living with chucky 2022.
Directed by Kyra Elise Gardner.
Starring Don Mancini, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif.
A filmmaker who grew up with Chucky, the killer doll, searches for the other families that surround the Child’s play movies as they recount their experiences working on the ongoing franchise and what it means to be a part of the “Chucky family.”
Kyra Gardner, daughter of Child’s play The series’ lead puppeteer, Tony Gardner, directs this passionately, though admittedly not complete, travel documentary through the franchise from inception to the present. Refreshingly free of structural complications, Gardner’s film reviews the first seven films in the series in chronological order, recounting the ups and downs, but mostly the ups, of each shoot.
As part of the “Chucky family,” Gardner has gained access to the most prominent figures involved in the franchise, including creator Don Mancini, stars Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, Christine Elise and Billy Boyd, and a broader genre. figures like Lin Shaye, Abigail Breslin, John Waters and Marlon Wayans.
living with chucky succinctly contextualizes how the series began, carving out a niche when several other prominent horror franchises were running out of steam, while noting how Mancini’s original concepts morphed into something more mainstream-friendly.
However, what Gardner conveys best in reviewing the production of each film is the sheer technical complexity of making Chucky (Dourif) himself, due to the predominant focus on practical effects. Even as more recent direct-to-VOD entries have slashed budgets to difficult levels, the series has maintained a practical emphasis as that remains the cornerstone of its appeal. Between the excellent work of Tony Gardner and original Chucky designer and puppeteer Kevin Yagher, Chucky has retained a primal bondage that simply cannot be replicated digitally.
Gardner also astutely considers the campier divergences of the series, particularly in bride of chucky Y seed of chuckywhere Tiffany (Tilly) helped breathe new life into the IP, before Seed It broke new ground by introducing Chucky and Tiffany’s gender-fluid child, Glen/Glenda (Boyd), even if the latter film failed to connect at the box office. However, today, the series is arguably in better health than ever; Worship Y Damn It garnered the best reviews for the series despite earlier theatrical releases, and the current television series has managed to successfully tie in the various “epochs” of Chucky while also proving a hit with fans and critics alike.
However, it’s fair to say that the document isn’t split between movies anywhere near equally; child’s play 3for example, easily the most maligned entry in the series, it gets basically a passing mention for a few minutes, and perhaps unsurprisingly, not a single reference is made to the existence of the 2019 remake.
Yet this is editorially fluid work that bounces between cast and crew interviews, rarely seen behind-the-scenes footage like a killer glimpse of Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly recording their lines together, and cute B-roll footage a measure. of a Chucky doll being assembled (reminiscent of the opening titles of child’s play 3).
The final third jumps back to insert Gardner herself into the documentary, a decision that might seem self-serving if Gardner’s formative years weren’t so clearly defined by the Chucky franchise and his father’s work on it. Although this segment diverts the focus from a more direct examination of the series as a whole, it remains a fervent tribute to both Gardner’s father and the family-oriented nature of the series’ main cast and crew.
leaving living with chuckyit’s easy to see how this could have expanded into a longer format mega-doc project along the lines of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy either crystal lake memoriesAnd while it leaves you wanting more meat on your bones, it’s still a worthy effort that provides an intriguing context to the legendary horror franchise.
While far from authoritative, this concise and consistently entertaining retrospective should be an easy proposition for Chucky fans.
Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
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