“Hugely enjoyable old-school horror”
It’s been a long time in coming, but in a world of vapid remakes and reboots, it’s actually nice to see a sequel to an original franchise for a change. Not that Curse of Chucky was that eagerly awaited by anyone. After the entertaining original, a fun sequel that featured both a toy factory and Jenny Agutter, and a third part that was both pretty poor and tarred with the brush of totally unsubstantiated controversy in the UK, the Child’s Play series of films went the silly route with Bride of Chucky. Something even sillier followed with Seed of Chucky, which featured not just Jennifer Tilly in a quite remarkable performance of career self-destruction, but also Billy Boyd providing the voice of Chucky and Tiffany’s bizarre love child puppet twins, Glen and Glenda.
Bearing all that in mind, one would imagine Curse of Chucky to be even dafter, but it’s not. Instead it ignores the events of parts four and five and does its best to get back to good old-fashioned horror basics. Which it does superbly.
In a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere lives wheelchair-bound Nica (Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad) with her mother. A large box mysteriously arrives in the mail and, to no-one’s surprise except those on the screen, is revealed to contain Chucky (voiced once again by Brad Dourif). Chucky kills mum, who is found dead from a presumed self-inflicted stab wound. In the wake of her mother’s death, Nica’s sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) arrives with her husband, daughter, live-in nanny and a priest, all of whom are going to come in handy to up the ensuing body count.
You can work out the rest of the film for yourselves, but that doesn’t mean you should give this one a miss. Curse of Chucky is well made, with plenty of suspense and some excellent and inventive camera setups by director Don Mancini, who has written or co-written every film in the series to date. It’s obvious he still loves his creation, and this love comes through with this thoroughly enjoyable old school horror romp. Brad Dourif is excellent as always and the real revelation here is his daughter Fiona who does an excellent job of making Nica a three-dimensional character that you’ll be rooting for by the end.
And oh yes, the end. If you’re well acquainted with the series, or even if you’re not, make sure you stay till the end of the credits, as there’s a coda that’s just marvellous, and had the Frightfest audience cheering when the movie was premiered in London last August.
Neither hugely inventive nor hugely original, Curse of Chucky is nevertheless hugely enjoyable, and proves there’s still life in at least one good old fashioned 1980s horror standby.
Universal’s DVD is strictly bare bones. In fact every effort seems to have been made to include as little as possible on it. The Blu-ray has extras but these were not made available for review.
JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
Director: Don Mancini
Starring: Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Daniele Bisutti
Release date: 21 October 2013
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