Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Curse of Chucky

(2013) ***

In the 6th movie of this silly franchise director Don Mancini eschews the humor and splatter from the two previous installments and brings Chucky back to his darker, scarier roots.  The film takes place in a large, dark mansion where wheelchair bound Nica is cared for by her elderly mother.  The story occurs mostly in the span of one long, rainy night.  As the tale unfolds a large package arrives at the homestead.  Nica’s mother opens the package and is puzzled when she finds a “Good Guy” doll.  Having no use for such a thing (it’s a collectible you idiot!) she tosses it in the trash.  Later that evening Nica hears a crash and finds her mother quite dead.

Arriving to help Nica settle their mother’s estate is her bitchy sister, Barb, her brother-in-law, their daughter Alice and their hot nanny.  Alice finds Chucky and is immediately taken with the (ugly) doll.  Tensions mount when Nica realizes that her sister wants to sell the house.  Meanwhile betrayals are revealed and old hurts are revisited as a storm rages on outside.  For a while I thought I was watching ‘Rachel Getting Married’.  Eventually Chucky starts doing what he does best as he slices and dices his way through this disgruntled bunch.

The greatest compliment I can give to ‘Curse of Chucky’ is that it looks and feels like a mid-80s movie.  Director Don Mancini has written and directed every chapter of the Child’s Play franchise and he peppers this film with numerous references to the other installments.  In fact, Curse of Chucky takes place 25 years after Child’s Play and the “Good Guy” doll is refered to as a collectible.  Chucky’s back-story is effectively fleshed out via a series of flashbacks that ultimately lead up to the opening scene of the original Child’s Play.  This film could easily have been released in theaters and it is puzzling why it went the straight-to-video route.  Curse of Chucky is a slow burn (some might say too slow) and Chucky does not start to do his thing until the 50 minute mark (I checked).  Still, the family drama stuff is effective and the flashbacks make it feel like a more important movie than it actually is.  Most 80s horror icons started out scary and evolved into over-the-top blood and eye-rolling humor with Chucky being no exception.  Curse of Chucky is a return to form as Mancini makes Chucky ‘scary’ again.  Easily the best installment since the original film.


DCD said...

Wow - a decent Chucky movie! I still don't see how any kid could think that doll is cute.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the kid is one of those kids who think every doll is 'cute'.

Landshark said...

Hm, I've never seen a single Chucky movie. I did really enjoy Rachel Getting Married, though, so maybe I need to give it a shot!

50PageMcGee said...

i was going to make a case that there's limits to how scary a movie about a killer toy could be. then i thought of the talking tina episode of twilight zone and changed my mind.

kind of in the hands of the teller. i found that out earlier this year when i caught the most recent Universal Soldier movie and was taken aback by how great it was - and how much better in the hands of a different director.

but this is the same director. hard to imagine the tone changing so much without the director changing.

AC said...

sounds surprisingly good.

Catfreeek said...

I have a number of Brad Dourif films in my queue, I'm a big fan of his but not a single Chucky film among them. Though I do agree a killer toy can be scary I am not a big fan of the Chuckster.

Octopunk said...

I think the thing about Chucky is that he's got a built-in goof factor that's unavoidable. Freddy Kreuger started out scary and got silly, but Chucky is actually a toy.

Anyway, good wrap up, JPX. Glad to know Chucky gets back to his scary roots as best he can.