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Welcome back to Haunted MTL’s continued coverage of the Chucky franchise as we tackle Chucky – S2 E1 -“Halloween II.” How have the Chuckybusters fared in the aftermath of the Hackensack movie theater massacre at the end of season one? What is the fate of Andy, Tiffany, and a truckload of Chuckies? And what is with all the Catholic iconography in the previews for this season?

Let’s find out, sweet faces.

Chucky – S2 E1 – “Halloween II”

Chucky‘s second season starts with a bang, boom, and bump as the aftermath of last season’s massacre weighs on our young protagonists. However, the Chuckybusters reconverge after a startling series of phone calls.

Chucky airs Wednesday nights on SyFy and USA.


How Was It?

“Halloween II” doesn’t offer as much Halloween dressing as last season’s seasonal episode. It does make for a fun introduction to this season’s stakes and setting. The episode picks up the pieces established at the end of season one, carries forward a bit, and introduces a radical and shocking new status quo for Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson), Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and even little Caroline (Carina Battrick).

Jeff Renfroe directs the story, written by Don Mancini. Kim Garland continues to serve as the story editor. Renfroe’s direction is solid here, having had a less chaotic episode to manage than his previous episode, the season one finale. Many of the hallmarks of a good Chucky episode continue to be carried through his direction. One touch is a trick-or-treat sequence that evokes Chucky’s doll’s eye view. There is a sequence with a rather rough spot involving one of several Chuckies (Brad Dourif) climbing along the roof of a delivery van – but for TV, it works. However, the budget restrictions are pretty obvious.

The episode’s most inventive sequence, however, involves the simple technology of a video call as three phone screens are shown simultaneously with two horrified, traumatized kids looking at a potential murder-in-progress and unable to do much about it. A mute button hasn’t been scarier. The direction here is excellent.

Chucky S2 E1 - Screencap depicting a three way video call between Chucky, Devon, and Jake, with poor Caroline in the crossfire.
This video call sequence was an inventive and scary setpiece in an outstanding episode.

Continuing Developments

The writing is excellent, and the fact that Mancini was willing to go for such a surprising kill means that this show will likely continue to push some boundaries. Speaking of pushing boundaries, the writing around the kids continues to be excellent, and their different approaches to trauma will make for compelling storylines. Of the three, I think Lexy has the most exciting trajectory at the moment, and the depths of her trauma make her a ticking time bomb of bad choices. Thankfully it appears that despite how she treated Jake in season one, her trauma bond with him and Devon will be a necessary lifeline.

Of course, there are critical storyline updates worth noting. Nothing that I want to spoil here. A specific legacy character’s fate is up in the air. Also, a toxic parent continues to be toxic. Plus, the reappearance of last season’s psychiatrist, Dr. Mixter (Rosemary Dunsmore), raises some questions.

However, I am most intrigued by the casting of a particular character at the end of the episode. “Halloween II” has Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal‘s Freddie Lounds) joining the Chucky franchise. I could not be more excited to see her.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Chucky – S2 E1 – Kill Count and Spotlight

The kill count is a bit trickier in this episode. How many parts of a single serial killer do you count in a body count anyway? Plus, the fates of a couple of characters are left ambiguous at best.

This episode racks up one body. It’s not a big body, but it is certainly a shocker. Or perhaps more to the point, the consequences were explosive…

Seeds of Chucky

As always, each review features some notes on references and continuity in the whole Chucky franchise.

  • So one of the big horror nods of the night was Scream (1996) with the episode’s scariest setpiece. I also got a little nod to 2020’s Host.
  • In this episode, Chucky makes his best Boris Karloff impression. Brad Dourif can show a little more vocal range in his Chucky performance.
  • Not much time with Tiffany and Andy in this episode following the season finale. We do get a sort of resolution to the delivery truck cliffhanger from season one.
  • The Batman and Robin references for Jake and his new foster-brother Gary can be seen as a subtle reference to the mistaken belief that the Batman and Robin relationship during the whole Seduction of the Innocent era had a homosexual context. That book nearly killed the comic book industry in the United States.
  • There is something weird with Chucky, given how much soul-splitting he has done. Is his memory slipping from his essence being spread thin… or is Charles Lee Ray getting old?
  • We get a reference to Chucky Goes Psycho, the movie within Seed of Chucky (2004). That introduces Jennifer Tilly, the in-universe actress, to the franchise.
  • We also learn the name of the doll that would become Tiffany in Bride of Chucky (1998). She is a limited edition doll named “Wedding Belle” – cute and terrifying.
  • How many of the 72 Chuckies are left, anyway?
  • Bless the return of the taser.
  • Do we count that kid’s costume as a Pennywise nod?
  • I don’t think Uber will want to use this episode for marketing purposes.

We’re continuing to cover the Kids’ Stuff – A Chucky Podcast show. However, unlike these written reviews, our discussion show contains plenty of spoilers. If you missed the latest Kids’ Stuff about Child’s Play 3, you could listen to it wherever you get your podcasts.


David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The Target



Episode two of Amazon Prime’s Fallout was equal parts funny and bloody. This almost always leads to a good time.

The story

We begin this episode with the birth of some puppies that look like they’ve had a rough start to life. Each one is weighed, with the ones who fall short being incinerated.

One pup who is just below the correct weight gets a bit of a thumb on their scale. The scientist weighing them, Wilzig, writes down the proper weight. He later takes the puppy home to raise instead of putting them into what looks like an unforgiving training program.


Eventually, we see Wilzig put some blue glowing thing into his neck. When a soldier comes for him, Dog attacks the soldier, and the two escape.

Ella Purnell in Fallout.

We go from there to the wilderness, where Lucy is recovering from the last episode and enjoying a campfire at night. Wilzig and Dog come out of the shadows, saving Lucy from a bug monster. Wilzig tells Lucy she should go home. And if she’s not going to go home, she needs to evolve.

The next day Lucy finds her way to a town called Filly. As a Pennsylvanian, it hurts me to spell it that way. Lucy is entranced by this town, though clearly put off by the fact that no one is very nice here.

She eventually finds her way to a shop run by a delightful woman named Ma June. Ma doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping Lucy. Or, frankly, having Lucy in her shop.

Or in her town.

Eventually, Wilzig is tracked to this same shop, being tracked by The Ghoul. This is our final primary character. Lucy defends Wilzig, being aided at the last moment by Maximus.


Maximus, by the way, has been having a terrible time. After finally becoming a squire he’s disappointed to find that his knight, Knight Titus, is a terrible person.

Fortunately, Maximus doesn’t have to put up with Titus for long. After Titus gets the bright idea to go hunting, he’s attacked by a mutated bear. Maximus freezes, unable to save him. Then, well, he decides not to save him.

It was Titus’s idea to go hunt the bear, after all.

What worked

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is the shootout scene at Filly. This scene checked every box a fight scene should check. It was fun to watch, with great effects. But it also gave us insight into the characters. Lucy is a decent fighter and has a strong moral compass. The Ghoul is callus and desensitized to death. And Maximus continues to be, well, sort of bad at this whole fighting thing. But with enough moral fortitude that we have a hard time blaming him.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog. Who’s name, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is just Dog. Which is fine. He doesn’t need to have a name to be a very good boy. He’s sweet, loyal, and fearless.


Also, puppies. Puppies are always great.

Finally, I’d like to shine a spotlight on Lucy’s reaction to the world at large. She is both amazed and terrified by everything. And while she certainly doesn’t want to be rude, she also doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. The best example of this is when she stops to ask for directions with a bright smile and a gun.

Once again, I don’t have anything bad to say about this episode. It was funny, dark, and fun to watch. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The End



Launching with worldwide excitement, Fallout is based on the extremely popular game series of the same name. Fans of the series have waited with anticipation and trepidation to see if the Prime series would live up to the game.

Having now watched the first episode I can say that, so far, it’s successful.

The story

Our story begins with a children’s birthday party. A performer is there with his daughter, giving horse rides and taking pictures with the kids.


As much as the adults try to focus on the party and the kids, it’s impossible to ignore the looming threat of war that’s on everyone’s mind.

Of course, it’s during this party that war comes, and the bombs drop.

We then cut to after the war and into one of the vaults established to protect humankind and the American Way. For future reference, this is Vault 33. We meet Lucy, our first main character, who’s petitioning to be married to a man from Vault 32 to ensure DNA diversity.

On the wedding night, though, Lucy and the rest of Vault 33 are met with a horrible surprise. The group they let in is not in fact from Vault 32, but is instead a team of raiders from the surface. The raiders kill a lot of the vault dwellers and kidnap Lucy’s father.

We are then introduced to our second main character, Maximus. He is in training to become a Knight in the Brotherhood of Steel. And, well, he’s not doing great.


Things get worse when his best friend Dane becomes a squire before him. But when Dane is hurt, Maximus gets their spot.

