Curse of Chucky seeks to bring the franchise back to its terrifying roots...but did it succeed? I weigh in with my Curse of Chucky review.
I meant to post this a couple days earlier, as soon as I got my hands on a copy of Curse of Chucky to review, but I've been pretty busy and I figured with today being the day Curse of Chucky is released on Blu-Ray and DVD, it would still be appropriate to post my review for those trying to decide whether or not to give this movie a shot. I understand that after the mess that was Seed of Chucky, many of you are reluctant to give this movie a shot, but let me assure you: Curse of Chucky, in my opinion, just saved the entire franchise, which had been going downhill since Bride of Chucky.
Before getting right into the review, let's go back a bit to the history of Chucky. The series started out as Child's Play back in 1988, as a horror movie that set out to capitalize on the Cabbage Patch doll craze and strike a nerve in anyone who ever owned a doll. It did just that; scaring audiences for decades and becoming a modern horror classic. But as the years went on, the films became less horror and more dark satire to the point that by Seed of Chucky in 2004, the movies had almost completely forgotten its horror roots and charged head-first into the territory of comedy. Yes, Chucky always had a dark sense of humor, but Seed is so full of schlock and camp that it simply cannot be considered in the same league as the first two movies, or even the third.
I don't understand some of the hate Bride of Chucky gets. I think it invigorated a nearly forgotten (by Hollywood, anyway) franchise and was genuinely entertaining. In my opinion, the first 2/3 of the movie is great, but it tends to fall apart a bit in the last act. Following Bride, Seed of Chucky had all the promise in the world to be a great movie; it just couldn't deliver. The movie-within-a-movie storyline, Redman's lack of acting ability, the whole Glen/Glenda shtick, and the almost complete lack of actual horror are the things that made the movie so bad. Jennifer Tilly, being the amazing actress she is, is the only thing I really love about the movie, but she alone couldn't save it.
Finally, after years of talk that Child's Play would be rebooted, we finally got a new film. And while it's not an actual reboot or remake, Curse of Chucky does manage to breathe new life into the series and saves it from the franchise-ruining disaster that was Seed.
What is great about Curse is that is plays to all the fans of Child's Play and Bride of Chucky. It ties into both eras of Chucky nicely, tying the movies together into one neat, scary package. Chucky is back to his former glory, spouting off Good Guys catchphrases, being thought of as "just a doll" and luring everyone into a false sense of security. He looks better than he ever has, sporting a much more streamlined and realistic update of his pre-Bride look and the little touch of having his pupils dilate when he "comes to life" is a nice addition. Chucky has never moved as realistically as he does in Curse, and all the directions the crew took in bringing Chucky back to life are in the right direction.
As for the actors, Fiona Dourif, daughter of Chucky himself, Brad Dourif, is easily the new face of the franchise in my opinion. She makes a great foil to Chucky and is easy to root for. She may be in a wheelchair, but don't let that fool you: she is capable of holding her own. She is a great actress and her performance turns Nica into someone you sympathize with and like; you don't find yourself wishing for her to hurry up and get off'ed. At least, I didn't, anyway. I would save that honor for her sister, played by Danielle Bisutti of True Jackson, VP fame. Don't get me wrong, Danielle is a good actress, but her character is too high on herself to be likable and I found myself wanting Chucky to go berserk and stab her like 40 times, but hey, that's just me, right? Summer Howell, who plays the adorably cute Alice is amazing. I see this little girl going places in her career, but I wish she had more to do in this movie. She feels a bit...underused, especially given how much the first two Child's Play films used Alex Vincent. I don't know, I just felt she could have been used a bit more.
As for the kills, I will try not to say too much because I don't wanna give away too much, but I know a lot of people really like the one involving a bucket of water. It's actually near the end of my list because my favorite kill involved rat poison being used as a tool to disorient someone so that a truly gruesome death befalls them. Best kill of the movie in my book. I think the kills go back to the caliber of the first two movies, being a bit unnerving and gruesome. Going back to the first two movies seems to be a theme here, even though it does include little allusions to Bride and Seed, although to a lesser extent for the latter.
So, all in all, what do I think about Curse of Chucky? It's one of the three best in the series, in my opinion. It ties in heavily to the first movie, having moments that act as prequel in addition to being a sequel. It ties up some loose ends in addition to leaving itself open to a sequel, which I think is a good thing. After fixing the issues with later installments in the franchise, I no longer think a reboot/remake is required. I think it can comfortably pick up where this movie left off and successfully release a few more movies in the series before it should be remade (if at all). Being such a strong entry in the series, I will never know why this wasn't released in theaters. It is definitely good enough to warrant a theatrical release. I do not like one aspect of the ending, but I can't be too picky because it's significantly better than Seed of Chucky and that's the only thing I hoped for when I first heard of this movie. So, if you are in doubt or are wondering if you should rent or buy this movie, I say you should. If you are a fan of the first three, this movie is geared more toward you than fans of Bride and Seed, but there is something for everyone. Just make sure you stick around after the credits for a surprise epilogue scene that fans of Child's Play have been begging for. It further ties things together a bit and will definitely please die-hard fans. Oh, and be sure to make sure you watch the unrated version, as it is the version I saw and it's pretty much perfect.
Curse of Chucky is out today on Blu-Ray and DVD.