Directed by Don Mancini
Starring Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Chantal Quesnelle
Original Music by Joseph LoDuca Film Editing by James Coblentz
97 min - Horror/Slasher - 8 October 2013 (USA)
This year’s Fantasia Film Festival in Monbtreal was stacked with a number of world premieres, including Don Mancini’s very own Curse of Chucky, which is the sixth installment in the Child’s Play franchise that he wrote and also directed this time. All of the films in the franchise star Brad Dourif as serial killer Charles Lee Ray (also known as “The Lakeshore Strangler”) and the voice of “Chucky.”
As a point of interest, Curse brings together Brad and his beautiful daughter, Fiona Dourif, for the first time in the slasher franchise that kicked started in the late ’80s. You can say that Chucky is a family sort of thing now. Fiona has admitted that it was cool growing up with the Chucky brand attached to her father. She also said she was fond in playing in the same movie as her dad, who by the way was nominated for an Oscar in the mid ’70s.
Before you dip further into this review, I just want to let you know that I really enjoyed the first three Child’s Play movies. The last two are my least favorite because of the humorous overtones, and I was disappointed with the franchise for dropping the entire concept involving a child victim in possession of Chucky. I believe that should give you a general idea of my taste in the Child’s Play franchise, and if you disagree with me already, then you might want to jump to another review. However, believe me when I say Curse falls into both style of movies, so you just might want to hear me out.
Now back to. I’ll start off by saying that you shouldn’t believe all the false rumors about Curse picking up right after the events of Child’s Play 3, or even a direct sequel to Seed. Without spoiling the entire movie for you, I’ll just say that, after 25 years, Curse is more of a tribute to the franchise than anything else. Curse also feels like a partial reboot, so it will definitely please fans of the first three entries, which are a lot darker than Bride of Chucky and Seed, but fans of those two movies will enjoy it as well.
Curse of Chucky starts off creepy, just like Child’s Play, but once Chucky’s ultra violent nature starts rolling and f**cks around with everyone in the house, then the movie falls into both worlds of the franchise. It’s brutal and funny at times. Mancini made it clear before his movie started that they listened to the fans over the years, and Curse definitely delivers everything you can expect out of Chucky.
Personally, I’m more of a fan of gore than scare, and Curse of Chucky has plenty of both throughout the entire massacre. It’s scary because the set takes place in Nica’s (Fiona Dourif) home after the death of her mother, which actually looks like a haunted house from the outside. Chucky mysteriously lands in a boxed package at the house, which is cleverly explained at the end of the movie, plus Curse reveals plenty of unexpected surprises. The house also includes Nica’s controlling older sister, Barb (Danielle Bisutti), and her young family. As usual, Chucky has a lot of nasty tricks up his sleeve for them and Curse turns into a blood bath. The kills are delivered at the same pace as Child’s Play, but with much more attention to detail in my opinion. Expect to see some nice decapitations and a hot babe get toasted in Curse.
Mancini does an excellent job with camera movement, especially in the opening scene with the credits, and the lighting is one of the best I’ve seen in the franchise. Chucky is also scarier than ever because he can do a lot more facial expression thanks to the wonders of CGI. But at times, Chucky’s face doesn’t always look so natural because of strong shadows, which is why I don’t find the poster art the most appealing. Lastly, I felt the score wasn’t memorable at all; I wish it was catchy like in Child’s Play 2, but that wouldn’t have worked with the atmosphere Mancini created in Curse of Chucky.
I didn't mention much about the story because frankly it's far from award winning, and you just can expect that in this franchise. However, it looks like Mancini did have fun writing it and paid enough attention to previous installments to make sure Curse of Chucky appeals to all the fans. Well, I'm sure some will hate it, but to hell with them since you can't please everyone. I had a blast watching Curse at the premiere because the surprise elements alone was stellar.
Curse of Chucky drops on Blu-ray and DVD on October 8, 2013.