Chucky is often seen as one of the most laughable villains of the horror genre, usually put in the same category with others such as Leprechaun and the Critters. But what is it about this living dead doll that, has not only been able to spawn a franchise, but has also been able to develop a huge fan following.
When I tell people that not only do I have the Chucky films on DVD but that I love them, I usually get a raised eyebrow or a strange look. Due to the last two films in the franchise, Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky, the franchise has largely been described as camp and funny whilst lacking its original horror premises.
Surely the point of Chucky is just to do as Stephen King does with a car in Christine or a dog in Cujo, to make the familiar and the normal unfamiliar and abnormal. There is nothing scary about a doll. But there is something scary about a doll that is trying to kill you. Don Mancini, the writer of the entire Child’s Play series and director of Seed Of Chucky, maintains that his aim in writing Child’s Play was to make a ‘dark satire of how advertising affects children.’ With the success of other films such as Gremlins, there seemed an opening for a new kind of villain.
A new film to the franchise, Curse Of Chucky due to be released on Halloween this year, will be the sixth installment of the series and Mancini has said that this film will be more similar to the original three movies, taking place after the events of Child’s Play 3, rather than Bride Of Chucky or Seed Of Chucky which presumably means there will be no Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany.
While this will come to a disappointment to many fans, including myself, it cannot be denied that this will allow room for a more serious and a potentially darker tone. This will mean that the franchise will be going back to its horror roots and has the potential to be a lot scarier than some of its predecessors. It has been reported that the film will go straight to DVD rather than a commercial release. The film will not be given the chance in cinemas and this is most likely due to the corny reputation of the latter films.
I think that Curse Of Chucky sounds promising. The fact that it will have a stronger focus on horror than comedy, like the original three films, means that it may well regain fans that lost interest after Tiffany and subsequently Glen were introduced. Many people can take on Chucky, but lots seemed unwilling to take on his wife and kid too.
Although, the comedy aspects of Chucky are partially to blame for Chucky not becoming a commercial success, I hope that this new installment doesn’t completely disregard the comedic element to the franchise as I find that the comedic nature of these films is what makes Chucky unique to other horror villains. There are also discussions of a reboot to the Child’s Play series. It would be interesting to see what they could do to the series to make it more relevant to the youth generation of today and how they could make it scarier but surely replacing Brad Dourif as Chucky simply cannot be an option.