Universal Studios Home Entertainment
September 24th, 2013
Release length: 1:37:00
Seemingly starting out of nowhere, Curse of Chucky is the tale of Nica (Fiona Dourif), a wheelchair bound woman living at home with her mother, Satah (Chantal Quesnelle). One day the two receive a package from an unknown sender, in it being the Good Guy doll, Chucky (Brad Dourif). In the middle of the night, Sarah is murdered, which brings Nica’s sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) back to the house, along with her immediate family of husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell), and their live-in nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell). In no time, Alice and Chucky become friends, and a side plot involving Jill and Barb unfolds as the murders begin.
The story seems to be a bit rushed at times, but the ending offers plenty of loop holes to keep your attention. Much of the film builds up Nica as an innocent woman that was never allowed to date, or even leave the house, Sarah often mentioning that she didn’t want her to get hurt. This becomes an important theme towards the end, and a shot that Barb sometimes takes at her as well, building herself up as a stuck up, greedy, manipulative woman that you are guaranteed to hate with nearly every sentence that comes out of her mouth. The main goal of her being there is to try to convince Nica into selling the house that was left to her and Barb, and shipping her off to a nursing home for disabled people.
Each character does play their role well, often coming off really convincing. While this is a good thing as far as development goes, it doesn’t help to leave suspense as to who will live or die in the film. As mentioned, you can’t help but loathe Barb almost as soon as she appears on the screen, and Ian plays the oblivious role quite well through most of the movie. The only person who isn’t too convincing ends up being Alice. Granted she’s a child, but the acting range is rather limited, but not due to Summer’s acting skills, but rather how little she appears. She even disappears at one point from playing hide and seek, and never given a moment where she realizes Chucky is evil outside of scolding him lightly for swearing.
Visually, Curse of Chucky looks great. There are very few scenes shot outside of the home, mostly showing a police officer driving, or the scene involving Father Frank (A Martinez)’s car from a crash that occurs when he leaves the house after visiting and consoling Nica. The house itself is pretty confined, though established through the sleek production as more of a modern gothic, especially thanks to the elevator that allows Nica easy access between the floors, and is surprisingly used more for tension than anything else, such as during a scene where the power goes out, and she is trapped inside with Chucky. The black and white filter on the flashback scenes are a nice touch as well, though there is a deleted scene from it you can watch in the bonus features that should have been included, adding more character to Charles Lee Ray, and his impact on Nica’s past.
Curse of Chucky does leave you guessing, only explaining why Chucky is there in the first place at the very end. This tactic does end up giving the movie more of a fan-fiction vibe than an actual entry into the series. The main reason is becomes canon, however, is thanks to how the story wraps around the very first Child’s Play film thanks to Charles Lee Ray giving background not only to why he’s killing people off here, but also tying it back to his death in the toy store. The final battle that reveals this also takes a psychological twist to it, explaining away the previous films and how there has been someone who remains alive, and even has Chucky mentioning the various families that he tore apart over the years. But, in all honesty, if these little fine touches didn’t exist at the end, this could have been a stand alone Horror flick about a random possessed doll on a killing spree.
It’s also worth mentioning that this looks and feels like Child’s Play version of Hellraiser: Revelations, a movie that is meant to be canon, but more like a fan-fiction entry with a decent budget. At certain angles, even Chucky himself appears horrible, especially around the eyes, like the Pinhead that appears in his most recent film, though it is addressed slightly by the end. This also drops the wise-cracking Charles Lee Ray approach, and plays the film as more of a serious entry into the series once more that isn’t bad, but just doesn’t really do much to build tension. While executed surprisingly well, there’s nothing to make this one stand out, leaving it more as a traditional approach that is too afraid to take risks.
The Blu-Ray version includes this and the r-rated version, but if you happen to get the standard version of the film, you really aren’t missing out on much at all. The unrated version really doesn’t offer that much more. In fact, there’s nothing here that needed to be cut out other than holding on a decapitation scene a few seconds longer than would qualify for an R rating. There’s no nudity or sex other than a brief make-out scene either, which just adds to the question of what is the need of an Unrated Edition other than to entice more sales? If you’re a gore hound, no, this won’t satiate your appetite, but the scene of an eye bouncing down the stairs is still creepy as hell, and the electricution death is lingered on just long enough to make the impact on the viewer far more intense than it has any right to be.
Curse of Chucky nicely wraps up the current trilogy, as well as the entire series. Sadly, it’s done in the most standard method possible. This entry’s fan-fiction approach takes the murderous doll back to its less sarcastic roots, making it a much darker tale overall. Much of the film has you asking the simple question of “Why is this happening?” more than “Who’s next?” Sadly, the superb acting and previous story lines basically announce who will live and die, leaving little tension through much of the film. The extensive conclusion, however, answers more questions than you would expect, leading to a climax that basically cements the films run. If you’re a fan of the Chucky or Child’s Play series, this is one you’ll enjoy for what it is, and what it does to the series as a whole. If you have a Blu-Ray device, it’s worth renting over the regular DVD, as the high definition greatly enhances the visual atmosphere.
|Overall Score: 6.5/10