Here is my ranking (from least favourite to most favourite) of the films within the Child’s Play/Chucky franchise, with a short explanation accompanying each:
(Side note: I found this difficult due to the genre/tonal split in the franchise)
#6 – Child’s Play 3
Something about Child’s Play 3 has never sat well with me. I can’t quite pin-point it. Maybe it’s the military school. The time jump. Poor Andy being unable to escape Chucky. It’s not a bad film at all and there are some good kills, it’s just my least favourite. and being unable to fully explain what it is frustrates me as much as it may frustrate you that I put it last.
#5 – Bride of Chucky
I believe this may have been my first foray into the franchise, though I’d always been aware of Chucky (and may have seen the first one, but not remembered it). It marked a shift in the franchise away from psychological horror towards slasher and, to a certain extent, satire and theatricality. To me it is a guilty pleasure and it’s thoroughly entertaining.
#4 – Seed of Chucky
This is as different from Child’s Play as the franchise gets – it is all satire and slash. It may not be terrifying and it may not give you nightmares, but it entertains me. The dual-gender Glen/Glenda could be seen as offensive and would probably be tackled differently, but the introduction of the characters keeps things fresh and adds a dynamic to Chucky that you wouldn’t expect – more so than having a bride!
#3 – Child’s Play 2
I feel like many will disagree with this, in light of what I’ve put in above it, however (having not seen it in a while) it is too similar to the first film to stand out on it’s own. The continuation of Andy’s story is welcome and the foster dynamic adds to the psychological horror of it all. There are also some great kills – the teacher! But it just misses second place.
#2 – Curse of Chucky
Many may disagree entirely with the placing of this installment (I did warn you that I had trouble due to the disparity in genre and tone between the old and new). Up until today this would have been in third but after finding the post credit scene it has bumped up because it now chronologically makes sense. I’d read about whether it was a reboot, prequel or sequel before watching it and the scene whereby Tiffany kills the policeman appeared to be the beginning of ‘Bride of’ but now I know that it isn’t and that Andy is reintroduced I like it a bit more. It is a great blend of psychological horror and slasher, with a stand out scene being dinner!
#1 – Child’s Play
Forget about Annabelle, Chucky is the original killer doll! He certainly set the standard. What the first film has in it’s favour is the build up to the reveal – yes the audience sees the doll become possessed, but there is the suspense of wondering when the characters will realise, the doubt as to whether or not the doll is possessed and the increasing terror of Chucky’s acts. He isn’t the slasher villain from the newer installments and he isn’t as psychotic as the immediate sequels – he is simply a desperate man stuck in a sh*t position who will do anything to save himself. Regardless of the psychological elements which make it terrifying, dolls in themselves are scary. They’re anthropomorphic. They move. They talk. Kid’s these days may play with dolls less so may not be as terrified, especially in light of Toy Story making talking toys fun! It doesn’t need a sequel and that’s what makes it great!