Charles Lee Ray – psychopath, serial killer, amateur occultist… surprisingly tolerant father figure? With the second episode of Chucky, the diminutive slasher’s nurturing instincts come to the forefront. We already saw a whole other side to Chucky in Seed of Chucky, and that returns with a (bloody) vengeance in ‘Give Me Something Good to Eat.’
The second episode finds Jake (Zackary Arthur) hunkered down at his uncle and aunt’s (Devon Sawa, Lexa Doig), following the death of his father (also Devon Sawa) in the previous episode. In a remarkably expedited bit of storytelling, Jake already knows exactly who and what Chucky is – having watched him murder dear old dad with his very own eyes. Thanks to Chucky’s antics at the school talent show, Jake is now the talk of school, and finds himself invited to a Halloween party with the other popular kids. Unfortunately, with Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) also on the guest list, this spells trouble for Jake in more ways than one. With Chucky positioning himself as Jake’s ally and protector, Lexy is already on the killer’s hit list. As she steps up her bullying campaign against Jake, for how much longer can he bring himself to protect her against Chucky?
The pair’s dynamic is an interesting one, reminiscent of Freddy and Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, or even a platonic Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. The Hannibal vibes thrum in the background of this episode, and especially in the set design of Jake’s bedroom and its funky, Kubrick-ian wallpaper. Chucky may be a surprisingly accepting mentor slash father figure (“I’m not a monster, Jake,” he says, while referencing his own genderfluid child), but that won’t stand in the way of his sick games.
Chucky’s barely been in the Wheeler household a couple of days before he gets to work murdering the maid and beating up on poor Jake. Some may have expected the Chucky TV series to eke out its scares, but ‘Give Me Something Good to Eat’ isn’t stingy with the goods.
Only two episodes in, and already we have Chucky roaming the neighbourhood (in an adorable Hello Kitty mask, no less) and gate-crashing Halloween parties. Like the showrunners of Ash vs Evil Dead, Don Mancini and the team know what the people want – and aren’t shy on delivering it. As with 2013’s Curse of Chucky, it starts out as a seemingly simple property reboot, before very quickly pivoting back to the status quo.
Familiar as its story may be, the intricacies are new, inclusive and fresh – and already, there’s plenty of Brad Dourif, whose Chucky voice continues to age like a fine wine. ‘Give Me Something Good to Eat’ is a marvellous treat for long-time fans and newcomers alike; should it carry on this road, Chucky could be the best horror TV show since Ash vs Evil Dead, or even the mighty Hannibal.