Review: CURSE OF CHUCKY (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: CURSE OF CHUCKY (2013)

Despite its straight-to-DVD status, CURSE OF CHUCKY is surprisingly enjoyable, if somewhat clichéd horror sequel.

If you are one of the horror movie fans who live in the '80s, you certainly remember that Chucky the killer doll is among the most popular horror icons besides Freddy Krueger (of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Jason Voorhees (of FRIDAY THE 13TH) and Michael Myers (of HALLOWEEN) during that particular golden era. However, over the past few years between 1998 and 2004, the CHILD'S PLAY franchise have gone from straightforward horror thrillers (as in the first three movies) to over-the-top and jokey overtones of BRIDE OF CHUCKY and especially SEED OF CHUCKY (which in my opinion, the worst sequel ever seen so far). Now, nine years later, Chucky is back and this time he went straight-to-DVD for the first time. But don't let the word "straight-to-DVD" fools you, because CURSE OF CHUCKY is surprisingly better-than-your-average horror sequel that is especially satisfying for (most) die-hard fans out there.

In this sixth installment, CURSE OF CHUCKY opens with Nica (Fiona Dourif), a wheelchair-bound young woman gets a surprise package that is meant for her mother -- a creepy Chucky doll. Then one day her mother died, and Nica is now left all alone at the big house until the arrival of her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti), brother-in-law Ian (Brennan Elliott), little niece Alice (Summer H. Howell), nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell) and priest Father Frank (A Martinez), for the preparation of mother's funeral. For those who have watched CHILD'S PLAY movies before should know that one by one eventually ends up getting killed in gory fashion by the notorious Chucky doll (voiced by Brad Dourif). As Chucky continues with his killing spree within the big house, he begins to reveal his true motive that his killing has something to do with the past with Nica's dead mother and Nica herself.
This time it's a relief that returning writer-director Don Mancini who first botched the fourth sequel in SEED OF CHUCKY, manages to make things right in CURSE OF CHUCKY by toning down the jokey approach and wisely goes back to the dark roots of the first CHILD'S PLAY (1988). In fact, he really improves a lot in term of his directing skill this time around. Here, he shows a great sense of restraint by working his way up layer by layer in a deliberate pace like a classic horror movie. Even though the movie is limited to a single location (the big house, that is), Mancini shows a labor of love in delivering every possible camera placements he can think of to ratchet up all the suspense and tension. Not only that, he does his fans a good favor by tying up all the loose ends from the previous installments.

As for the cast, Fiona Dourif (yup, that would be Brad Dourif's real-life daughter) is quite a standout as the headstrong Nica. And of course, not to forget also, is the typically wicked turn by Brad Dourif who voiced the iconic Chucky doll.

The wicked finale that shows not one, but two surprises which will keep the die-hard fans happy. Let's say it has something to do with two characters from the previous installments. And yes, the second revelation comes after the credit. A cool finish, if you ask me.

In the past, the previous installments are known for its creative gore effects. Don't get me wrong, there are still some of them here except this time, it feels somewhat lackluster. Other times, the movie tends to be quite redundant since it shows mostly in a single setting.

If Don Mancini really intended that CURSE OF CHUCKY is the final installment of the CHILD'S PLAY franchise, I would say it's a fitting conclusion until of course, the inevitable *cough* remake.

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