Before Annabelle and Jigsaw, there was Chucky. The original Child’s Play movie was about an infamous murderer named Chucky who prolonged his life (and heinous deeds) by transferring his soul into a Good Guy doll, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting kids.
Originally, the 1988 movie contained more psychological elements and was a whodunnit mystery featuring a boy-who-cried-wolf plot. When the movie didn’t work, franchise creator Don Mancini proposed that the doll be possessed by a serial killer — and it was the final element needed to make this movie the stuff of nightmares.
From movies to comics to video games, this once-dark-now-campy franchise always attempting to remain relevant. As the series progressed, Chucky movies stepped further and further away from the psychological aspects and focused on slasher jump scares, satire and even (briefly) comedy.
Everyone’s favorite demon doll saw seven sequels before the 2019 reboot. In over 30 years, the Child’s Play franchise has garnered over $200 million, and there are several future projects still to come.
Here is how to watch all the Child’s Play and Chucky movies in order:
Chucky was initially voiced by the iconic Brad Douri (who also appears in films like the 1984 Dune and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). Catherine Hicks and Alex Vincent also starred in this horror classic.
Directing the movie was American screenwriter Tom Holland. No, not the Spider-Man actor (who wasn’t even born until 1996). The director was the mind behind Right Night in 1985. John Lafia joined creator Mancini and Holland in writing the script that brought this high-concept horror film to life.
At death’s doorstep while in a toy store, notorious murderer Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into a Good Guy doll. Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) shoots and almost kills him, but Chucky slowly begins to plot his revenge.
Unwittingly, the doll is purchased by mom Karen Barclay (Hicks), and she gifts it to her child, Andy (Vincent). Once people start dying, Andy and his mother called insane for believing a toy was behind the homicides, and they’re left to fend for themselves as Karen tries to save her son.
At this point, Universal Pictures bought the rights to the franchise from United Artists — and after the success of the first film, the studio asked the original creators to continue the story. Lafia took over as director and cowrote the sequel with Mancini.
The film finds Andy in a foster home, two years after the initial incident. Chucky is reincarnated at a toy factory and begins his hunt for the boy. Andy’s foster sister, Kyle (Christine Elise), does her best to protect poor Andy, but the adults of the world don’t believe them once again.
Director Jack Bender takes the helm for the franchise’s third outing, with Mancini penning the screenplay. This is the last of the official Child’s Play trilogy and the final film to hold the Child’s Play name — although Chucky’s story would continue for more than a decade after its release.
When traumatized teen Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin) goes off to military school, he finally believes he is rid of the torments of his past. His mother is still in a psychiatric hospital, and he is away from his foster family.
Of course, this poor kid can’t catch a break, and the Chucky doll returns after a doll factory decides to use some old (haunted) parts to make new toys.
In this film, Andy takes matters into his own hands. He attempts to stop Chucky from his killing spree once and for all, with the help of some friends and a conveniently-located carnival.
This is the first film to step away from the darkness of the Chucky universe and instead lean into a more satirical bent. Ronny Yu directs this fourth part of the franchise, once again with a story from Mancini. The sequel is far removed from the first trilogy, however, released seven years after Child’s Play 3.
This movie steps away from Andy and instead focuses on the killer dolls slashing their way through each scene. Tiffany, Chucky’s ex-girlfriend (Jennifer Tilly), resurrects him. She isoodoo turned into a doll via voodoo magic after Chucky kills her, and they attempt to find an amulet that can return them to their human forms.
In 2004, Mancini finally takes the director’s chair in a sequel distributed by Rogue Pictures, which was owned by Universal’s Focus Features at the time.
Dourif and Tilly reprise their roles as Chucky and Tiffany Valentine, and the movie follows their child, Glen/Glenda (Billy Boyd), a ventriloquist dummy. When he hears of a Hollywood movie coming out about his parents, he realizes he wants to get to know them, so he resurrects them.
To his horror, they begin murdering people … and to Chucky and Tiffany’s horror, Glen doesn’t.
Mancini continued his reign as director and screenwriter nine years later in a straight-to-DVD sequel.
To give you an idea of just how long this franchise has been around, Dourif’s daughter, Fiona Douristars alongside her father as Nica Pierce in this Child’s Play installment.
Chucky is once again out for revenge, so when he mysteriously arrives in the mail at the Pierce house, the family’s lives turn upside-down. The evil doll kills most of the family in the movie’s first moments, and Nica has to fight for her life while unpacking some repressed childhood trauma regarding her former neighbor, the serial killer Charles Lee Ray.
Aside from the TV series, this Chucky movie is the final entry in Mancini’s Child’s Play universe. Cult of Chucky again is headed by Mancini, and this movie went directly to Blu-Ray and DVD. The Dourifs, Tilly and Vincent all come back to reprise their roles.
As if Nica hasn’t gone through enough, the government pins her family’s deaths on her. She is imprisoned at an asylum, and Chucky comes for her once again. But this time … there’s more than one Chucky, and he also wants to kill the boy who started it all: Andy Barclay.
This 2019 MGM reboot, directed by Lars Klevbegstarred Aubrey Plaza and Mark Hamill. In the first and only movie without Dourif in the role of Chucky, Hamill takes on the voice of the iconic character, putting a new spin on an old classic.
In this new era, Chucky is an artificial intelligence-powered Buddi doll with an attitude problem — no serial killer possession here! Transforming this series from fantasy horror to sci-fi slasher, this modernization of the concept hits the same beats as the original early on. However, instead of letting the adults save the day, it’s Andy and the neighborhood kids who come face-to-face with evil.
Outside of the well-known franchise flicks, the Syfy network released a Chucky TV series that exposes the secrets of a fictional American town to explore Chucky’s origins. Several cast members, including Dourif and Tilly, reprise their roles, and a second season is set to debut in 2022.