Curse of Chucky
It’s been four years since the events from Seed of Chucky when the paralysed Nica opens the door for a courier who delivers an old “Good Guy” doll out of the blue. Nica nor her mother Sarah have any idea where this doll comes from but they don’t pay a lot of attention to it anyway. Sarah decides to put the doll with the rest of the trash and that’s it. At least, you would think so… Not long after Nica finds her mother dead and it seems Sarah – who’s had a history of depression – has taken her own life.
To help her sister Nica with the preparations for the funeral Barb comes to visit with her husband Ian, daughter Alice and au pair Jill. Barb, however, has another motive to drop by, she wants to pursuade Nica to go live in some sort of home so the house can be sold and Barb can leave her “financial troubles” behind her. Nica doesn’t like the idea and to not have the discussion end in a straight fight they decide to leave the subject and go to bed. What nobody realises, however, is that het “Good Guy” who in the meantime returned in the house is none other than Chucky, the doll possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray, and he’s got a beef with the family…
We’re now 25 years since the first Child’s Play movie in which we got to meet series killer Charles Lee Ray who moved his spirit to a Good Guy doll to outsmart the cops and who’s since then become a cult phenomenon. In honor of the birthday maker Don Mancini decided to drop the comedy from the previous two movies (Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky) and focus again on suspense and pure horror as was the case with the original three movies. A good decision, you would think, but the fact that this one went straight to DVD should already be seen as a sign on the wall.
The setup of the movie isn’t bad as such. The cliché remote house may not be all too Original, but the fact that Chuckys opponent is paralysed and sits in a wheelchair certainly is. Another important thing for this type of movie is to have interesting “slaughter meat” and in Curse of Chucky this consists of an irritating Barb, her husband Ian who’s got the hots for the goodlooking au pair Jill, who has to look out for daughter Alice and in turn also has quite the unexpected “relationship” (we’re not going to spoil, you’ll just have to watch!). All elements are present for a fun slasher and Chucky himself is a proven value who in the past has proven to be good enough to be put in the line of such iconic killers as Jason, from the Friday the 13th movies, and Freddy Krueger who we know from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
It’s therefore all the more sad to see that after about ten minutes things start to fall apart like a badly baked cake because the makers unnecessarily stretch scenes for too long and as such make all built up tension flow away like water. A good example of this is the family diner at night where the camera switches from character to character and you expect something to happen at any moment. It’s an idea we’ve seen already before, but here it just lasts too long and the end of the scene is all but satisfying.
As such we could have lived with this if the rest of the movie would have been any good but that unfortunately isn’t the case. The “apotheosis” in which Chucky shows his mutilated self is just too ridiculous for words (nobody who noticed that the doll had been repaired???) and the murders themselves – which form the backbone of this type of movies – aren’t all too fantastic either. Just like with so many other cult horror icons from the ’80s Chucky seems to be past his due date.
With 97 minutes Cuse of Chucky isn’t such a long movie, but after watching it you have the idea there’s interesting material to fill only half that time. Don Mancini, writer behind the Chucky movies, waited nine years after Seed of Chucky to come up with a new sequel and again he’s taken on the directors chair. Maybe it would have been better if he had focused purely on the writing as then we might have had a movie that could withstand a comparison with the first three Child’s Play titles.
Curse of Chucky is recorded with HD cameras and technically looks very good. The level of detail is very high, the black levels are just like the contrast overall perfect. There’s a bit of banding present in the darker scenes but the majority of viewers won’t notice this, and the only thing we can say as “negative” about the image quality is that the digital nature makes things look overly “clean” and not really cinematic.
The Blu-ray gets delivered with a DTS-HD MA track that does its work well. The focus of the sound is mainly with the front but we do get good use of the surround speakers for music and some discrete effects. All in all a decent track that technically does what it’s supposed to do.
In the extras we find back a “Making Of” that contains little more than promotional blabber from cast and crew about how great everything is, a short look back at the different movies (Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy) which gives you nostalgic feelings towards the first movies which were actually quite good, a 9 minute background feature on the Chucky doll, deleted scenes, a gag reel and four storyboard comparisons with short commentary by Don Mancini.