Thursday, October 31, 2019

Movie Review: "Curse of Chucky" (2013)

Director: Don Mancini
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

A woman receives a package in the mail that contains an old Good Guy doll that turns out to be the infamous Chucky, who almost immediately tries to kill the woman and her family.

Movie scene from the 2013 horror film Curse of Chucky where Nica (Fiona Dourif) receives a package in the mail
"I'm disabled, Barb. I'm not a child." (Image Source)
After the disaster that was "Seed of Chucky," we thought the "Child's Play" franchise was done. Apparently, we were wrong. "Curse of Chucky" is written and directed by Don Mancini, who helmed the previously mentioned "Seed of Chucky" and wrote every movie in the whole damn series. A paraplegic woman named Nica (Fiona Dourif) lives in a large, old house with her mother. One day, she receives a package in the mail that contains a Good Guy doll that turns out to be the infamous mass-murdering doll Chucky (Brad Dourif). Chucky immediately gets to work and kills her mother. Her death brings Nica's extended family to the house since her older sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) thinks she can't take care of herself in her condition. That evening, Chucky starts picking off the family one by one.
Chucky comes to life in front of Jill (Maitland McConnell) in "Curse of Chucky" (2013)
"Didn't your mother ever mention me? I'm an old friend of the family." (Image Source)
If you are the type of "Child's Play" fan who enjoyed the previous two, much goofier installments in this franchise, you may not like the path "Curse of Chucky" takes. There is a stark contrast between "Seed of Chucky" and "Curse of Chucky" (and thank god for that). Where "Seed" was a full-on meta-comedy slasher full of raunchy comedy that poked fun at itself, made light of mental disorders, and viewed the "casting couch" as a tool for women to get ahead in Hollywood, "Curse of Chucky" is much more self-serious and almost feels like a soft-reboot of the series until the very end. It is a slow-burning horror that actually tries to be atmospheric and create tension. Until the very end of the film, Brad Dourif's usual shenanigans take a backseat, and he doesn't get to deliver his witty one-liners while slashing up his victims because the film is trying to have a darker edge than the original. Still, it's hard to take "Curse of Chucky" seriously when just a few movies ago, there was a nightmarish looking doll obsessed with Japanese culture who pissed himself when he got scared. We're still not over Shithead. As for Chucky himself, his outer dollish shell looks a lot cleaner this time around, though we don't know if that's a good thing. In some ways, his more polished look comes off as creepier, and in other ways, it's more fake-looking, almost in a CGI'ed kind of way. The narrative from the rest of the "Child's Play" series doesn't flow all that well into this film, not that continuity has ever been a strong point in the franchise. When it comes to the horror elements, there are a couple of decently done kills here and there, but "Curse" bides its time too long and is a little too boring in the process.
Movie still from the movie Curse of Chucky where Chucky holds a knife in Barb's (Danielle Bisutti) face
"You have your mother's eyes. And they were always too fucking close together!" (Image Source)
We appreciate that Don Mancini tried to do something different in the "Child's Play" series with "Curse of Chucky." This movie is a vast improvement on its predecessor, which left us angry and scarred for life. Still, we have to admit, this entry in the series felt a little lifeless at times, and it left us wanting a little more of Chucky's classic antics.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
RT Rating: 76%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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