It took a hurricane in Southern California to make me sacrifice the sleep essential to binge the complete Baby’s Play and Chucky franchise in a single weekend—a vital a part of getting ready myself to face my largest childhood concern as a part of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando.
That’s proper, the not possible lastly occurred—no, not the hurricane in LA, however my inevitable confrontation with Chucky the killer doll. Horror is certainly one of my biggest loves in all of its sub-genre goodness; slashers, physique horror, discovered footage, folks, paranormal, witchcraft, and clowns—I’m completely okay with all of these. Dolls? I’d run screaming like I did once I was three or 4 years previous and was made to sit down by way of Tom Holland’s Baby’s Play. I had teen cousins who’d placed on horror movies after they’d get caught with the littles at household events. Oddly sufficient, after they placed on Faces of Demise I used to be positive, however Chucky? The second that babysitter flew out of the window, Don Mancini’s creation (memorably voiced by Brad Dourif) saved my dad and mom cash, as a result of from then on they by no means had to purchase me any porcelain dolls, picket puppets, or big-eyed plastic infants. Barbies and small-scaled Disney Princesses just for me!
Through the years I’d dodged Chucky at Halloween Horror Nights; he had a piece in a pair Titans of Terror homes and studio tour experiences that I’d run by way of with my eyes closed. Even exterior of hang-out occasions or Halloween, I’d need to combat the urge to drop-kick anybody dressed as Chucky. Oddly, sufficient I did handle to look at Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky in an try and recover from my concern, for the reason that franchise was leaning into extra of the darkish comedic horror route at that time, however it didn’t fairly work. The nightmares would return, at all times those the place I’m operating from Chucky in a trash landfill or in my childhood house the place he’d be sitting nonetheless and abruptly he’d be beneath the mattress.
It was ridiculous, I’ll admit, however issues modified when The Conjuring universe’s Annabelle got here alongside. Instantly I might deal with the horror of dolls within the sense that they appeared to be the one scary motion pictures that might frighten me in a enjoyable method. The remainder of the horror style I merely simply loved and typically would get spooked (because of Faces of Demise, I suppose). Then got here M3gan, Akela Cooper’s hilarious and violent AI bestie nightmare, which actually turned issues round to the purpose the place I stan our dancing homosexual icon. So when Chucky introduced his haunted home at Common Studios Halloween Horror Nights final fall, I figured why not lastly face the doll that began all of it.
That was a yr in the past—and positive, I did postpone the binge till my house in Los Angeles was beneath a large hurricane alert that I used to be so anxious over I thought-about asking my physician to up my Lexapro dose. Perhaps turning to horror was a method to assist me deal with the unimaginable because it had been all my life. Fortuitously, the hurricane ended up not being such a giant deal as soon as it made landfall—however channeling that stress into specializing in overcoming my concern of Chucky ended up being actually enjoyable. The unique Baby’s Play is a stone chilly horror movie with the stress and divulges simply ramping up act by act. Funnily sufficient, I did discover myself recognizing tics I developed, like being afraid of sitting within the passenger seat whereas nobody was within the backseat at the hours of darkness (Chucky is so nifty at moving into automobiles), or venturing too near home windows whereas babysitting, or the overall dread of getting my soul taken by any doll. (One of many first shorts my husband and I bonded over was Rodrigo Blaas’ Alma due to that shared concern. I feel that’s the final time I used to be actually scared by a doll movie.)
The remainder of the Baby’s Play motion pictures hit the horror sequel notes as anticipated, however it was Mancini’s Bride of Chucky-to-Chucky-the-series pipeline that made me a giant fan. Me? Thirty years after Chucky ruined my sleep as a baby, ruined toy retailer aisles, and ruined the notion of sporting stripes with overalls. Instantly, I discovered Chucky and Tiffany’s demented household endearing, and fell in love with Glen/Glenda; I additionally loved the meta nature of the movies which arrange their very own enjoyable universe guidelines. Jennifer Tilly as herself and Tiffany is a tour-de-force in each film and episode the style queen exhibits up in. And the brand new children within the Syfy’s Chucky sequence have additionally gained my coronary heart. The present has such an outlined aesthetic (with massive Hannibal vibes, a sequence Mancini labored on with Bryan Fuller) and singular tone, pushed by Mancini’s deft dealing with of its darkly comedic horror and fulfilling mythology call-backs and set ups. I like it and might’t look ahead to season three next month.
So all in all you’d assume I used to be prepared proper? Properly, final week through the opening of Halloween Horror Nights at Common Studios Orlando, I used to be invited out to go to the occasion and skilled Chucky: Final Kill Rely, Common’s haunted home celebrating Chucky’s iconic kills all through his franchise and within the present. Taking a web page out of the sequence’ premise—what if Chucky might put his soul in multiple doll?—you’re led by way of a home stuffed with screen-accurate Chucky doll assaults and encounters that left me reeling, laughing, and screaming.
Right here’s the video with some home spoilers for HHN Orlando (strobe mild warning for individuals who are delicate):
So there you’ve it! I didn’t shut my eyes and did face Charles Lee Ray head on. Did he get me? Clearly, sure. Am I afraid once more? Hardly (possibly she’s born with it, possibly it’s Lexapro). Would I personal a Chucky doll? Nah, greatest I can do is a Hi there Kitty Chucky plush. Are Chucky and I pals until the tip? Provided that I can carry him down with me, after all. Let’s see if I conquer spherical two at Common Studios Hollywood’s HHN Chucky home, which I’ll be testing later this week.
When you’re a fan of Chucky and reserving a visit out to Common Studios Orlando for Horror Nights, make sure to take a look at Chucky’s Twisted Playground on the mid-century impressed Cabana Bay Resort, open to visitors staying there for his or her HHN journeys.
Right here’s a gallery of that have and a have a look at the theme park Chucky treats yow will discover throughout HHN.