsiness is what technically killed her.
  • Adam Westing: Jennifer Tilly in Seed.
  • Adult Fear: When Mrs. Barclay thinks her son might be a killer and later when she finds out there's a serial killer after him.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of them can't accept the reality that a killer doll is on the loose.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The Good Guy Doll being alive was supposed to be a Twist Ending in the first film... wouldn't you know? The original poster of the first film just showed a woman crashing through a window out of a building (the first murder victim of Chucky in the film) and giant evil eyes in the stormy sky.
  • And I Must Scream: It's implied in the Hack Slash crossover that Chucky is stuck in a state similar to this whenever his body is destroyed.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Chucky is a killer doll.
  • Artificial Limbs: In Child's Play 2, Chucky replaces his hand with a knife after tearing his old one off to escape.
  • Ash Face
  • As Himself: In Seed, Redman has decided to branch out from the music industry into film-making.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Child's Play 2 has Mrs. Kettlewell.
    • Child's Play 3 has Shelton and Sgt. Botnick. Noticeably averted with the garbage man who despite what his occupation would imply was not human trash.
    • Bride of Chucky has the couple who steal Jesse and Jade's money, and Jade's Uncle Warren.
  • Ax Crazy: Chucky in all episodes.
  • Badass: Chucky manages to be a seriously terrifying threat even in the later movies by virtue of sheer creativity and tenacity.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: At the end of Seed, Tiffany successfully takes over Jennifer Tilly's body.
  • Bath Kick: Tiffany manages to fend of Chucky with one leg. If she did more than scream her fool head off, she might have escaped the collapsing television.
  • Big Bad: Chucky.
  • Big No: Chucky gives out a very Big No when he finds out that its too late to bodysurf into Andy.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chucky, of course, since who would ever suspect a Good Guy doll of being an infamous voodoo-practicing serial killer?
    • Even Andy and Tyler, his first two intended Soul Jars, think he's a nice guy at first when he reveals to them that he's actually alive.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Seems to be a thing for the first three films:
    • At the end of the original, Chucky is dead and Andy is saved, but nobody besides Mike, Jack, and the Barclays are going to believe a doll committed the murders.
    • THEN, at the end of the second film, Chucky is dead yet again, but Andy and Kyle are left homeless after Chucky had basically killed off Andy and Kyle's foster family.
    • Finally, at the end of Child's Play 3, Chucky is killed... again, but Andy is arrested and likely will be sent to prison for Chucky's crimes.
  • Black Like Me: Though it doesn't happen, obviously, in Child's Play 3 and Seed of Chucky Chucky showed great interest in having his soul transferred into a black guy's body.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Each successive installment just gets messier.
  • Blood Upgrade: Chucky starts to take things more seriously in 2 when he sees that he's getting nosebleeds, indicating his time to possess Andy is running short.
  • Body Surf: Chucky's goal for much of the series is to transfer his soul into a human body.
  • Bury Your Gays: David in Bride.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Glen does this in Seed.

Glen: "No, dad! It's not Glenda! I'm the little boy you wanted! Are you happy now!? Are you proud of me now, dad!?" (says this while chopping Chucky up with an ax)

  • Cassandra Truth: No one ever believes Andy about Chucky.
    • After the first film, Karen Barclay was locked away in an asylum because she insisted the killer doll story was true even when the police didn't back it up.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Andy learning how to aim a gun in 3.
  • Child-Hater: Chucky says "I hate kids" during the finale of 2.
  • Coming Out Story: Seed of Chucky, directed by openly gay Don Mancini, who wrote all of the films, stated that Glen's sexually confused character was a metaphor for his own coming out.
  • Continuity Reboot: A remake of the first movie is currently in production.
  • Conveyor Belt O' Doom: The climax of the second movie involves some near misses with one in the Good Guys doll factory.
  • Cool Big Sis: Kyle in 2.
  • Creepy Doll
  • Dangerously Close Shave: In Child's Play 3, Chucky kills Botnick by slashing his throat with a razor blade while Botnick stupidly attempts to give him a haircut.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chucky, especially in Seed.

Tiff: Oh no! I am not getting pregnant again! Like my mother always said, once is a blessing, twice is a curse.
Chucky: Which would explain your sister.

