The killer Good Guy reaches the Oval Office in the bloody third season of the horror comedy series.
PLOT: In Chucky’s unending thirst for power, season 3 now sees Chucky ensconced with the most powerful family in the world — America’s First Family, inside the infamous walls of the White House. How did Chucky wind up here? What in God’s name does he want? And how can Jake, Devon, and Lexy possibly get to Chucky inside the world’s most secure building, all while balancing the pressures of romantic relationships and growing up? Meanwhile, Tiffany faces a looming crisis of her own as the police close in on her for “Jennifer Tilly’s” murderous rampage last season.
REVIEW: Chucky‘s reign of small-screen terror has been a surprising success for two seasons in a row. Fans have delighted in the diminutive doll’s murderous spree around Hackensack, New Jersey, which saw the return of many characters from the original franchise. Deepening the backstory of Charles Lee Ray while presenting Chucky with a trio of teen adversaries, Don Mancini’s series has revitalized the Child’s Play franchise for a new generation. Now, Chucky finds his way to the most famous residence on the planet: The White House. Season 3 of Chucky follows in the footsteps of famous slasher franchises that have taken their villain out of their comfort zone and put them in new digs. But, whereas some killers have ventured to Manhattan, the Hood, and even Space, Chucky goes toe to toe with the First Family of the United States. The result is a season that is just as bloody as the first two, even if the schtick begins to wear a bit thin.
While the first season was set mostly in Hackensack and the second shifted to the Catholic School of the Incarnate Lord, the third finds Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur), Devon Evans (Bjorgvin Arnarson), and Lexy Cross (Alyvia Alyn Lind) living with their former teacher Rachel Fairchild (Annie M. Briggs) as they try to find normalcy after seemingly all Good Guy dolls were destroyed in the season two finale. Because Chucky is not easy to kill, the murderous doll has found its way into the hands of young Henry Collins (Callum Vinson), the son of the newly elected President of the United States, James Collins (Devon Sawa). Reeling from the death of his brother, Henry calls his doll Joseph and brings him everywhere, including the Oval Office. When Jake, Devon, and Lexy find out Chucky is alive, they must go to DC to stop the monster toy. This affords a lot of political humor coupled with some of the gnarliest kills to date in this series and brings Chucky to a setting we have never seen him in before.
When reviewing Chucky, you must suspend all logic. This is a story about a killer doll that comes to life and brutally murders people. To apply any sense to the proceedings is futile and detracts from the enjoyment of the bloodbath unfolding on the screen. The first two seasons of Chucky came with questionable acting as most of the cast ham it up to keep in line with Brad Dourif’s zany voice work. Having the most fun are Jennifer Tilly in a very meta performance as Tiffany Valentine cosplaying as Jennifer Tilly and Devon Sawa as multiple characters. In the first season, Sawa played Jake’s father and uncle, and then he portrayed a priest in season two. Taking on the role of the President provides his least oddball role but one of his best in the series. This season brings back multiple actors in new roles, including Lara Jean Chorostecki and Michael Therriault, along with cameos from SNL‘s Sarah Sherman and Kenan Thompson and actress Nia Vardalos.
The four episodes available for this review all have titles paying homage to movies, including Murder at 1600, Let the Right One In, Jennifer’s Body, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The third episode focuses primarily on Jennifer Tilly’s subplot and is the best work the actress has done on this series to date. The other three episodes focus the bloodshed on major money shot moments, of which the first two episodes boast the most brutal kills we have yet to see on Chucky. The bloodshed is so over the top that it never comes across as realistic or believable, but that lends to the fun of this series as a perfectly timed celebration of spooky season. While the third season dives further into the over-the-top elements of the story, the narrative feels closer to the original Child’s Play plot focused on a young child in need of a friend. They tried to add Lexy’s sister Caroline as a surrogate for this in the first two seasons, but she was hard to like. Young Henry this season is a much better fit for the story, even if it would be impossible for so many brutal murders to occur in the world’s most secure residence.
Don Mancini returns for the third season and shares writing duties on the premiere episode and the fourth chapter. As I mentioned before, you must suspend all disbelief this season, as the characters’ actions make little sense outside of facilitating a killing frenzy for Chucky himself. Even in the new locale, Chucky continues to use the same formula of people haplessly dying and then becoming befuddled at how the crimes could occur. Most of the episode focuses on glances at the Good Guy doll as Chucky surreptitiously moves, winks, or chuckles. As the teen protagonists investigate, Chucky works his way towards a showcase murder that wraps the episode before repeating the same steps in the next entry. As fun as this initially seems, the repetitive nature wears thin after a few hours. If Chucky were comprised of half-hour episodes or mixed things up a bit more, the series might feel fresher, but the third time around gives me the feeling that the novelty of this show may be wearing thin.
Chucky’s third season is a fun horror romp that delivers some brutal kills and cheeky dialogue from Brad Dourif’s now iconic performance. While Jennifer Tilly and Devon Sawa continue to be the MVPs of this series, Chucky is starting to feel a little been there, done that. I would love to see this series pivot to an all-new group of characters rather than continuing the Jake, Devon, and Lexy narrative, as three years may be the most for these actors. I had hoped the DC setting would be enough of a boost, but as fun as Chucky is, I am starting to get bored with the same old thing. There are worse ways to spend your October weeknights than seeing Chucky slice and dice his way through our Nation’s Capital, but I wish I could be more enthusiastic.
The third season of Chucky premieres on October 4th on SyFy and USA.