Converting a horror property into a TV series is easier said than done. Depending on the length of the episodes, it can be difficult to maintain tension. The Chucky series found success by leaning into the subversive lore early. It became a show that celebrated camp but often ran into repetitive plot. After all, we’ve already seen Chucky (Brad Dourif) murder unsuspecting owners many times. However, Season 3 of Chucky represents a new milestone for the series. With a much higher body count and actually subverting expectations, it’s a soaring triumph this time around.
After the events of Season 2, Chucky goes into hiding. However, his hiding place owns a legacy unlike many residences: The White House. Henry (Callum Vinson) – the son of President Collins (Devon Sawa) – finds the doll and brings him home. When Jake (Zachary Arthur), Devon (Björgvin Arnarson), and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) discover his new whereabouts, they desperately search for a way to kill him. Meanwhile, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) stands trial – as Jennifer Tilly – for murder.
The story with the kids and legacy cast had grown tiresome. Worst of all, it grew too lore-heavy and insular over last season. It resulted in an Avengers-style team-up of all the characters from the show and movies coming together for an anticlimactic finale. While longtime fans of the franchise were undoubtedly rewarded, it alienated other audiences. Season 3 gives audiences a near clean slate while still paying off big moments of fan service. In this regard, it’s the best of both worlds.
The show gets considerably funnier as the mostly new cast allows audiences a new ramp into the series. The kills are violent as hell while being extremely creative to Chucky as a franchise. Most important of all, many of them force us to embrace the stakes of the deaths. This is not simply for show, but instead heavily plays into the evolving narrative.
Dourif and Tilly remain excellent, as always. Sawa plays his version of an Independent in the Oval Office by poking fun at both sides of the aisle. Lara Jean Chorostecki returns with another intricate role, proving her unbalanced nun from last season was just a glimpse into her potential. She’s got a more complete character arc over the first part of this season, and she’s one to keep an eye on how she evolves.
Lind continues to stand out from the teen storyline and, after the events of the second season, grapples with her emotions. It’s a nice shift from the drug storyline last season, and Lind makes her character’s determination shine. A bevy of guest stars shines in bit and recurring parts. It’s nice to see a mix of new characters in the show that excels.
Ultimately, your feelings for Chucky will likely align with your feelings toward the movies. Either you are into the meta-comedy, or you’re not. With a higher body count than in previous seasons, Chucky embraces its slasher roots. Yet it’s still leaning on comedy above all to keep us hooked. While this season is a noticeable improvement over the previous two seasons, despite losing its camp and LGBTQ+ elements. Your ability to hang with it may depend on your fandom. Still, if you’ve been on the fence, there are enough new characters to dive in fresh.