“Who said there was a limit of chairs at the table? There never was but we were conditioned by the patriarchy to think that”: Kyra Gardner on Living with Chucky
Living with Chucky is the fascinating documentary delving into the history of the iconic Child’s Play franchise, given a unique treatment by young filmmaker Kyra Gardner, who is the daughter of the special effects makeup artist and head puppeteer for Seed of Chucky. By tracing the long and tumultuous journey of the doll-centred movie series, the film also dives into the evolution of horror, exploring how the genre has changed from its early days to its current state, as well as touching upon the dedicated fan base that gives such franchises longevity.
Ahead of the release, Gardner spoke to The Upcoming about how she came to make the feature and the topics she explored from a personal perspective, including the sacrifices made by those involved in the films as they juggled work and personal lives. The director reflected on the shift in horror from practical effects to CGI, and how the tangible nature of practical effects can make a movie more immersive and scary. The conversation also touched on the Queer themes in the Child’s Play franchise, including how the genre has often been embraced by marginalised communities, highlighting the growing representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in media and why horror can be an effective way to explore taboo subjects. Lastly, Gardner spoke about the difficulties faced when piecing together archival footage for the documentary, given how technology has changed the way films are made and experienced, as well as the specific challenges she faced as a young, female filmmaker.
Living with Chucky is released digitally on demand on 24th April 2023.
Watch the trailer for Living with Chucky here: