In a world with Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger, and Jason Voorhees, a new slasher villain would make his mark in the horror genre in 1988, and that iconic character would turn out to be Charles Lee Ray aka Chucky. The premise of the slasher flick was simple, Mother (Catherine Hicks) buys a Good Guy doll, which happens to be possessed by a crazed murderer, and the cursed doll goes on a killing spree. The comedy-horror was a success at the box office, making nearly $50 million on a production budget of $10 million.
Following the first film, seven other Child’s Play installments have been made, including an attempt at a reboot back in 2019 starring Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, and Gabriel Bateman. Now, following a brief hiatus from the franchise, Chucky will make its debut as a mini-series on October 12, 2021 on the USA and Syfy network. Child’s Play doesn’t have the strongest track record of great films in the franchise; however, the series has been more hit than miss. Here are several mistakes that the upcoming horror series will need to avoid in order to be successful.
Keep The Personality Of Chucky Intact
The horror reboot actually wasn’t bad. Anchored by a talented cast, the reboot tells a solid story and has some sweet kills throughout. However, the Child’s Play series has never been about the kills. It’s always been about the colorful personality of the iconic horror villain, Chucky. The remake of the film opted to make the title character a bland robot, negating what made the franchise so lucrative in the first place.
Luckily, the television series is ignoring the 2019 reboot, which will see the return of the original creator and Brad Dourif, who played Chucky in all of the Child’s Play films prior to the reboot. All the series has to do is keep the fun and twisted personality of the iconic villain. In reality, the idea of a killer doll is too silly of a premise to take seriously. Don Mancini knew this and wisely made the films a comedy/horror. As previously stated, some installments in the franchise are a miss; however, more often than not, the series knew the sweet spot between both genres and adapted to each pretty well. As long as Mancini can tap into the original roots of the franchise then the series will be off to a good start.
Avoid Going Too Over The Top With The Story
Look, the premise of the psycho killer doll is just not made to be taken seriously. However, there needs to be a delicate balance between comedy and horror within the series. While embracing the franchise’s comedy roots is a good idea, venturing too deep into the comedy and absurd gets us films like Seed of Chucky. Adding Tiffany (voiced by the talented Jennifer Tilly) was a fun idea that helped freshen the franchise; however, Seed of Chucky dived way too deep into the weird territory. All of the horror that the series provided was lost, and the funny gags and jokes weren’t all that funny as an end result. Based on the trailer, the upcoming series appears to strike the right balance in tone. I know it sounds crazy to not go over the top with a series about a killer talking doll, but the less grounded Chucky is, the better.
A Compelling Story
This one is quite obvious; however, the premise of the Child’s Play series is too paper-thin for television series. As great as Chucky is, seeing him stalk and kill for ten episodes straight does not sound entertaining. Putting him in television format gives the audience a chance to connect with the characters better, thus the murders will have more of an impact. However, putting the Chucky series under a television format can also heighten the flaws of the franchise.
The Scream series never really found its footing in the television landscape. The Purge failed to properly entertain throughout its two-season run. Sometimes a movie premise isn’t good enough to fit the long television format. Unfortunately, Chucky fits that bill. However, the horror/comedy series can be a surprise like Sleepy Hollow (at least the first three seasons), Hannibal, The Exorcist, and Bates Motel. Could it be the next Fargo? Never say never. I’m not exactly sure how the Chucky series can expand the world of its titular character, though it should be fun (or boring) to find out once it premieres next month.