Living with Chucky (2022)

Director Kyra Elise Gardner’s “Living with Chucky” is a great summarizing of the entire movie series that started from its humble origins, and then explores the reboot which saw the emergence of a new dawn for the series. It’s interesting and garners some unique anecdotes from its cast and crew. There’s a lot of good information and nuggets of wisdom to be mined with “Living with Chucky” and for a one hundred minute movie, it’s sad that it only kicks in in the last twenty five minutes or so.

“Living with Chucky” takes an in-depth look at the groundbreaking “Child’s Play” franchise from the perspective of a filmmaker who grew up within it. Featuring interviews with cast and crew such as Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, creator Don Mancini, and many more crew members, this personal film recounts the dedication, creativity and sacrifice that went into making the franchise and its long-lasting impact on the horror community.

I don’t know if it was lack of content, or confusion about the intentions of the film, but Kyra Elise Gardner’s movie feels confused from the very beginning. A lot of “Living with Chucky,” we were told, was going to be more of a recollection of what it was like living with a father who worked on the series, and in Hollywood. But really that comes off as more of a footnote. It’s a shame because director Gardner has a golden opportunity by connecting with Fiona Dourif. Dourif is of course the daughter of “Child’s Play” star and icon Brad Dourif, so I felt like there could have been so much more material based around living with father’s ingrained in the Hollywood system.

What they learned from their dads, their ideas about filmmaking, their regrets, their whole mind set about sometimes taking a back seat to the craft could have amounted to a very intimate film. “Living with Chucky” is by no means a bad movie, when you get down to it. If you’re a fan of the “Child’s Play” franchise this movie will satisfy your appetite for knowledge of the filmmaking process and their general ideas in conceiving Chucky. I was just confused most of the time, as I was certain I’d be investing in a documentary about being the child of a Hollywood effects artist and how that affected director Gardner.

Truth be told about eighty percent of the movie is running down the complete series, and then diving in to how the experience with Chucky affected Kyra Elise Gardner. The movie really gets engaging once we’re let in closer and watch people like Fiona Dourif and Don Mancini get so much more vulnerable. There are even some good interviews with Alex Vincent, and Abigail Breslin, both of whom could lend immense insight about being children in Hollywood. As a horror documentary “Living with Chucky” is a perfectly fine recounting of the series for fans. As an intimate take on growing up with the Good Guy Doll, though, I wanted so much more.

Premiering on the horror streaming service SCREAMBOX, and on all major digital platforms on April 4th in the US & Canada. The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray will also be released on April 18th and made available in the US & Canada.