Most fans of horror are aware of the infamous gay themes that are woven throughout A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. In fact, the star of the movie, Mark Patton, was closeted during the film’s production. Later, fans picked up on the not-so-subtle nods to queerness which the movie’s writer denied. This denial led to Mark eventually quitting acting due to the emotional stress. With stories like that one, it’s no wonder that the road from Nightmare to the new Chucky has been so long.
It took over 35 years to finally bring queerness into the horror genre in a way that was not offensive, or drowning in tropes. The newChuckyseries on SyFy has what its creator, Don Mancini, is calling a “final boy.” Jake Wheeler (played by Zackary Arthur) is the latest boy to be stuck with the serial killer–turned–Good Guy doll, and if that’s not difficult enough, he’s also a 14-year-old openly gay student grappling with his own sexuality. Let’s meet horror’s latest hero. Who is Jake on Chucky?
If you’re wondering why anyone under the age of 40 would be interested in a Good Guy doll in 2021, the answer is of course art. Jake is an aspiring artist who comes across the doll at a yard sale. Who among us hasn’t witnessed the youth of today thrifting things that we owned as children? His father, Luke Wheeler — played by Final Destination‘s Devon Sawa — is not too keen on Jake’s artistic sensibilities, which as we know is code for not comfortable with his gay son.
Instead of having an honest discussion with Jake about his inability to accept his son’s sexuality, Luke destroys the art project but not the demonic doll. Don Mancini — who wrote all seven of the original Chucky films — drew from his difficult relationship with his own father to create the tension between Luke and Jake. In an interview with Logo’s NewNowNext, Mancini said, “It’s probably something many gay guys, particularly of my generation, can identify with.”
It was always Mancini’s intention for Jake to be gay. As an openly gay man himself, he already incorporated LGBTQ characters in the franchise. In 2004’s Seed of Chucky, Chucky (Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) have a non-binary child, who is mentioned in the first episode of Chucky. It made sense to just continue… Brinkwire short summary.