“Chucky’s gonna be a bro.” With these words, the third film in the then-increasingly stale Child’s Play series set up an intriguing scenario. If Chucky were black, would his anatomically incorrect bulge be larger? Would the other dolls accept him or just shove him into oblivion alongside Willie Tyler and Lester? What if he woke up one morning to find a Lego cross burning on his front lawn? Alas, all of the potential went for naught as the filmmakers opted to go with a tame rehash of the first two movies, and the black would-be soul switch victim, Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers), ended up being one of the most irritating child characters in horror history.
We’re introduced to Tyler when our hero Andy (Justin Whalin), now a troubled teenager, is sent to a military academy to straighten his life out. Tyler is a lonely cadet who’s shown early in the film eagerly awaiting a package from his jet pilot father, only to be disappointed when nothing arrives. A soldier in the mailroom consoles him, saying that his father is too busy saving the world to send him a present. In truth, his father probably realizes that his son is an idiot and wants nothing to do with him.
Tyler’s not only a simpleton, he proves himself to be a dirty little thief, intercepting the package addressed to Andy that Chucky conceals himself in. When Tyler unwraps it and Chucky comes to life, Tyler thinks nothing of it, not realizing that there’s something wrong with a Good Guy doll walking around with a butcher knife and using the word “fuck.” I was never clear on why Chucky was so intent on taking over Andy’s body specifically, but it’s evident why he switches his sights to Tyler: it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Tyler is a pedophile’s wet dream, willingly submitting to Chucky’s attempt to insert his soul into him. Check out this exchange:
Tyler (lying on his back as Chucky kneels beside his head): What do you call this game anyway?
Chuckie: Hide the soul. Trust me, you’re gonna love it.
Tyler: Whatever you say, Charles.
Creepy with a capital C.
The movie plays out like a molestation romance, with Chucky dragging Tyler around, looking for a suitable place to “be alone” with him, but always getting interrupted. (Maybe if the damn voodoo spell took less than 20 minutes to recite, there wouldn’t be so much time for the cavalry to arrive.)
When Andy tries to warn Tyler, he scoffs: “You’re just jealous because he’s my best friend, not yours.” Geez, just let Chucky take over his body, for God’s sake. Maybe then he’ll have an actual personality. And really, if Andy were to kill Tyler after Chucky’s soul enters him, would anyone miss him? Not his father, that’s for sure.