Set after the events of Curse of Chucky, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is now residing in a mental institution where the murderous Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) returns to wreak havoc again.
Four years ago, writer-director Don Mancini made a smart choice of toning down the jokey approach of the last two Child’s Play franchise (1998’s Bride of Chucky and 2004’s Seed of Chucky) in favour for a more straightforward horror undertone that characterised the first three movies in 2013’s Curse of Chucky. However, in Cult of Chucky (in case you’re losing count, that would be the seventh instalment in the series), Mancini turns thing around again by blending the dark comedies of Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky with a macabre touch of earlier Child’s Play movies. As a result, the movie turns out to be another worthy addition to the otherwise erratic 29-year-old series.
Like Curse of Chucky, Mancini has to make do with the same limited budget given for Cult of Chucky. Still, he manages to concoct an ample display of graphic violence and gore as well as a few memorable kills to satisfy both fans and viewers alike. He even has a field day throwing a couple of pop-culture references from Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to the now-defunct TV series of Hannibal (in which Mancini happens to write and produce some of the episodes). If that’s not enough, Mancini also pays clever homage to Brian De Palma’s trademark split-screen visuals.
As for the plot, Mancini retains the same single-setting premise in Cult of Chucky. But instead of Curse of Chucky‘s big-house premise, the latest instalment takes place in the mental institution. Although the story tends to slip into a familiar slasher-movie territory, Mancini still deserves some credits for toying the fans and viewers’ expectations regarding the existence of more than one Chucky doll.
Fiona Dourif, who previously appeared in Curse of Chucky, continues to impress with her role as Nica. Brad Dourif is wickedly fun as usual voicing his iconic role as Chucky, while other supporting actors deliver equally decent performances.
Likewise, do not click away once the end credits roll in Cult of Chucky. Do stay until the very end where a post-credit teaser reveals the return of another familiar character.