Child’s Play Franchise (1988 -)
The films mainly focus on Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif in the original films and Mark Hamill in the reboot), a notorious serial killer who frequently escapes death by performing a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a “Good Guys” doll.
The original film, Child’s Play, was released on November 9, 1988. The film has spawned six sequels, an upcoming television series, a remake, comic books, a video game, and tie-in merchandise.
The first, second, and fourth films were box office successes with all of the films earning over $182 million worldwide. Including revenues from sales of videos, DVDs, VOD and merchandise, the franchise has generated over $250 million. It also won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Franchise.
The film series originally started out as straight horror with the first installment Child’s Play, which appears to have more psychological horror elements, while the next two installments are straightforward slasher films with elements of dark humor. As the films progressed, they became satirical and campy, until the series briefly became a horror comedy, with 1998’s Bride of Chucky and 2004’s Seed of Chucky. In 2013, the series returned under the title Curse of Chucky and was released on direct-to-video.
Unlike Bride and Seed, Curse of Chucky is a full-fledged horror film much like the original three installments, but it does maintain the campy humor to a small degree. The seventh installment to the series, titled Cult of Chucky, was released on October 3, 2017. The television series titled Chucky comes out on October 12th, 2021 on Syfy and USA network.
Several short films have been made featuring the Chucky character: on the DVD release of Seed of Chucky, a short film entitled Chucky’s Vacation Slides, set after the shooting of the film, was included, and a series of short films inserting Chucky into the events of other horror films entitled Chucky Invades was released in the run-up to the release of Curse of Chucky.
On television, Chucky has appeared in commercials and also on Saturday Night Live, with a separate voice actor voicing the character. Chucky appeared in a pre-taped segment during an October 1998 episode of World Championship Wrestling‘s Monday Nitro program as a heel, taunting wrestler Rick Steiner who was a face at the time and promoting Bride of Chucky.