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living with chucky

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‘Living With Chucky’ review: Love letter to ‘Child’s Play’ an insightful watch

The family that slays together, stays together.

Living With Chucky is a documentary that explores one of horror’s most interesting franchises. Along with several movies, Child’s Play has been the source for a television series, video games, and of course, a reboot. There is easily a lot of material for a documentary to dive into. Especially when one of the filmmakers is the daughter of the of special effects designer Tony Gardner who worked on Seed of Chucky. 

Almost as if by rule, horror documentaries tend to be very long. Considering that a successful horror series will span numerous sequels and/or spinoffs and prequels over the span of decades, this is not very surprising. As scary movies go, Living With Chucky is a little long. (Horror is one of the few remaining genres that consistently tells a tight story in a 90 minute timeframe.) Still, it clocks it at under two hours, so is not the meticulous examination of the Chucky movies fans may want to see.

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Living With Chucky goes through the films quickly, but it has more emotion than similar documentaries. Those take an almost scholarly approach to their subjects. Writers Kyra Elise Gardner and Jason Strickland are more casual. This is more of a love letter than a study. This contributes to the overall feel of the documentary. Everyone interviewed is a part of the “Chucky” family and it comes across.

'Living With Chucky' review: Love letter to 'Child's Play' an insightful watch

This does not mean it does not have anything to say. Using interviews and clips, Living With Chucky talks about how the story came about, behind the scenes footage, and  how the movies have evolved over time. The portions about LGBTQ representation are particularly interesting. As a whole, horror has a checkered history with its handling of the queer community. Creator Don Mancini’s experience as a gay man shaped the original Child’s Play and is an important part of the Chucky television series. Overall, this is fans and non-fans should enjoy this.

Living With Chucky is screening at Popcorn Frights

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