**½/**** Image A Sound A- Extras B+
starring Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, Maitland McConnell, Brad Dourif
written and directed by Don Mancini
by Bryant Frazer Say what you will about the Child's Play movies, but don't accuse franchise creator Don Mancini of being a hack. Sure, his Chucky, a walking-and-talking "Good Guy doll" possessed by the soul of a serial killer, is a steal. Nothing original about it. Chucky is a foul-mouthed iteration of creepy Toys "R" Us killers from any number of horror films--most of them dating to Cavalcanti's famous segment from 1945's Dead of Night, though another key influence was the notoriously pants-wetting 1975 TV movie Trilogy of Terror, with its murderous Zuni fetish doll sharing the screen with a terrified Karen Black. But something about Mancini's formulation clicked with Fright Night director Tom Holland, and the 1988 Child's Play, which detailed Chucky's origin story and pitted him against a young boy, was a low-budget success that naturally demanded sequels. Mancini remained on board as screenwriter as two more directors took on two more Child's Play entries. After 1991's Child's Play 3, the character seemed played-out, but Mancini successfully resurrected him with the tongue-in-cheek Bride of Chucky, which brought Jennifer Tilly into the fold along with director Ronny Yu, and Mancini finally took the directorial reins himself with the even more broadly comic Seed of Chucky, which numbered Britney Spears and Martha Stewart among its victims.