Ugh, dolls. They’re similar to clowns when it comes to horror films. What once were children’s toys and symbols for fun quickly became associated with creepy subconscious undertones. It’s pretty much a tie between dolls and clowns at this point. Pennywise the clown has been making a splash recently, so Chucky the killer doll also has to have his in the form of Child’s Play 2019.
It’s the new Chucky movie, to put it bluntly, and is every bit as faithful to the original but with a more contemporary twist. Upon seeing it, we can’t help but compare it to the classics and the not-so-distant belated sequels along with other spiritual horror doll movie successors. So, if you have or haven’t seen Child’s Play 2019, you might want to check out how far (as in, psychotic) Chucky has gone and what other demon-spawn murder dolls he has inspired.
After all, he’s the Pennywise of his own horror sub-genre. Here are the other films similar to Child’s Play 2019 you should watch if you haven’t gotten enough of Chucky.
Child’s Play (1988)
Some might say that the 1980s were the golden age of slasher horror films. The special effects were a labor of love (no CGI), the monsters were imaginative, and they just keep introducing new horror based on the deepest fears of regular human beings. Chucky, who was first introduced in 1998’s Child’s Play was every parent’s fear for their family.
The premise was simple, a seemingly safe and non-living family member gets welcomed in the house and it turns out, he has the soul of a serial killer. At a time when the scariest cinema monster was a hick in a hockey mask, Chucky was an acceptable film monster.
Child’s Play 2
Chucky actually dies in defeat in his first film… seemingly. The sequel, Child’s Play 2 from 1990 explored the idea of the doll being rebuilt with the serial killer’s soul still intact inside. Somehow, Chucky managed to be resuscitated after an electrical shock hit him with his memories still fresh.
As you can imagine, he went after the child responsible for his “death,” Andy. The film was not as successful or as well received as the original, but nevertheless, it’s more of the same thing, which isn’t too bad.
Child’s Play 3
Once the third film, Child’s Play 3 arrives in 1991 just a year after the second, the quality seemingly went downhill. The filmmakers thought of more outlandish and illogical ways to revive Chucky, this time around with the blood of the serial killer inhabiting him, Charles Lee Ray.
Somehow, and through corporate greed, the Good Guy (Chucky’s model) doll company managed to mess up badly, leading to the revival of the same psycho doll who’s after Andy again.
Bride of Chucky
The film’s title says it all. Bride of Chucky from 1998 takes the franchise to a whole new different direction- one that involves a romantic and criminally insane equal to Chucky. Turns out, Charles Lee Ray (the serial killer) had a girlfriend named Tiffany who knew he turned into a doll.
Tiffany sought Chucky out and rebuilt him, giving him one of his creepiest appearances ever. As if Chucky couldn’t be creepier than he already is, he now sports stitches on his face. Oh, he also kills his girlfriend by electrocuting her in a bathtub then transfers her soul into a female doll. Twice the fun!
Seed of Chucky
Seed of Chucky from 2004 expands the family tree. Chucky had a “bride” named Tiffany in the previous film; put two and two together and a kid was the next obvious thing coming their way. That kid was named Glen a.k.a. Shitface who became a ventriloquist’s dummy before concluding that he was the son of Chucky and Tiffany.
It’s too bad Glen didn’t have the same demented charm as his father did. In fact, he’s actually quite benevolent here and even wanted both Chucky and Tiffany to stop their murder spree. It’s hilariously self-aware and even makes a joke about itself.
Curse of Chucky
Fast forward nine years later in 2013, a surprisingly good belated sequel to the franchise called Curse of Chucky. After the events of Seed of Chucky, the murder doll somehow finds himself at the hands of another vulnerable and hapless family.
Tiffany is also back here in her blonde psycho role but somehow, Glen is absent. Both Tiffany in her human form and Chucky are back together as partners in their gruesome crimes here as what they really should have been from the start ever since Tiffany was introduced.
Cult of Chucky
Curse of Chucky took the murder doll on a darker turn for the franchise and Cult of Chucky from 2017 continues that trend. Gone are the B-movie shenanigans. Chucky is a lot more sinister here and has more ways (psychologically) or tormenting his victims other than a knife to the face.
Cult also serves as the sequel to Curse and includes familiar faces like an aging Tiffany and even an adult Andy Barclay from the original trilogy. More importantly, this film makes Child’s Play 2019 possible which is essentially a Child’s Play remake of the 1988 film.
Before Chucky took the horror genre playfully, there was Dolls. It was released in 1987, a year before the original Child’s Play movie and basically involves the same premise of dolls coming to life and being violent. However, Dolls handles its show-stealers a little differently than Child’s Play.
Instead of just one killer doll with a somewhat of a personality, the terrors in Dolls are hordes of bloodthirsty constructs and puppets. Apart from their creepy laughter, not much makes them more memorable than Chucky. More than anything, they represent a child’s disdain and hatred for poor parenting.
Dolly Dearest from the year 1991 is essentially a Child’s Play but with a female Chucky instead. Like many horror films involving dolls, the recurrent theme here of bumbling adults is also present, basically symbolically representing many things wrong in the family or parental upbringing.
Dolly Dearest is also quite self-aware and intersperses dark humor along with the usual scares. Give it a try if you prefer a more softcore version of The Exorcist but with Linda Blair as a doll.
Dolls were not really a good medium for horror films in the previous decade (2000-2010). Chucky has already exhaustively done the idea to death. However, one other film that’s not from the Child’s Play franchise had the courage to utilize dolls once again. That film was Dead Silence from the year 2007.
It’s a lot more serious and darker than any film Chucky has been. Dead Silence’s main antagonist was an old ventriloquist lady named Mary Shaw who treats her dolls like children. If you’re patient enough, you’ll be rewarded with a disgusting twist that’s the stuff of nightmares.
James Wan took the horror genre by storm ever since the first Insidious movie. Naturally, he made (or helped make) more horror films and even expanded his own film universe branching out from The Conjuring. Annabelle from 2014 was a commercially successful result of that.
It gave a much-needed spotlight to dolls as horror characters once more but in a more supernatural light. Annabelle, a doll, or rather, a cultist who possessed a doll was a worthy spiritual successor to Chucky. She might not be as vulgar and creative as him, but she’s every bit as spine-chilling.
Annabelle: Creation from 2017 serves as a prequel to the less than well-received Annabelle but manages to cleanse the poor reception to the franchise. It explores the origins of Annabelle herself and how she came to be a doll.
It’s a worthy prequel to the already established spinoff and could easily sate your thirst for more doll-oriented horror films. Even better, there’s not a sequel to 2014’s Annabelle called Annabelle Comes Home– right after Child’s Play 2019 premiered. Prepare your toys, the dolls of horror are ready to play again.
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