When you see that there is a direct-to-video sequel to the Child’s Play franchise, you immediately begin to wonder if it could be worse than Seed of Chucky since even that managed to get a theatrical release. Amazingly, however, Curse of Chucky manages to get back to its original horror film roots after the sequels, especially Bride and Seed, had become more about trying to be comedy movies that were meta spoofs of the series. This movie ends up feeling both like a reboot of the franchise and like a worthy sequel at the same time.
The movie starts with a mysterious package arriving at the house of Nica, our wheelchair bound heroine, and her mother, Sarah. Someone has sent them a Good Guys doll in pristine condition but there’s no return address. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the doll shows up, things start going wrong for poor Nica and her family. Her little niece, Alice, really likes the doll and lets everyone know that Chucky is going to be her friend to the end. Unfortunately for everyone else, “the end” comes a bit sooner than they might like as Chucky starts to roam the house, looking for victims. Just goes to show that you should never let creepy dolls into your house. This has been a Public Service Announcement.
As I said before, Curse of Chucky really gets back to the original horror from the first movies. We don’t see Chucky full on running around at all until the last act of the film and once he does it’s less about cracking jokes and making puns than it is being a menacing psychopath. There is much more of a focus on the tension of when or if he will strike than on jump scares or fountains of blood. A lot of horror series that started out as strange premises but still straight horror ended up going more and more comedic as the film progressed (Nightmare on Elm Street) but Child’s Play jumped the shark entirely and spent two whole films being shitty comedies with some blood thrown in. Being able to keep the continuity of those garbage heaps while returning to its roots was quite the feat.
There are some great little tweaks to the standard type of story elements you expect from a movie like this. You have your main character in as a paraplegic woman that has to deal with her handicap but still manages to be portrayed as fully able to kick ass and do things for herself. You’ve got the sister’s family where the sister is super bitchy and the father is just sort of a nice, kind of goofy guy and they have a nanny. Instead of it turning out that the father and the nanny are together, though, it ends up being the wife that is hooking up with her and they are scheming to sell the house from the dead mother in order to run away together. While the scenes where they use CGI for the doll are noticeably less than stellar, they aren’t terrible and they still use plenty of practical puppetry for a lot of the shots.
The movie also has plenty of little homages to the first film for those that are a fan of the series. I think this was an excellent reboot/reinvigoration for the franchise and I definitely want to see if the next one they make is going to be as good. I give this a 4.5 out of 5 and it is a definite must for anyone who likes Chucky.
Favorite part of the movie: There is a post credits sequence that features Alex Vincent, the actor that played the kid in the original movie.
Least favorite part: The movie just gets rid of and ignores the kid for the last part of the film. It’s not entirely forgotten as they look for her but it still ends up that she isn’t involved at all.