September 29, 2013

Curse of Chucky (2013)



"After her mother's mysterious death, Nica begins to suspect that the talking, red-haired doll her visiting niece has been playing with may be the key to recent bloodshed and chaos."

Don Mancini's sixth installment in the "Child's Play" franchise has been one of the most anticipated horror sequels for those of us who aren't members of the privileged "praise everything" clique which gets invited to advanced screenings. After what seems like months since those shills started overhyping it, "Curse of Chucky" is finally available via VOD (depending on which country you live in and which service you use), so you can now see what all the fuss was about... or not, as the case may be.

As someone who prefers "Bride of Chucky" (1998) and "Seed of Chucky" (2004) over the first three movies, I'm a little bit disappointed that "Curse of Chucky" is more of a throwback to the earlier ones instead of continuing the story where "Seed of Chucky" finished, especially as I was anticipating being able to divide the franchise into two neat halves according to the titles. Until this one, if the movie has "Child's Play" in it, it's a dated one for fans of '80s and early '90s slashers, but if it has "Chucky" in it, you know it's going to be more modern and fun. Unfortunately, that idea has gone out of the window.

"Curse of Chucky" is like the first "Child's Play" with Chucky working alone and terrorising a family in their house for what seems like no apparent reason (until he explains everything two-thirds of the way through), and as such, it's mostly just another generic slasher with a creepy doll. Even with Brad Dourif appearing in the flashbacks, you could still easily replace Chucky with any doll from the last 30 years and not notice the difference. I was half-expecting Blade, Pinhead, and Tunneler to turn up, and I can't wait to see the inevitable Empire/Full Moon mashups appear on YouTube!

Either she's really tiny or the new Chucky is huge!

Ignoring the little girl who doesn't have much screen time anyway, the star of the show is Fiona Dourif (Brad Dourif's daughter). Apparently, she's not a bad actress, and she's exceptionally hot for a chick in a wheelchair! Sick puppies will probably say that she's the ideal woman because she can't run away, and I have a slight suspicion that her character is really only the way she is to make that somewhat puerile joke. I was quite surprised that Chucky didn't say it out loud at any point! Maybe it's due to the pussified PC times we live in that the one-liners are a lot weaker. Chucky has always been a bit disappointing as a psycho-pervert, but swearing is a poor substitute for his normally Freddy-esque humour.

Gore-wise, there are a couple of decent kills, including a decapitation and a lot of blood, but none of these movies are that special for gorehounds anyway. Most of the budget must have gone on the CGI effects to animate Chucky, which is a bit of a shame. It's not as if Chucky gets much time on screen either.

To add to the eyecandy, Danielle Bisutti (from "InSHITious 2") and Maitland McConnell provide an erotic surprise which I won't spoil for you. It's a nice touch, but it doesn't go far enough. A glimpse of Maitland in her red lingerie is the highlight; a hot and steamy shower scene would have been better.

Overall, I liked the first three-quarters of "Curse of Chucky". There was a little bit of suspense here and there, and I started to feel bad for Fiona Dourif's character, but after the courtroom scene, the three contradictory "fanservice" endings which followed (especially the one with Andy Vincent during the credits) ruined everything and pissed me off. Ideally, it might have been better to have placed the Jennifer Tilly ending in the credits, and left the others as "Special Features" on the future DVD rather than use them to pad the running time, but what's done is done.

"Curse of Chucky" is currently only available via VOD, but it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 8th. Start saving your pennies if you're a Chucky fan, or save them for something better if you aren't.

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