The homicidal doll named Chucky has become a pop-culture icon, with his mix of sarcasm and menace. His films have gone from scary to funny and back again, always with style. Here’s how to stream the Child’s Play franchise.
Update, 1/11/23: We’ve fixed some broken links in our guide and added more places to watch.
Director Tom Holland takes his time bringing out Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) in the doll’s first film, instead focusing on little Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and his single mother Karen (Catherine Hicks). Possessed by the spirit of a serial killer, Chucky looks like a harmless Good Guys doll at first, but he eventually reveals his true murderous nature. He’s less snarky and playful in this early outing, instead focused on isolating Andy so that he can transfer his soul into a human body.
Chucky’s familiar persona comes into focus in this lively sequel. Andy is now living with a foster family, but Chucky tracks him down anyway. Once again, adults don’t believe Andy that Chucky is alive and evil, but this time Andy has his teenage foster sister Kyle (Christine Elise) in his corner. This sequel realizes the potential of the original via more elaborate set pieces and a more substantial presence from Chucky himself as he taunts and torments Andy.
Released less than a year after the second movie but set eight years later, the third Child’s Play brings in Justin Whalin to play a teenage Andy, who’s been sent off to a military academy. Of course, Chucky follows him there, although he’s more fixated on younger student Ronald Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers) than on Andy, still attempting to transfer his soul into a human body. The creativity and humor flag a bit in this installment, and the new setting and new cast don’t fit well with what made the previous two films succeed.
After seven years off, the franchise returns with a new tone and a new sense of purpose. Leaning into its comedic elements, the fourth movie gives Chucky a love interest in the form of Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), who was Chucky’s girlfriend back when he was human. Tiffany herself soon becomes a doll, too, and the pair of lovebirds go on a cross-country murder spree. Freed of the obligation to check in with Andy, the series becomes a gleefully ridiculous horror comedy.
Now that Chucky and Tiffany are reunited, the next step, of course, is for them to have a homicidal doll child. Series creator Don Mancini, who wrote or co-wrote every installment, takes over as director here, too, fully in control of his personal vision.
Seed of Chucky is the most overtly comedic movie in the franchise, sometimes sacrificing horror for the sake of vulgar humor. But Chucky and Tiffany’s weirdo child Glen (voiced by Billy Boyd) is a welcome addition, and the Hollywood-set story offers plenty of opportunities for self-deprecating humor.
The sixth Chucky movie takes a turn back to the serious, emulating the first movie’s slow build and keeping Chucky himself inert or off-screen for long stretches. Returning as writer and director, Don Mancini introduces a new family to be menaced by Chucky, who shows up in the mail, restored as a seemingly normal Good Guys doll. Mancini effectively makes Chucky scary again, while also gradually bringing in familiar plot points and characters from the previous movies.
Thanks to Chucky’s renewed popularity, the seventh film brings together characters from various past movies, including Andy Barclay (played again by Alex Vincent), Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), and Curse of Chucky main character Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif). The characters converge on a mental hospital where Chucky terrorizes the patients, which include Nica and Andy. No longer confined to a single doll, Chucky exhibits stunning new powers here, elevating his reign of terror to a whole new level.
While Don Mancini continues the original Chucky series on TV, separate filmmakers are behind this franchise reboot. Chucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) is now a murderously malfunctioning robot doll who’s part of an ominous new line of interconnected high-tech products. He once again targets a young boy named Andy (Gabriel Bateman), while Andy’s overworked mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza) worries that something is wrong with her child.
Ignoring the reboot movie, Don Mancini continues right where Cult of Chucky left off, with a TV series that finds Chucky wreaking havoc in the New Jersey suburbs. The series starts with a new set of teen characters, but familiar faces including Jennifer Tilly’s Tiffany and Alex Vincent’s Andy Barclay soon show up as well. The expanded running time of a TV series gives Mancini the chance to explore more characters, and of course gives Chucky the chance to rack up a higher body count.
Season 1 of Chucky is streaming on Peacock Premium ($4.99+ per month).
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