Living with Chucky

Living with Chucky
Original title:Living with Chucky
Director:Kyra Elise Gardner
Running time:100 minutes
Release date:18 april 2023
Lorsqu'une poupée d'enfant a été possédée par l'âme d'un tueur en série en 1988, Chucky s'est frayé un chemin à travers l'écran et est devenu l'un des bouchers de films d'horreur les plus terrifiants et les plus appréciés des années 80. Aujourd'hui, avec huit films à son actif et une série télévisée en cours de diffusion, Chucky est prêt pour son prochain projet : un documentaire sur son héritage.

Mulder's Review

"A filmmaker explores the relationships between the families at home and the families onset of making the child's play films" - Kyra Gardner

For her first documentary film, the young director Kyra Elise Gardner offers a truly unforgettable journey into the world of the psychopathic doll Chucky and revisits both the numerous films of the official film saga and the new cult series.

Chucky is the main character of the Child's Play horror film franchise. The official film saga consists of seven films (Child's Play (1988), Child's Play 2 (1990), Child's Play 3 (1991), Bride of Chucky (1998), Seed of Chucky (2004), Curse of Chucky (2013), Cult of Chucky (2017)) and a series whose season 2 begins on October 5 on Syfy and USA Network. To this must be added a reboot released in 2019 bearing the title Child's Play. Chucky also appeared briefly in Steven Spielberg's film Ready Player One (2018).  Chucky is the reincarnation in the official film saga of Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) a serial killer as dangerous as he is vicious. The character has become one of the icons of horror alongside Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers 

Living with Chucky allows us to learn more about the origins of Chucky, notably through several interviews with the main protagonists of this saga, including Don Mancini, Brad and Fiona Dourif and Jennifer Tilly. Kyra Elise Gardner is the daughter of Tony Gardner, one of the supervisors of the visual effects of Chucky and the most able to offer a real journey back in time around the films of the saga and the series. Kyra Elise Gardner has indeed grown up with Chucky since her childhood and was able to have access to many images of the shootings and especially to meet the emblematic people of the universe of Chucky. While many documentaries lack originality and especially rhythm, Kyra Elise Gardner's first film is fascinating because it allows us to learn more about Chucky and to reveal many anecdotes and challenges encountered to bring this cult character to life.

This film also allows us to better understand how the different films, despite their violence and gory effects, have been able to address social issues and show an omnipresent humor thanks to the careful dialogues and scenarios able to transcend the horror genre and to impose themselves as one of the most appreciated cinematographic sagas by the spectators. Kyra Elise Gardner also shows in her film that at many conventions in the United States many people have brought this evil doll into their lives. The fact that many brands of toys such as Mezco, Neca, Hot toys has also allowed Chucky to remain in the memories since its first appearance in 1988.

Another important axis of the film is to show the evolution of special effects to give life to Chucky. Each of the films treated allows us to see how the animatronics developed and Kyra Elise Gardner's father, Tony Gardner, had an important role in this cinematographic saga as a special effects designer from the fourth film Seed of Chucky. Kyra Elise Gardner quickly saw Chucky as a member of her family as he was omnipresent in her world. Living with Chucky thus becomes a celebration of Chucky and not a simple retrospective with no real contribution. Another originality of the film concerns the long interview with Fiona Dourif and her father. Chucky also occupied an important place in her childhood as well as now since Curse of Chucky she occupies an important place in the films and the series.

Living with Chucky is one of the best documentaries of this year, if not the best one dedicated to one of the cult characters of the movie world. Kyra Elise Gardner's talent as a director and editor is certainly visible on the screen, making this film a must-see for all fans like us of this diabolical doll, often imitated but never equaled.

Living with Chucky 
Written, produced, editor and directed by Kyra Elise Gardner
Starring Abigail Breslin, Adam Hurtig, Alex Vincent, Billy Boyd, Christine Elise McCarthy, Dan Povenmire, David Kirschner, Don Mancini, Elle Lorraine, Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, James A. Janisse, Jennifer Tilly, John Waters, Kyra Gardner, Lin Shaye, Marlon Wayans, Tony Gardner, Tony Timpone, Josh Schneider, Day Blackmon, Frank Minaya, Anne Richardson Collection
Music by Jerry Lambert
Cinematography : Scott Marino 
Distributed by Yellow Veil Pictures
Release date : NC
Running time : 100 minutes

Seen on September 16, 2022 (press screener)

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