Chucky: Season One is available to rent, buy or stream.
Anyone following the career of Don Mancini, David Kirschner, Brad Dourif and their four-foot killer doll, Chucky, will know that queer identity and diversity thread through their seven-movie series. However, many of us wondered where the pint-sized nutter could take us next after Curse and Cult of Chucky. After all, this franchise started with a traditional 80s slasher horror template before moving into deliciously dark comedy. Equally, it was a franchise that had pushed the boundaries of LGBTQ+ representation in horror by creating a family of characters that would develop over time into a blood-soaked celebration of queer horror.
Therefore, when Chucky the TV series was announced, I was filled with excitement and trepidation. Would Mancini and co honour the stories that had come before or opt for something radically different? Thankfully they picked the former, and we got a direct continuation of the story built up over seven glorious movies. In many ways, Chucky season one feels like the Child’s Play 3 that should have been, as it centres on the feelings of ostracisation adolescence inevitably brings. Here Chucky focuses on discrimination, difference and bullying while embracing not one but two gay leads. In many ways, the character of Chucky plays second fiddle to the horrors of adolescence as he attempts to manipulate those around him using their difference and sense of alienation against them.
READ MORE: LIVING WITH CHUCKY
Chucky enters the show as a yard sale piece of junk in Hackensack. There he is purchased by Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) for use in an art project. Jake lives with an alcoholic father (Devon Sawa), whose volatile outbursts include an unwillingness to accept his son’s sexuality. Despite his artistic flare and confidence in his sexuality, Jake is often lonely and is the subject of constant bullying at school. All Jake wants is to find some happiness, peace and room to spread his wings and finally approach his school crush, true crime podcaster Devon (Björgvin Arnarson).
READ MORE: WE ARE WHO WE ARE
Of course, Chucky is not about to be dismembered for any art project and soon worms his way into Jake’s life, using the boy’s experiences of bullying, homophobia and alienation to further his murderous agenda – leading us all to question whether Jake will follow him or discard him before it’s too late. Meanwhile, just across town, his dad’s twin brother, Lucas (Sawa), is unaware that it’s his son Junior (Teo Briones) and his girlfriend Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) who torment Jake at every opportunity.
The show’s discussions on sexual orientation, difference and inclusion create a unique TV horror that combines classic coming-of-age themes with a continuation of thirty-plus years of Chucky lore. As a result, Chucky season one sits between teen drama and slasher horror as Mancini and Co once again reinvent the Chucky franchise for a new generation while paying homage to the past. Chucky is a wild, entertaining and proudly queer slice of TV horror that will appeal to older fans and bring on board a whole host of new ones.