It is a bold move to take a character which has been so over-exposed that it is no longer scary and rather than reboot and start again, change the tone of the film entirely and rebuild, keeping what has gone before. Hollywood studios would refuse this sort of plan for a franchise today but all credit to series stalwart Don Mancini, who directs as well as writes here, he manages to make Chucky scary again.
Stripping away all of the silliness so that all is left is a basic “haunted house horror” movie, Chucky goes back to being the possessed toy who befriends an unwitting child. This time the child is Alice and the cast of character around her all descend on the house of their recently departed Mother. As always with these movies, at least the original Child’s Play, there is a person who believes what is happening, in this case the wheel-chair bound Nica played by the daughter of Chucky’s voice, Fiona Dourif. She screams, pleads and then fights her way through a film where Chucky has returned to be inanimate for the key moments and then slowly coming back to life, voiced by Brad Dourif, who reverts back to chilling rather than comedic.
There are some great moments in this movie and certainly very chilling ones. From a family dinner where at least one meal is poisoned, a Skype call where the victim is unaware of events in the background through to the endless possibilities of a person who needs to be upstairs when she can’t walk or escape. This is Chucky done well, with plenty of moments that bring the series back to it’s roots.
This is where the credit for what Mancini wants to do with his franchise is earned. Although it becomes fairly tenuous, there are some very clever links back to the original Child’s Play, confirming that this is the same character who once terrorised Andy all those years ago (there is even a post-credit sting which will please the long-term fans).
In returning Chucky to his horror roots though, you can’t escape the fact that this is a generic slasher with little that differentiates it from the other generic horror movies that people can now access in abundance. It never elevates itself from a “B-Movie,” clearly lacking a large cinematic, studio budget but making what it does have count very well. It is good to see Chucky return to what he should be as a horror character but this film is no masterpiece.
What it does do very well is set up the next movie and it is a potential sequel you actually want to see. I won’t spoil it here but there is a good set-up for the next film and this is clearly a series which has some leverage.
Overall, Curse of Chucky is a great reset for the series without actually rebooting the franchise. Chucky is scary again, the setting offers some great moments and this is a return to form for the character. Although a fairly generic horror, this is a franchise with some life still left in it.
Rating – 3.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
As always get in touch below with a comment but also like our page on Facebook (Views from the Sofa) or follow us on Twitter – @viewsfromsofa