When you hear the name Chucky, most people think of one thing – Killer Doll and a franchise that has spanned 35 years and is still going.
What most people forget surrounding these successful franchises is the people behind the scenes and with a series like this, the bonds that form over the years and by the time you get to 2023, their family. Living With Chucky is a beautiful telling of how the franchise started with Child’s Play in 1988, back-to-back sequels with Child’s Play 2 & 3, then following the trend into the new era of Horror/Comedy with Bride of Chucky in 1998 & Seed of Chucky 2004 with learning from their experiences and going back to the Horror aspect and releasing Curse of Chucky in 2013 & Cult of Chucky in 2017.
The documentary is a lead up to the Chucky series that premiered in 2021 and will be heading into Season 3 sometime in 2023. A new light gets shone on the horror franchise and in turn, how the idea of Chucky came to be with inspiration being taken from other films that were getting released at the in the 80’s, with a Nightmare on Elm Street being referenced with putting the focus on the villain and as such, Freddy Kruger paved the way for Chucky.
Different points of view get shared, not just surrounding the franchise, but around the genre and the pressures of filmmaking, with outside of the franchise guests such as Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie & White Chicks), Abigail Breslin (Zombieland & Signs), Lin Shaye (Dead End & Insidious Franchise) provided amazing insight, appreciation, and love for the genre and for the Chucky franchise.
With the inspiration from Freddy Kruger, another film that was released in 1984 assisted Chucky, a little film by the name of Gremlins. The advancement in animatronics puppetry, a way to bring Chucky to life was found and as such, with filming began, puppeteers were hired, with 7-9 needed.
Story of the franchise goes deeper than many were unaware of, with the documentary showing events the production had to deal with including the Writers Strike in 1988 and how puppetry trumps using CGI, and this is what the audience responds to.
If you’re like myself, and really enjoy hearing from the Actors and their experiences, you’ll definitely won’t be disappointed with Actors from the entire franchise providing their insight, impact of the franchise and how it has shaped their careers.
Actors include Brad Dourif (Chucky), Alex Vincent (Andy from Child’s Play 1 & 2, Cult & Curse of Chucky), Christine Elise (Kyle), Jennifer Tilly (Tiffany), Billy Boyd (Glen) and Fiona Dourif (Nica), with more surprises, including creator Don Mancini.
With every interview from the Stars of the franchise, Production Crew of Directors, Producers, Writers, and Special Effects being heartfelt and sincere, which what makes this whole documentary film that much sweeter, as the Writer & Director of the film is none other than Kyra Elise Gardner, Daughter of Tony Gardner (Special Effects & Make-Up Department).
With the family aspect of this film, it touches on some of the emotional sacrifices the entire cast and crew had to face, which included working up to 20-hour days and time apart from loved ones, which meant missing out on important milestones.
While speaking to the guests’ stars of Lin Shaye, Marlon Wayans, and Abigail Breslin, they all reflect on the emotional impacts of being an actor and how the horror genre impacts them and film making as a whole. One of the most beautiful moments will be Kyra Gardener (Director) getting in front of the camera to provide her experience, growing up in the environment of Chucky and sharing her experience with Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad Dourif.
Passing the torch is evident by the end of the film with Brad Dourif working with his daughter who has now been involved since Curse of Chucky and continues to this day, which is heart-warming to see how the bond they share of a killer dole has brought them closer together.
A franchise like this wouldn’t have succeeded without its fans, which definitely gets showcased with cast and crew stating how ‘Passionate & Obsessed’ they are for the franchise and how important they are and just how much the cast and crew appreciate them, because without them, they wouldn’t be still here making more stories with Chucky.
From the hard times of the series beginning, moving in horror comedy, then back to its roots with Curse & Cult of Chucky then onto the TV series, this film showcases everything you’ll hope for from a behind the scenes look at the franchise, how it shaped the slasher genre today, emotional impact of the cast and crew and they’ve come together as a family.
Whether a dedicated fan of the franchise or a casual viewer, you will not be disappointed with this heartfelt film about how a Killer Psychotic Doll brought joy, love and a group of unlikely people and would become family.
Living With Chucky available on digital on all major platforms including Apple and Google Play in Australia and New Zealand from April 26, 2023.