The film is about a 6 year old boy called Andy who gets a popular and highly desired children’s doll, ‘Good Guy’ doll for his birthday. The doll should have built in phrases, including ‘Hi, I’m Chucky’ and ‘Want to Play?’, and because it has these phrases, people are none-the-wiser when Andy says his doll speaks to him, and don’t believe him when he tells them the doll is actually possessed by the soul of deceased Serial Killer Charles ‘Chucky’ Lee Ray.
It was a low-budget film that turned into to a box office hit. It roughly grossed $44 million worldwide. About three-quarters of that came from the United States market, where it was the 33rd most successful film of its year. Reviews were mostly positive. Naturally, with such positive reactions, a sequel was made.
The franchise includes: Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky and 2013’s straight-to-DVD, Curse of Chucky. Over the US alone, the films have grossed $176 million at the worldwide box office.
The second film is about an 8-year-old Andy that has been placed into foster care, due to the accusations that she was ‘crazy’ after telling the story of Charles Chucky’ Lee Ray. After being defeated in the first film, Charles Lee Ray’s doll host has been rebuilt and reanimated and is after Andy again. He finds Andy and he has to go through everything again. Unfortunately, Andy’s foster family suspect fostered teenager Kyle is encouraging Andy’s assumed ‘bad’ behavior, Now Andy and Kyle have to face the killer with no outside help, but ultimately defeat him in the Good Guy Doll Factory.
While considered not as good as its predecessor, the film performed well at the box office. Its worldwide gross is an estimated $35.7 million. Nearly all of that came from the United States market, where it was the 40th most successful film of its year.
Now a 16-year old Andy Barclay takes on Chucky in the third film. He’s now in a military school because of his failure to adapt to foster homes. Andy is developing an attraction to female student Kristen. Meanwhile, the old “Good Guy” dolls are being made again for a new generation. Charles Lee Ray immediately possesses one and goes in search of Andy again, which spells doom for the military school. He and Kirsten take down Chucky again by the end of the film. Any follower of the films know this just won’t be the end.
The director of the first film and script writer of third, Don Mancini admitted to have run out of ideas by this time, and it became apparent with the films decline in commercial value. The worldwide gross of the third film is estimated around $20.5 million, roughly three-quarters of which came from the United States market, where it was the 76th most successful film of its year.
The fourth film was a big change. A different name, and differences were made to the storyline and this film was actually a hybrid comedy horror film, and like Scream made reference to horror film cliches, like when Chucky says ‘It’s such a complicated story that if this was a horror film, I’d need 4 or more sequels to be explained’. The film 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 has other ideas. She 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 teens seem to be good candidates. Meanwhile Charles and Tiffany explore their mutual feelings of love, lust and hate for each other, sharing a love for killing people.
Despite the films mixed reviews, it was the biggest box office hit of the series. Its worldwide gross is estimated to $50,671,850. About $32 million came from the United States market, where it was the 62nd most successful film of its year.
Seed of Chucky 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. The film focuses primarily on their son Glen, born during the events of the previous film. He makes a 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 on parenthood. Now they want to have some family fun, with Tiffany intending to possess actress Jennifer Tilly who portrayed her in the film being made of Chucky’s events (Like Scream‘s ‘Stab’ films).
The film mostly parodies its predecessors and other horror films. 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. It got mostly negative reviews.
The film is primarily comedy now, and started to lose it’s horror element after the third film. However, a generally successful slasher franchise, that is well known and popular among horror fans.
As a Childs Play fan myself, I was mortified at the atrocity known as Seed of Chucky. The horror behind the film was completely lost and the film seemed to be confused about what the focus of it was on. The fact it was being made into a film, the fact that Chucky was back and has a child, or that his child is gender confused… It was more comedy than horror, which is highly disappointing following my expectation after watching the first four, especially the first and fourth being my personal favourites.