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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

“Chucky” Season 2 Premiere Pays Tribute to Slashers and Lays Story Groundwork [Review]

“Chucky” is back and just in time for Halloween! Season two picks up a year after the inaugural season’s events, ensuring that peace was short-lived for its young protagonists. The season premiere, “Halloween II,” evokes the Halloween spirit with its holiday setting and infectious callbacks to other slashers. That energy helps in getting reacquainted with the series’ characters as they transition into the next chapter.

Previously on fucking “Chucky,” Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur), Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson) survived a blood bath in the town’s local cinema. Jake succeeded in destroying the iteration of the killer doll that tormented him all season, while franchise stalwart Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) skipped town in a truck full of possessed Good Guy dolls. Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and Chucky (Brad Dourif) have amassed a Good Guy doll army, though, and refuse to have their plans derailed without a body count.

“Halloween II” looks at how the characters have fared in the year since. Jake now lives with a foster family, with an adorable younger brother obsessed with Batman and Robin. He and Devon are still exploring the possibilities of a long-distance relationship, while Lexy’s trauma manifests in anxiety and destructive vices. But this is a series about Chucky, and the trio soon find themselves again plagued by the pint-sized killer.

Chucky Season 2 premiere review

CHUCKY — “Halloween II” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Björgvin Arnarson as Devon Evans, Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler, Alyvia Alyn Lind as Lexy Cross — (Photo by: Rafy/SYFY)

The premiere focuses on Jake, Devon, and Lexy, examining who they are in the aftermath of tragedy and setting the stage for them in future episodes. While Jake and Devon have become more confident and secure, Lexy quietly spirals. There’s lingering trauma and unfinished business from the premiere’s outset, which gets complicated in unexpected ways as it progresses. By the end of the episode, the core trio’s tenuous grasp on their reality gets upended as a new reality is introduced. One that involves our favorite killer doll.

That killer spirit and sense of humor ease us through the growing pains. Only two seasons in, showrunner Don Mancini has officially locked Halloween-themed episodes into a requisite holiday tradition. “Chucky” brings an always welcome spooky mischievousness to trick or treating once more. “Halloween II,” if the title wasn’t a dead giveaway, lovingly pays homage to horror, too.

Chucky stalks Jake slowly at first, throwing him off with prank calls. “Is Tamara home?” Jake doesn’t make the connection that it’s an iconic movie quote. He doesn’t yet realize that it’s a threat, one made humorous for horror fans by Chucky referencing The Strangers. But that precise type of zinger demonstrates the show’s almost meta-writing and pitch-black humor. It’s as much a love letter to horror fans as the genre itself.

The series premiere makes for a welcome return, yet only a toe dip into the new season. There are major upheavals and much forward momentum for its central protagonists, and “Halloween II” wisely keeps its focus simplified. Some doors get slammed shut abruptly, and other characters remain out of sight for the time being. Nica (Fiona Dourif) has gotten so tangled in Tiffany’s web that addressing that even slightly here might’ve overcomplicated the joyous and insane return of “Chucky.” But it ensures that we can’t wait to find out where she’s been and where Jake, Devon, and Lexy could go from here.

“Chucky” Season 2 premieres October 5 on SYFY and USA.

The post “Chucky” Season 2 Premiere Pays Tribute to Slashers and Lays Story Groundwork [Review] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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