Written & Directed by: Don Mancini
Curse of Chucky is the first entry in the Childs Play franchise since 2004 and after such a long lay-off fans get a straight-to-DVD affair. Is that a bad thing? Thankfully not because there is no reason why this movie couldn’t have been released in theaters. Don Mancini, who’s been involved in every film, directs and he shows the aging series some much needed love. Chucky is officially scary again.
The story opens with a mysterious package being sent out that contains… a Good Guy doll. Gee, I wonder who sent it? We all know what happens next. A paraplegic woman named Nica and her troubled mother live there and not to long after the doll arrives, the mother “kills herself”. Nica’s domineering sister, brother-in-law, live in Nanny and niece appear and try to convince Nica to sell her house since they are having money issues. Unfortunately money is the last thing they should be worrying about, since Chucky has some unfinished business with their family.
Don’t fuck with the Chuck!
Very Suspenseful. World War Z had it and now Curse of Chucky is also successful at it, maintaining a constant sense of tension and suspense throughout. After two satirical darkly humorous sequels we are thankfully back to a darker, more sinister world. Unfortunately that means seeing Chucky more in the shadows, but when he appears he is pissed off and terrifying. The rat-poisoning of the food scene is a masterful display of built-up tension and suspense. Seeing the final confrontation, after a shocking revelation, between a paraplegic woman and Chucky was genius. Especially since it showed a strong wheelchair-bound character fighting back, fuck you Friday the 13th: Part 2… real creative title.
Ties Into The Original. To explain much about how this film ties into the original Child’s Play would ruin several of the twists and turns, but expect to see a flashback showing more of Charles Lee Ray before transferring himself into the Chucky doll. Plus there are two previous characters that make guest appearances. Curse of Chucky is all about pleasing the long-time fans.
Fantastic Ending. This was what really drove the film home for me. The ending, while tying up a lot of the series loose ends, was strangely satisfying in the way that the Chucky confrontation concluded. It wasn’t the typical ‘lets kill Chucky’ over and over again until it looks like he is fully dead’. Chucky uses the fact that he is an innocent looking doll to deceive people, I won’t go any further than that. Make sure that you stay after the closing credits, fans will get the ultimate pay-off.
Some Over-The-Top Acting. The main actress who played Nica, Fiona Dourif the real-life daughter of Brad, and the little girl Alice played their roles perfectly. I, however, had some minor problems with Nica’s brother-in-law Ian (resorting to quickly turning on Nica) and the nanny Jill (who obviously was hired over her looks alone, not acting), but the main thing that pissed me off was Nica’s sister Barb. I’m not sure if it’s the fault of the writer or actress Danielle Bisutti, but Barb was so over-the-top mean and overbearing that it came across as comical. And don’t even get me started on her love affair with the Nanny, it came out of nowhere, seemed incredibly fake… and it just lacked the normal lesbian hotness.
Not Enough Chucky. This may just be the horror geek in me speaking, because I totally get the whole trying to make Chucky scary again thing, but I wanted to see more of the killer Good Guys doll. For much of the first half of the film he is barely shown and hiding in the shadows, doing most of his chaos off-screen. But this was only because Chucky was so fantastic in the second half of the film, with great animatronics mixed with convincing CGI. And of course Brad Dourif’s voice. Maybe it was just a budgetary issue.
Curse of Chucky was an entertaining nostalgic romp that reminded me of why the idea of a killer child’s doll can be terrifying and not a satirical joke. Fiona Dourif made for a fine lead, but many of her co-stars unfortunately over-acted and were unlikable. Don Mancini obviously cares about the universe he has created with this franchise and this movie is a love letter to all the horror fans that have remained loyal fans of the Chuckster since the beginning. Take note Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, you don’t need reboots, just give the fans what they fell in love with in the first place. Just add a few nostalgic nods to the original while carving out a new tale.
Curse of Chucky is one of the greatest straight-to-DVD releases, a must see for long-time fans of the series.