Chucky and Scream are two of the most iconic movies in the horror genre. Combined, Scream and Chucky have made nearly $1 billion worldwide; Chucky saw serial killer Charles Lee Ray use black magic to put his soul into a doll named Chucky. From there, the wise-cracking and murderous doll has been a staple in the genre thanks to eight movies and a television show. The Scream franchise had one of the most unforgettable openings to a horror movie ever. Following the shocking and grim murder of Drew Barrymore, Sidney Prescott, Deputy Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers have been dealing with some masked psychos who all have an unhealthy vendetta against Ms. Prescott. Like Chucky, Scream has been in all forms of media since its birth in 1996, with six movies (including the soon-to-be released one in 2022) and a television series. So, when it comes down to it, which franchise is better? Let’s dig deeper into each horror series.
The premise of Chucky is ridiculous. Thankfully, Don Mancini understands this and the Chucky franchise has been joy for the most part. There’s even some fun to found in the 2019 reboot, though the movie takes itself a little too seriously. The series itself is mainly iconic for the charismatic villain, Chucky, who’s unmatched charisma and dark humor really makes for an entertaining piece of television. Of course, that’s due to a sharp script and the talents of Brad Dourif, who brings some much life and energy to Chucky that makes it hard to not like him despite the doll being a murderous psychopath. In terms of quality, the Chucky franchise has been hit-or-miss; with Child’s Play and Seed of Chucky being the worst of the entire series. The franchise has to deal with a tricky balance of humor and horror; It’s impossible for anyone to truly be scared of a murderous doll; however, the writers have found clever ways to make Chucky seem terrifying. Whenever the series veers into being either too silly or too series, it notably falters. Child’s Play 3 is arguably the most boring entry in the Chucky canon. It’s missing the over-the-top fun that’s been accustomed in the other films. Again, Chucky is the star here and his energy helps pad the runtime; however, the overall arc of him and Andy at the military academy turns out to be a dub. Though there are some sweet to kills in Child’s Play 3.
Seed of Chucky veers into the over-the-top and silly side. The arc with Chucky and his gay son, along with the overall plot stretched to unbelievable heights, which is saying something given the fact that the franchise is based on a talking murderous doll who has the soul of a serial killer. However, most of the Chucky films have gotten the best out of its central premise, and the biggest surprise is how easy the franchise has made the transition over to the new generation. The current series manages to be a delight, expertly dancing between dark humor and horror, while still maintaining a captivating story. It’s not perfect, but it’s incredible how strong this franchise has been despite the overall premise.
The central premise of Scream started off as a clever idea; A horror movie that turned the classic slasher tropes on its head. Scream started off with a bang thanks to a script that interweaves both humor and horror seamlessly. More importantly, Scream is actually a smart movie, which tends to be rare for the horror genre in general. The first film isn’t just iconic because of the Casey Becker scene, it’s mainly due to the fact that it’s an entertaining feature with one of the best final girls in a horror movie, Sidney Prescott. Of course, it helps that the movie is packed with colorful and fun supporting characters like Stuart, Billy, or Randy.
Though not as like as the first film, Scream 2 was a nice sequel that actually made sense. The opening wasn’t as iconic as the first movie; however, throwing Sidney into a new environment allowed for the series to expand its mythology a bit further. Scream 2 doesn’t have the freshness of its predecessor, but it still manages to have some fun along the way. Following the sequel, the Scream franchise started to lose its way. The formula started to become stale because it was eat, sleep, try to kill Sidney Prescott, and repeat. Scream 3 is a decent entry; however, the franchise is tiresome at that point with no true shocks or thrills except Cotton Weary’s murder. In fact, Scream 3 feels like a typical slasher flick, and not in an ironic and satirical manner. The television series tries to deviate from the Scream formula to some success, though it’s hard to maintain the same premise without growing stale. Scream 4 is a fun return to the earlier entries of the franchise. It goes back to it’s satirical routes and that’s where it shines best. The formula of “let’s try to kill Sidney Prescott” remain lackluster, but Scream 4 does have some nice tension and horror throughout, even if the welcome has been a bit worn out.
So, which franchise is better? Believe it or not, Chucky. To be clear, none of the Chucky films are better than the first or even the second Scream; however, Chucky gets points with taking bold risks with its franchise whereas the Scream series has run out of gas with each entry.