Death By Misadventure
Chucky is back and episode 1 wastes absolutely no time in settling our murderous doll down into a new neighbourhood. At the center of this is Jake Wheeler, who decides to pay $20 for a Good Guy doll at a yard sale.
This is the town of Hackensack which happens to be a haven for spiking murder rates, which has gone up by 25% in recent years. These numbers haven’t been seen since the death of Charles Lee Ray who – as Child’s Play fans will remember – happens to be the notorious killer whose spirit is trapped inside Chucky.
Up in his room, Jake is creating a ghastly art project made of doll parts. He intends to use Chucky’s head as a centerpiece. Jake’s dad encourages his son to head out and make the most of his days, reminding him that being an artist doesn’t pay the bills. Just to reinforce this fact he refuses to let Jake attend art camp given it’ll set him back $1000.
Now, work isn’t going so well for the pair, with Jake’s father scoffing at his successful brother Logan and his family when they head over for dinner. Their kid, Junior, has just made regionals but he and Jake don’t exactly see eye to eye. He calls out Jake for being gay and causes plenty of awkward tension at the dinner table.
When the family leave, Jake’s dad heads upstairs and smashes his son’s art sculpture to bits. To make matters worse, Jake’s cat Binxie is killed by the killer doll. And the only evidence happens to be tufts of bloody hair in Chucky’s hand.
Anyway, Jake heads to school with Chucky because why not I guess? Anyway, it doesn’t exactly help his prospects at school. Junior happens to attend the same school too, and as his girlfriend Lexy shows up, she encourages Jake to open up about his financial situation. In fact, she even starts a GoFundMe for him too, which receives big laughs around science class when it pops up.
After school, Lexy finds herself freaked out by Chucky moving about and stalking her. When the teacher returns, Chucky goes limp and Lexy chalks this up to smoking too much weed. Naturally.
That evening, with Jake trying desperately to sell the doll, he receives a call from someone claiming to know about Chucky. He warns Jake to be careful and to check Chucky’s batteries next time. There’s some nice throwbacks to classic Child’s Play here, as Jake heads online to research more about the doll. The headlines link back to the first few movies beautifully.
At school the next day, Jake clings to Chucky as he stands up and begins berating Lexy during the talent show. He steals the spotlight and calls out her search history, making a complete fool out of her. Chucky and Jake receive a round of applause but it also prompts a big argument from his dad that evening when he finds out.
He’s clearly not happy that Jake isn’t “normal” (his words) and calls him out for being weird. When Jake heads upstairs, Chucky is left down with his father. Not only does he drink all his whiskey, he also dispatches Jake’s dad in a pretty gnarly fashion, puking just after the breakers are thrown back on. With sparks flying, Jake looks down at his dad in horror. Chucky meanwhile, looks on in glee.
Detective Evans and Peyton show up and ask Jake some questions about what happened but mostly they just claim this is a “death by misadventure”…for now. With his father dead, Jake is shipped off to stay with his uncle in their swanky mansion. And that obviously doesn’t look like it’s going to pose well for Junior – especially when Chucky comes with Jake too.
Alone, Jake manages to talk to Chucky properly, who decides they need to talk about Lexy, brandishing a knife after outing himself as Charles Lee Ray!
The Episode Review
Chucky is back! And fans of the murderous doll will absolutely love what’s on offer in this series. There are plenty of throwbacks to the movie franchise, lots of Easter eggs and a solid story that plays on the same simple concept that made the films so enjoyable.
The soundtrack is probably the one big stand-out point here and it’s oftentimes something that’s overlooked. The simple but effective ambient score uses those same chimes that made the films so distinctive and it’s great to see that rekindled for this show. It’s also great that Brad Dourif is back as Chucky too because honestly, I can’t imagine anyone else taking that role.
The throwbacks to the past are obviously important but there’s also a clear desire to make this something that newcomers can dive into too. In that respect, the addition of Jake Wheeler is a good one and he’s an easy character to warm too as well.
If this is a sign of things to come then Chucky could well be one of the bigger horror surprises of the year!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|