Aaron Moten in Fallout.

We then go back to Lucy, who has decided to leave the vault and find her dad. Of course, the council of her vault doesn’t want her to go. So she is aided by her brother Norm and cousin Chet in a wild escape.

What worked

The first thing that deserves attention is the exceptional character work. Our three main characters are fleshed out and relatable right away. We feel sympathetic for The Ghoul before he’s even introduced as such. We love Lucy’s nativity and selflessness. And we love Maximus for his honesty and passion for his cause.

While these characters are their own people, they also exhibit the three responses we might expect to see in a post-apocalyptic world. We have the hopeful optimist who doesn’t understand how bad things are. We have the aspiring hero who wants to make the world better by force. And we have the self-serving individual who’s given up on the rest of humanity and is only focused on surviving.

Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was the balance of humor and gore. Because there was certainly enough blood and guts for even the most hardcore horror lover. We had a violent sabotage, a brawl with raiders, and even several nuclear bombs.

But there were a lot of funny moments as well. Usually from Lucy. Her overall goodwill and fearless gumption are absolutely hilarious, especially given the horrors she’s facing. It never ceases to amuse me.

Ella Purnell in Fallout

Both of these aspects are done perfectly. The jokes land and the bloody scenes pull no punches. It was delightful.

All in all, this was an exciting start to a much-anticipated series. Here’s hoping they’re able to stick the landing.

For more tv shows based on video games, check out my review of Witcher. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Ave Hestia



Episode seven of American Horror Story Delicate was a classic AHS flashback episode. If you were excited to see what Preecher had to say to Anna at the end of the last episode, I’m sorry to say that you will not get that satisfaction. However, we did learn all sorts of other fascinating things about the strange coven hunting Anna. And, we learned all sorts of things we didn’t know about Dex’s first wife, Adeline.

The story

We begin our story with a woman giving birth alone in a barn. When it becomes clear that she’s not going to be able to deliver vaginally, she pulls out a knife and cuts her stomach open to pull out her children.

For whatever reason, this is when the coven of witches decides to make themselves known.

Ashlie Atkinson in American Horror Story.

We then cut to 2013, when Dex was still married to Adeline. In true Dex fashion, he’s surprised her with a puppy.

While that sounds great in theory, dogs are something a couple should talk about, not gift each other with as a surprise. An adult would know that. A trust fund boy like Dex does not.

Adeline owns a vegan restaurant called Ave Hestia. Love that name. She seems to be living a great life. She has a career she’s passionate about, friends who love her, and a husband she seems kind of fond of.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t want a puppy. She already had one.

Of course, things aren’t as good as they appear. We soon find out that Adeline was one of those babies we saw at the start of the episode. The other baby was Sonia, the painter.

Annabelle Dexter-Jones in American Horror Story.

And yes, both of these characters are played by Annabelle Dexter-Jones.

Adeline has stepped away from their family, and whatever dark things they do. But the family isn’t happy with her decision. And if she isn’t going to come back willingly, they’re going to make her.


What worked

To start with, I loved the character, Adeline. She is fierce, she is fearless, and relentless. I feel like this would have been a far different story if Adeline had been our main character. It was astounding to see her interact with the same people Anna has, and get a completely different response. It’s clear now, how much everyone around Anna resents her for simply not being Adeline.

I also appreciated that there was just a shocking amount of blood in this episode. From the start when Adeline and Sonia are born, to the climactic end of Adeline, this episode is just drenched in blood.

Finally, I’m fascinated by the changes in this season from the book it’s based on. Because absolutely none of this was in the book. Compared to this, the book is heartwarming.

The book is kind of heartwarming even without the comparison.


But I love the fact that, even with just two episodes left in the season, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do not know what Anna is carrying. I do not know if she’s going to survive this. I do not know what these people want with her.

But I can’t wait to find out.

What didn’t work

All that being said, it is a bit frustrating to have no forward momentum in this episode. This was all backstory, and it felt like there wasn’t enough backstory to fill a full forty minutes. Because of that, it dragged. There were a lot of scenes that just didn’t need to be as long as they were. It felt like they could have cut that down considerably, and had some time to check in with our main characters at either the start or the end of the episode.

There are only two episodes left in the season, and I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going to happen. But so far the story has been dark, bloody, and provocative. So I hope they can manage to end it on a high note.


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

If you’re a fan of my work, please check out my latest story, Nova, on Paper Beats World. New chapters launch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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