Warning: This post contains spoilers for Chucky season 1, episode 1.
Chucky episode 1 saw the iconic villain unleash his unique brand of horror in Hackensack, New Jersey – here’s why he chose that city and how it relates to his origins. Since Don Mancini created him in 1988, Brad Dourif has expressed that Chucky has stumbled through various places. In its human form, the serial killer was christened Lakeshore Strangler and terrorized Chicago for years. After Charles Lee Ray transferred to a doll in Childish, he retained the same stomping grounds for a few more excursions before moving on. Chucky subsequently targeted a distant military academy in Children’s play 3, took a road trip in Break by Chucky, and then re-emerged in Los Angeles for Seeds of Chucky.
After a long hiatus, the title puppet returned to the 2013s curse of Chucky. When he went on a more centralized murder spree, he picked up the extended Pierce family solely within the confines of their home. Cult of Chucky followed a similar formula in which the killer doll terrorized the patients and staff at Harrogate Psychiatric Hospital. With the end of Cult of Chucky, Put Mancini directly on Chucky. In the process, he promised a much wider playground for each and every one of Chucky’s film forms to inhabit and unleash chaos.
With Chucky season 1, episode 1, “Death By Misadventure”, the program has already begun to live up to that promise. That Childish The franchise has been marked by frequent reinventions and tone changes, so the choice to move to Hackensack, New Jersey allowed Chucky to continue that trend and embody classic genre tropes. The idea of a seemingly idyllic suburban town turned upside down by blood-soaked carnage is an integral part of other horror franchises such as Halloween or A nightmare on Elm Street. By adopting it, Chucky ticked another box to demonstrate its franchise versatility and also set up that kind of tribute and know references Childish has become known for-all as the red-haired devil begins Chucky 2021’s new and recurring cast one by one.
As teased in the closing moments of Chucky season 1, episode 1, “Death by Misadventure”, Hackensack is also Charles Lee Ray’s hometown. This fact was actually revealed during the aforementioned road trip in Break by Chucky. Long before Chucky decided he loved destroying life like a modest doll, he sought to return to a human body. In connection with this search, he aimed to retrieve an amulet buried with his human corpse. When the journey began, Chucky revealed that his grave was in Hackensack, New Jersey. It was also here that Chucky’s own sexually fluent (and somewhat murderous) child was born and a mature place to expand his “cult” even more – currently through Jake (Zackary Arthur). As such, Chucky was not choosing the city as his goal at random. Instead, it was a homecoming that will provide the latest chapter of Childish movie/Chucky saga something about a full circle edge.
Only one episode into Chucky TV show, it’s almost impossible to determine his broader plan for Hackensack, New Jersey. As teased by Jennifer Tillys Tiffany in the trailer, however, there is definitely one. Likewise, it is unclear whether Chucky being designed as an overall conclusion, or if Mancini already has future excursions in mind. There’s always a chance Chucky will act as both – wrapping things up, but allowing him to come back (as he always does). Using Hackensack as a framework would give the show an element of a conclusion where things end where they actually began and perhaps among the descendants of some original victims. As much as Hackensack is the perfect place to finally tell the full childhood backstory of Charles Lee Ray AKA Chucky, it’s also the perfect venue for a final showdown that Chucky has been building courage for over 30 years.