By David Combest
October 30, 2013
In 1988, Don Mancini introduced the serial killer who possesses a doll on his deathbed and continues his murderous rampage on an unsuspecting family that buys the popular “Good-Guy” doll. The character is Charles Lee Ray/Chucky (Brad Dourif) the killer doll. Since the first film there have been six other sequels made, with the last two, “Bride of Chucky” and “Seed of Chucky,” moving away from the horror/slasher genre into the horror/comedy genre.
In the recent installment of the “Child’s Play” series, “The Curse of Chucky,” we see that Mancini has returned to a more horror/slasher-based version while toning down the dark humor. This is something Mancini has wanted to do; the director expressed the urge to please fans looking for a scarier Chucky film.
Here, we see an updated Chucky with longer hair, cold, large dead eyes and a heavier face. The film takes place four years after the events of “Seed of Chucky.” Nica, played by Brad Dourif’s daughter Fiona Dourif, is a paraplegic and lives with her overprotective mother who is suffering from depression. Nica answers the door and finds that she has received a mysterious package containing the “Good-Guy” doll.
That night, Nica’s mother commits suicide leaving the rest of the family to deal with the aftermath. From then on the family is terrorized by the killer doll, who has his own agenda for being there.
The film is well acted. Brad Dourif is excellent as the voice of Chucky, something he’s pretty used to by now. Fiona Dourif is very good at her role as she struggles against her overbearing sister, who tries to convince Nica to sell the house in hopes to gain a profit from the real estate. Danielle Bisutti also gives a great performance of this uptight, overwhelming sister. Brennan Elliot also gives a good performance as Ian, husband to Barb and a somewhat laidback guy.
The film uses lighting to give the house, which is essentially set in the middle of a forest, a gothic look. A storm knocks the power out giving Chucky full-range to frighten the family and the viewer. The shots are well done and hang in time to build suspense. The use of audio is not cliché so it makes it harder for the audience to expect the moment when a good fright is coming. The special effects are also well done except for a few scenes; nevertheless, no expense was lost on Chucky who does come across terrifying, a huge change from his last two films.
However, there are certain plot elements that don’t work.
For example, Barb wants to sell the house in hopes to get money from the sale. Ian has lost his job and is working at Starbucks, yet they pay Jill, the live-in nanny, $450 a week. The family’s financial problems are only highlighted in the beginning of the film and are not really mentioned again except for a few sentences.
There is also a theme of faith that never fits well in the movie and is never really explored besides a couple of lines. There are also a few scenes that are added for purely sensational reasons.
Overall, the film is terrifying and a good Halloween horror show. For those who are a fan of the series stick around until after the credits, you will be pleasantly surprised.