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Blu-ray Review: Curse Of Chucky
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Curse of Chucky
DVD | Blu-ray
Director: Don Mancini
Screenwriter: Don Mancini
Cast: Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, A Martinez, Brennan Elliott
Universal Home Entertainment
Unrated | 97 Minutes
Release Date: October 8, 2013

Directed by Don Mancini, Curse of Chucky picks up four years after 2004’s Seed of Chucky. Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) mysteriously arrives at the family home of paraplegic Nica (Fiona Dourif) and her mother, Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle).

Writing off the delivery of a creepy Good Guys doll as some sort of weird prank, Sarah tosses Chucky in the garbage. Later that night, Nica hears her mother screaming in pain, only to find her dead from an apparent self-inflicted stab wound as an inanimate Chucky watches from a chair nearby.

Nica, grieving over the gruesome, unexplained suicide of her mother, is visited by her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) and her family: husband, Ian (Brennan Elliott); daughter, Alice (Summer H. Howell); and live-in nanny, Jill (Maitland McConnell), to help settle their mother’s affairs.

Curse of Chucky is the sixth film in the Child’s Play franchise – a series of horror films featuring Chucky, a demonic doll possessed by the spirit of Charles Lee Ray (Dourif), a serial killer. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the basic idea is that Chucky is an asshole. He’s a quick-witted, foul-mouthed doll with a little man complex. Here, he is resurrected once again to murder bisexual babysitters, insufferable sisters, and Catholic priests.

Known as the creator of Chucky, Mancini shared screenplay credit on 1988’s Child’s Play and wrote four subsequent films himself before stepping up to write and direct the fifth, Seed of Chucky. Curse of Chucky drops the dark comedy tone of Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky and attempts to inject some real terror into the series once again.

The killer doll stays silent for the first 45 minutes of this film and while I appreciate the restraint Mancini shows, this is the sixth Chucky film – this isn’t Jaws or Alien – all the audience really wants to see is Chucky deliver a few smart-ass one-liners and kill people with sharp objects.

Aside from Fiona Dourif, who makes a solid Final Girl, many of the performances are amateurish. The screenplay is riddled with inconsistencies – the only constant is the clichéd dialogue; lines like “It’s a doll. What’s the worst that could happen?” make Curse of Chucky seem more like a campy, self-referential spoof than an actual attempt at horror.

Still, for a direct-to-DVD movie with limited set-ups and locations, the production values are above average. There are a few impressive practical gore effects, but the use of [really bad] computer-generated imagery is entirely unnecessary. Attempts to make Chucky look less like a doll and more like a living, breathing entity defeat the purpose of the character – but of course we live in an age where the answer to any filmmaking issue is to throw pixels at it. Chucky looks just fine as a practical puppet – no need to give him the Jar Jar Binks treatment.

Hardcore Chucky fans (yes, they exist) will probably love Curse of Chucky because, well, it’s another Chucky movie. It isn’t very good, and it doesn’t really make much sense (the continuity of this series is a Lionel model train wreck), but it’s competently crafted and has a couple WTF moments that make it worth checking out if you’re looking for something campy to watch this Halloween.

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