  • Determinator: Chucky to the T. Even missing a hand, having his face sliced off, or worse, nothing stops the Chuck from killing or stalking his prey.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Nobody noticing Chucky is semi-justified by the fact that nobody seems to think too much of a doll sitting there. Only semi because people rarely question why a doll would be where they find him.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: In Seed, Chucky and "Glen" are out joyriding, when Chucky runs Britney Spears off the road. This would've been a lot funnier if every trailer didn't contain the disclaimer "Britney Spears Does Not Appear In This Movie" in big bold letters.
    • Word of God says that wasn't meant to be funny. Britney's lawyers told them to put that in, so people wouldn't think that was actually her.
  • Electrified Bathtub: Chucky kills Tiffany this way in Bride of Chucky.
    • In the first movie this was originally going to be the babysitter's death, but the special effect would have been too expensive.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "Paparazzi scumbag!"
  • Evil Laugh: In Child's Play 3, Chucky is so busy indulging in maniacal laughter that the girl he keeps as a hostage takes advantage of the situation to run away.
  • Eye Scream: Towards the end of the second movie; a security guard falls onto the conveyor line where the dolls' eyes are put in.
      • The second movie overuses this trope. It opens with a close up of Chucky's eye being removed. In extended footage from the TV version, Chucky's eye falls into a vat of plastic and is built into a new doll.
  • The Family That Slays Together: In Seed, though Glen(da) isn't really into it like his/her parents are.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Chucky has pretty moments. As does Tiffany.
  • Friends Rent Control: In the first film, Karen is a single mom with a crappy job at a department store, and explicitly strapped for cash. Her Chicago apartment is frigging huge.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the garbage man gets his arm snapped off by a hydraulic press in 3.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Spoken by Glen/Glenda in Seed. Apparently justified by his doll being made in Japan.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Whitehurst jumps onto a grenade to save the distracted students.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Andy goes from foster home to foster home and eventually to a military school because no one believes him about Chucky. He is also suspected in many of the murders that occur.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: This is how Chucky gets his soul in a doll in the first place.
  • Honorary Aunt: Aunt Maggie.
  • Idiot Ball: In Child's Play 2, Kyle painfully drops a gate onto Chucky's now flesh and blood hand, trapping him temporarily. They don't take the chance to kill him. They don't even take away his knife. They run away. What the hell.
  • I Was Just Joking: At the climax of 2, when Chucky is strapped to a Conveyor Belt of Doom, he calls out to Andy, "I was only playin'!"
  • Jerkass: At least one per film. Notable examples include Col. Shelton and the barber in the third movie, Phil in the second, John Ritter's character in Bride, and Chucky himself.
  • Joisey: In Bride of Chucky, we learn that Charles Lee Ray's remains are buried in Hackensack.
  • Kick the Dog: Chucky is evil all right, but this gets quite flanderized throughout the series.
    • Possibly best exemplified when in Bride of Chucky, he drinks a fish's bowl water.
  • Killer Rabbit: Many people find it hard to take Chucky seriously because he's a two-foot-tall doll. Big mistake.
  • Large Ham: --> "Don't fuck with the Chuck!"
  • Left for Dead: Chucky is left for dead in all the movies.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: David explodes when he gets hit by a truck in Bride of Chucky.
  • Mama Bear: Andy's mother at first, then Kyle in the second film.
  • Mind Screw: Watch Seed of Chucky a few times. Most of it still won't make much sense.

Chucky: That's it! Everybody just shut up! This is nuts!

(On killing Redman)
Tiffany: (sobbing) It was a slip! Rome wasn't built in one day, you know? (abruptly harsh) Besides, the fucker had it coming.

Chucky: "This package was meant for Andy. Don't you know tampering with the mail is a federal offense?"

  • Nightmare Fetishist: In Seed Chucky needs to give a sperm sample. He passed up several traditional fuels for this such as fashion magazines and swimsuit catalogs and instead opts for Fangoria.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The climax of Child's Play 2 in the toy factory.
  • Off with His Head: Chucky gets decapitated during the finale of the original, but it doesn't kill him.
    • In Seed of Chucky, Tony Gardner gets murdered when Chucky and Tiffany wrap a wire around his neck and yank on it, slicing his head off.
  • Perverse Puppet: Chucky is almost the poster child to this trope.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Chucky is about the size of a toddler, and capable of taking down fully-grown adults.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:

Chucky: "Andy, no! We're friends to the end, remember?"
Andy: "This is the end, friend!"

