Since his first appearance in 1988’s Child’s Play, Chucky has been a slasher and horror film legend. The figure has since married, had a child, and even founded his own religion.
However, with Chucky’s comeback in a new series, a new generation of fans will be introduced to the character. That means they’ll want to read all of his stories over the past 30 years.
From the original to the remake, this list will go over each of the character’s film appearances. The post will also tell readers where they can see all of these fantastic and unique films.
While the character has changed and expanded over the years, each film has maintained what makes him amazing, and fans will enjoy learning more about him.
1. Child’s Play (1988)
Child’s Play is one of those late-’80s gimmick slashers where it’s all too easy to get the impression that you’ve already seen it without ever sitting down to watch it.
Killer doll, cheesy as hell, with a slew of one-liners, right? Yes and no, to be sure.
The first (and greatest) installment in the Child’s Play franchise is the most serious (at least slightly) and grounded of the films, and it goes above and beyond to humanize its legendary killer Chucky—or the spirit within him, serial killer Charles Lee Ray—in a way that one may not expect.
If you haven’t seen any of the films in the series, consider the following: Did you know that voodoo is essential to the plot of Child’s Play? It is, after all.
But, in the end, the film’s grandeur and intrinsic watchability are due to the charisma of Brad Dourif, who discovered in Chucky the vessel he needed to become a genre legend for all time.
2. Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Child’s Play 2 was released in theatres at the conclusion of age when horror sequels (especially slashers) had become such an inevitability that critics, if not horror enthusiasts, were almost uniformly dismissive of them.
As a result, modern reviews of the franchise’s first sequel tend to focus on the fact that it exists at all while overlooking much of its flawless craftsmanship. Rest assured: Child’s Play 2 is fantastic—in some ways even better than the first.
It follows in the traditional tradition of sequelizing, taking the premise from the first film and simply making everything bigger and more bombastic—particularly the visual effects, which are absolutely spectacular throughout.
Chucky has never looked better than he does here, with his face articulated to communicate a sweetly cherubic expression one moment and a snarling, screaming psychopathic expression the next.
3. Child’s Play 3 (1991)
The slasher genre—and horror in general—had a hard time in the early 1990s.
The genre’s capacity to fall back on clichés looked to be harmed by a wave of emerging Gen X cynicism, and films from the time period often responded by pushing the bounds of silly or updating their locations, rather than making sincere attempts at being terrifying.
At the moment, there was a distinct sense of dread in the air, which didn’t truly evaporate until the publication of Scream in 1996. So it is with Child’s Play 3, which picks up where the prior two films left off, although with a few omissions.
This is one of the Child’s Play entries that feels the most like it might be improved into something much better than it is.
4. Bride of Chucky (1998)
Bride of Chucky is an overreaction to the idea that the series should go in a new direction if Child’s Play 3 is an example of the original film’s established formula beginning to wear old.
It wasn’t a horrible idea to discard the convention that Chucky would keep following the same boy (Andy Barclay) over and over in order to swap his soul into Andy’s body.
But Bride of Chucky tries to reinvent itself a little too slavishly in the pattern of Scream and thinks it’s a lot smarter than it is.
To its fault, this is the Child’s Play film that originally valued mythology and character development over slasher themes.
5. Seed of Chucky (2004)
Seed of Chucky had the shakiest basis of any of the Child’s Play entries right from the start. It’s hampered by its link to the similarly mediocre Bride of Chucky, and it completes that picture’s abandonment of any attempt to make a true horror film.
Also, Glen, I can hardly bear to look at Chucky’s offspring’s face— I’m not sure what it is about the doll, but it is so aesthetically revolting that it causes true repulsion, and not in a way that is fitting for the genre.
This thing is just plain ugly, and I despise it with a venom that isn’t quite rational.
6. Curse of Chucky (2013)
Don Mancini accomplished something very remarkable with Curse of Chucky in 2013 and Cult of Chucky in 2017: he brought a horror franchise back from the dead after its worst episodes, and he did so within the framework of direct-to-video and VOD offers.
After all, after Seed of Chucky, you’d be forgiven for being doubtful that Curse would be a return to form. It is, nevertheless, improbable.
This film depicts the series creator simultaneously returning to his roots and tying together the increasingly complicated series narrative in a surprisingly satisfactory way, with a total tonal reset.
It tries hard to be terrifying while also laying the groundwork for a “next generation” of Child’s Play recurring characters. The only drawback is that it lacks the financial resources to go as far as it desires, something that Cult of Chucky accomplishes slightly better.
7. Cult of Chucky (2017)
The cult does the same while embracing the franchise’s mythology’s extremities of insanity. Where Curse focused on making Chucky seem dangerous and appropriately edgy again, Cult does the same while embracing the franchise’s mythology’s extremes of insanity.
In a series that has always centered around preventing Chucky from finishing a round of “hide the soul,” Cult not only considers what would happen if he ever succeeded.
But also revels in the countless absurd circumstances that would undoubtedly ensue if the tiny devil actually had his way. The results are absurd, to say the least.
8. Child’s Play (2019)
The Child’s Play remake is tricky to place on this list because it never seems like an entry in the franchise. To say the least, this isn’t the Chucky you’re used to.
Someone decided somewhere along the road that the soul of a human serial murderer trapped in the body of a doll was a less narratively rich treasure than “a robot doll whose morality switch is mistakenly turned to evil.”
We believe that this line of reasoning is at best wrong and that not even Black Mirror would be able to derive much value from it. This Chucky is more of a stand-in for Google, the Cloud, and the NSA all at once than an individual character. The film, like the doll, is devoid of a human soul.