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Curse of Chucky Review: There’s Life in the Old Doll Yet
Curse of Chucky is the sixth film in the saga of the serial killer trapped in a doll, and the first one to skip the theater and go straight to DVD/VOD. It’s a Frankenstein film, part sequel to Seed of Chucky, part remake of Child’s Play, and it may cause some confusion among audiences as to where it actually fits in the whole story of Chucky. As far as I can determine, Curse of Chucky happens some time after Seed of Chucky.
Chucky’s got a new look, but I wasn’t a big fan of it. His face just seemed overly wide and less like a human than the original doll. While the new look is not great, I did like that Chucky remained a puppet for the film instead of becoming a CGI baddy. Brad Dourif is the voice of Chucky, and he proves once again that he’s the only man for the job. He also plays Charles Lee Ray in a flashback scene.
The story starts in the gothic mansion of the wheelchair bound Nica (Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad) and her mother, Sara, who receive a mysterious package in the mail. When they open it, they find a Good Guy doll, which is, of course, our old friend Chucky. Nica’s mother perishes at the small hands of Chucky, but they rule it a suicide.
Sara’s death brings Nica’s sister Barb and her family to the house, but it’s not a happy reunion. Barb’s not exactly a grieving daughter; she’s more interested in sending Nica to an assisted living facility so that they can sell the house and split the money than being sad over her mother’s death. Her daughter Alice takes to Chucky as soon as she sees him, which you know is only going to lead to trouble. There’s more family drama in the form of Jill, Alice’s pretty young nanny, but it’s not exactly what you think.
Chucky is pretty much a static figure in the beginning of the film while the audience learns the dynamics of the family. You could almost remove him from the production and have an interesting Gothic family drama. He does play with the family a little bit by showing up in places he shouldn’t be, considering where characters saw him last, but he never takes a swipe at anyone until after bedtime, during the ever so popular thunderstorm that messes with the power.
We find out Chucky’s connection to Nica and her family, but it happens late in the film and I’m not sure it worked very well, because it slightly conflicts with what we already know about Charles Lee Ray’s death. That makes the family tie-in seem tacked on, and it doesn’t add any new angles to the story.
A slasher flick is only as good as the slasher’s victims, and Curse of Chucky does a good job of mixing easy kills with more interesting and innovative death scenes. I won’t give any of them away, but for the most part I was pleased to see how they all worked out. Chucky, never one for a straight stab when he can ambush, plays with his victims from the shadows and uses the fact that they’d never suspect a doll to be the killer to his advantage. Fiona Dourif gives him a hell of a run as the Final Girl, and you root for her to beat Chucky just as much as you hope that he’ll win out and take her down. While not being able to use her legs to run from Chucky sometimes doesn’t work in her favor, there are a couple of interesting spots where she has an advantage because of it.
Don’t turn off Curse of Chucky once the film concludes, because there are two bonus scenes during the credits. Unfortunately, the scenes seem to be contradictory, leaving viewers with questions about what exactly happens once the movie ends and where these scenes fit. We’ll probably get the answers once Chucky 7 comes out.