Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chucky's House of Horror: Curse of Chucky (2013)

Curse of Chucky (2013)
rating: ***
starring: Chantal Quesnelle, Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti

After almost a decade since the last entry, Universal Studios finally gave us a follow-up to their Child's Play franchise, albeit toying with us whether this is a reboot or a sequel. While possibility of a reboot is currently (or was?) on talk, Curse of Chucky comes in to satisfy fans, promising that it will return to the serious tone of the first three films.

In this entry, Chucky is back in one piece and mysteriously delivered to the house of one Sarah and her paraplegic daughter named Nica. Believing to be either a prank or a mess-up in the delivery, the two didn't think much about the doll until that night, where Sarah appears to have committed suicide by "stabbing herself".

Flying all the way to comfort Nica in this time of loss is her sister Barb, who tagged along her yuppie husband Ian, their daughter Alice, their live-in nanny Jill and their pastor friend Father Frank. However, it seems that Barb has a secondary intention for the visit when she attempts to make a settlement with Nica to sell the house. Of course, Nica isn't happy with this suggestion, much to the tension coming in between them, but agreed to let her sister's family stay for the night to keep her company and settle this issue in her own terms.

Meanwhile, Alice found Chucky and instantly loves the doll, spending every minute with him much of Nica's approval. This inevitably lead to a bizarre series of deaths and accidents, including electrocution, rat poison and a mean hatchet, all until Nica is left for the picking and a revelation shows what ties lie between her and the killer doll.

Curse of Chucky is honestly good, but not a enough to be a grand onscreen return for our little killer. It tries to build up the same kind of tension that the first three have (and was missing from Bride and Seed), but with so little happening around the first half, the movie practically drags itself around on a scene or two. (Not a bad angle, however, if you would consider how well this worked with the looming gothic feel that provides as much atmosphere as Chucky's creepy stalking.) Due to this, gore was toned down, albeit one or two of them were bloody enough to satisfy a fan.

There's also a matter of the budget being minuscule for this productions, evident on the animatronics used for the doll; though it is quite fine, you can clearly tell how much of the film's money were used on these effects as multiple dolls used looked nothing alike and one kill mostly involves Chucky just staring at his victim as she electrocuted to death. (a really lame one, if you ask me) This also hurts the mythology concerning Chucky being near human underneath his plastic casing, as while it was fun to see Chucky re-attach his own head and survive a knife stab on the back since he's a doll and all, but the earlier films already established that if he was to be stuck inside that plastic body for a long time, he would become more human. Curse made it clear that Chucky was in this doll body for more than a few days now, so why isn't he still all fleshy in the inside? Mancini has a lot to explain...

Not much can be said for the other characters as they're either unlikable or uninteresting, being no more than numbered victims. (Save for Nica, played by Brad Dourif's own daughter, Fiona Dourif) I was expecting Alice, little girl that kept Chucky, to do much more for the sake of pushing the story further into something interesting, but we got none of that and she ends up just being "there". Fiona's Nica character did stand up (ironic word-play. haha) among them due to her disability, but if that's all that makes her noticeable, then the film could have tried harder to make us root for her. (Perhaps put Alice in real danger so she can save her despite her useless legs? That would have been worthy.)

It kinda sounds like I'm complaining much here, but truth be told, Curse is still a hoot as it still delivers some good scares and straight killer doll moments. Chucky's back into being menacing, the second half was fun with twists that are acceptable, and it even gave us a few surprises at the end.

Directly released to video, Curse of Chucky is a slasher struggling to get back into its prime, and perhaps one of the few to try this without undergoing a remake treatment. Perhaps a remake will come as Mancini and Dourif does show some interest in doing it, but for now, if you can overcome Chucky's ever-changing plastic face and cheaper bloodshed, then get ready to be Cursed.

1 female found stabbed on the gut with scissors
1 male seen killed in car crash
1 male decapitated through car hood from a car crash
1 female electrocuted on a soaked live outlet
1 female knifed on the eye, gouged
1 male had his jaw hacked off with a hatchet
1 male killed, method unknown (flashback)
1 male had his throat cut with kitchen knife
1 elderly female seen with a plastic wrap over her head, killed (?)
total: 9

"I'm gonna keel yew~"


  1. Next up, Revenge of Chucky. Or Legacy of Chucky. Or Blood of Chucky. Or Chucky 3D... on Ice... In Space... The Musical.

    "Not much can be said for the other characters save for Nica, played by Brad Dourif's own daughter, Fiona"

    Still awkward.

    1. "Next up, Revenge of Chucky. Or Legacy of Chucky. Or Blood of Chucky. Or Chucky 3D... on Ice... In Space... The Musical."

      vs Pinhead...with Time travel...

      "Still awkward."
      well, lookit at the bright side: at least he didn't have her raped like what Dario Argento did with his own daughter in "The Stendhal Syndrome"...

  2. Looks like you enjoyed it about as much as I did. Good, but not THAT good.

    1. I still can't get over the fact Chucky looked so cheap, though. But I'm glad he's back.