    • Chucky himself has plenty of these.
  • Pretty in Mink: A couple of scenes with Jennifer Tilly (playing herself).
  • Rasputinian Death: In the first three films, Chucky takes an absurd amount of punishment. Getting set on fire, dismembered, melted, and cutting half of his face off only slowed him down temporarily.
    • Even more remarkably, despite the windows between his initial doll possession and becoming human getting shorter in every film, he still manages to stay alive even after suffering injuries real humans in comparable circumstances would die from, including mundane reasons like extreme blood loss as seen in the second movie.
  • Reality Ensues: Weirdly invoked with Chucky. When he first becomes a living doll, he's effectively immortal, save anything that would be lethal to his new body. As he stays in the doll body longer, it becomes more human, thus more prone to what would harm actual humans, which is why he trie to get a new body ASAP in every film if and when possible.
    • Bride of Chucky confirms this gets taken to its logical conclusion with Chucky being anatomically correct with all that implies.
  • Recovery Sequence: In the opening sequences to 2, 3, and Bride of Chucky, Chucky is shown being reconstructed.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The series turned to self-parody from Bride of Chucky onward.
    • Worth noting they still managed to be scary regardless, with several scenes of unironic horror in those films, just leavened with a lot more Black Comedy.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mrs. Kettlewell from the second movie.
  • Screaming Warrior: Chucky.
  • Shout-Out: There are several, starting from Bride of Chucky. References to Bride of Frankenstein (Tiffany watches this very film while bathing, and even quotes later, "We belong dead") and Hellraiser ("Why does this seem so familiar?" as a guy gets nails in his face).
    • The part where Chucky is playing with a Speak & Spell and types in 'bitch' when it asks him to spell 'woman' is a reference to the scene in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III where Leatherface is playing an electronic word game and he keeps typing in 'food' when it's showing a picture of a clown.
    • In Seed of Chucky, Tiffany and Chucky call their gender-confused child Glen and Glenda respectively, a shout out to the Ed Wood film, Glen or Glenda.
      • Also, the evidence room in Bride of Chucky contains several pieces of evidence that are shout-outs to other movies, including Jason's hockey mask from Friday the 13th and Michael Myers' mask from Halloween; additionally, in Seed of Chucky, Chucky hacks through a door with an axe exactly like Jack from The Shining, but the shout-out is subverted because he can't think of anything to say.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Chucky has quite the filthy mouth.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Starts out as fairly straight horror, but by the time of Bride it's become a splatter comedy.
  • Smug Snake: Chucky.
  • Soft Glass: Inverted, as in Bride of Chucky, breaking a ceiling mirror is enough to dismember everyone beneath it.
  • Take That: At Britney Spears.

Chucky: (after killing her) Whoops, I did it again!

  • Took a Level in Badass: Andy at the end of every movie he's featured in. Glen in Seed....although a really weird one.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In Child's Play 2, Chucky goes complete rage mode when he fails to transfer his soul into Andy's body.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy doesn't return after the third Child's Play movie. The movie ends with him being brought in by the police for questioning. The same thing applies to Tyler as well.
    • Nor has the Good Guy Dolls company ever been mentioned, even though they're back in business. However, some dialogue from Bride implies they've been shut down again, this time for good.
  • What the Hell, Casting Agency?: Parodied in Seed. Redman (the rap star) is directing a Bible epic, and Jennifer Tilly is lobbying for the part of the Virgin Mary.

Jennifer: But the character is pregnant!
Redman: Yeah, I know, but I have a very specific vision of Mary. And what can I say? She gots to be hot.

  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Chucky keeps going as a one-armed, one-legged torso in the original. In the second film, he loses his legs but doesn't stop trying to kill Andy and Kyle.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Chucky more or less says this to his former voodoo teacher after torturing him into revealing how to escape the doll's body.
    • This also happens in the second film, when Chucky discovers that it's too late to use Andy as his new Soul Jar and decides to kill him instead.
  • Your Head Asplode: In Child's Play 2, this is how Chucky is done in.