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Curse of Chucky

tn_curseofchuckyThis Chucky series is one-of-a-kind. Of course it all started in ’88 with CHILD’S PLAY, a genuinely effective creepfest that put a drop of contemporary into a classic horror premise. It’s been a while since I’ve watched parts 2 (1989) and 3 (1991), but I remember the second is a pretty solid (if unnecessary) continuation and the 3rd one is, you know, terrible. But in ’98 the series was ingeniously reborn as absurdist horror-comedy with BRIDE OF CHUCKY, directed by Ronny Yu, and in 2004 we got the severely more ridiculous SEED OF CHUCKY, which was a great time at the movies for me and 25 other people around the world.

The constant through all these movies has been Don Mancini, credited with story and co-screenplay on CHILD’S PLAY, sole writer on every single sequel and director of SEED and now CURSE OF CHUCKY. He’s always trying to keep the doll alive so here he is 9 years later doing what he has to do to make a part 6: do it for $5 million dollars, straight-to-video, returning to the roots of it being a serious horror movie about one scary doll instead of a preposterous comedy with a whole family of puppets. The word “reboot” was even used in some write ups since for a while they were planning it as a straightup remake instead of sequel.

As excited as I was to see my boy Chucky back on the (small) screen, I gotta admit I had low expectations for this one. From the trailer it looked like a rehash of the original but on a lower budget. The old scary house didn’t look all that atmospheric and seemed like a generic horror location. One thing I love about CHILD’S PLAY is how it finds gothic atmosphere in an urban setting. You don’t see that done well too often (CANDYMAN being the biggest exception). And it’s obvious that Mancini loves expanding his ridiculous Chuckiverse, so I worried that he was “going back to the roots” because he thought that was what horror fans wanted and not because he really thought that was the right direction to go.

So I’m happy to report that all of my fears were unfounded and that this movie is great. It’s stripped down, not jokey like the last two, but full of clever setups and twists, surprisingly involving character drama and actual suspense. It even got my reflexes to involuntarily jump a little bit at one part. It’s got some good uses of classical tension building techniques but just when you worry they’re classing it up too much there will be an imaginatively gruesome bodily mutilation (at least in the unrated version – modified from its original version, contained here for the first time on the same disc).

The story takes place in a big old house where a young paraplegic woman named Nica (Fiona Dourif – yes, Brad Dourif’s daughter) has come to stay with her troubled artist mother (Chantal Quesnelle) after dropping out of college. One day a large package arrives mysteriously, and inside is (SPOILER) a Good Guy doll. Little do they know (SPOILER) that it’s Chucky, because they don’t know who that is.

mp_curseofchuckyWell, the mother doesn’t last long, and because of her issues with depression everybody assumes it’s a suicide, and the extended family – Nica’s sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti), brother-in-law Ian (Brennan Elliott), niece Alice (Summer H. Howell), their au pair Jill (Maitland McConnell) and also Father Frank (A Martinez) – come to stay with her. So there are plenty of people to potentially violate the not-fucking-with-the-Chuck rule.

Mancini indeed goes back to a CHILD’S PLAY feel by having Chucky only in Good Guy form for a good chunk of the movie. He’ll disappear and reappear in a different place or we’ll catch a quick glimpse of him scurrying somewhere but mostly we won’t see him come to life until later on. I wasn’t sure this would work after all the exposure we’ve had to Chucky, but it does. It turns out long shots of the motionless doll can still be creepy when we know that fucker is in there waiting to pounce.

What really surprised me is how interested I found myself in the characters. You really root for Nica and against her bitch of a sister who likes to subtly demean her and wants to put her into an assisted care facility so she can sell the house (shades of GRAN TORINO). There’s also a funny dynamic going between the husband and the nanny, but the nanny, who could easily be one-dimensional-slasher-fodder, has some nuance to her as she shows genuine concern for the well-being of the kid.

I got pulled into all of this so I really cared about who Chucky was gonna get and when. And there are several clever suspenseful setups: Chucky poisons one of six bowls of chili and we have to wait to see who’s eating it, Nica gets trapped in a dark elevator holding the doll and not knowing it’s evil, best of all is when mistrust between Barb and Ian leads to one of them installing a nannycam on Chucky! That’s a found footage movie I almost want to see.

Hats off to Mancini’s screenplay, which builds in alot of little things that lead to bigger things, and takes a simple setup in directions I never expected. Without getting all-out jokey there are lots of small touches that made me smile, for example Ian seeing the Good Guy doll as a piece of ’80s pop culture he remembers from when he was younger, like He-Man or Cabbage Patch Kids.

Of course we also have the REAR WINDOW/MONKEY SHINES/ABOMINABLE thing going where the hero has to overcome this fucker while not even being able to use her legs. But I’m proud of her ability to scrap with him. I’ve said it before, somebody just needs to kick that little bastard out a window. Nica can’t do it but at least she’s willing to punch him in the big dumb plastic head like he obviously deserves. Also there are some novel and genuinely creepy things that could only happen to a character in this situation.

Meanwhile there’s also this mystery about how exactly these characters tie in to the larger CHILD’S PLAY saga. Eventually we do find out how it connects and the movie goes into crazy overdrive. At first they do a good job of making the movie completely understandable to somebody who’s never seen a Chucky picture, then toward the end they’re like “fuck it, this is mostly gonna be fans watching anyway” and they give us alot of cool and sometimes funny links to previous installments. Concerns that this ignores the events of BRIDE and SEED were unfounded. Chucky even makes a reference to having terrorized the actress Jennifer Tilly in the last installment. (No mention of disemboweling Redman.)

It wouldn’t be surprising if they decided to go mostly digital Chucky in this one, as hard as it is to work with complicated animatronics. But don’t worry, they don’t. I bet they used the ol’ computers here and there, like there’s a really cool walking shot that I think (but couldn’t be sure) was animated. But the vast majority of it is the good ol’ puppets we love, limitations and all. And possibly little people or children in costumes for some shots. Good stuff. There are some great shots that really make Chucky look scary, my favorite being a shadowy one of him standing at the top of a stairway looking down.

What is the Curse of Chucky? I guess it’s the curse of having met this little asshole. If he knows you somehow, or if somebody mails him to you, he’s gonna ruin your life. I thought maybe it would also end up being that Chucky himself is cursed, that it’s hard out here for a doll. But they don’t really get into that. He seems to be enjoying himself for the most part. However there is one other possible double-meaning, because it’s sort of a theme that Chucky has a potty mouth that he passes on to the little girl. So the Curse of Chucky could just mean that he teaches little kids to curse.

Usually you gotta hold any DTV sequels to a lower standard than the theatrical ones, but I honestly think you don’t have to here. The limited location is used as a strength and visually it seems like a “real movie” to me. Watching it made me want to dust off the box set and watch all the other ones again, so maybe I’ll change my mind but I think this one is as good or better than the two sequels before BRIDE. It left me excited about other possible ways the series could continue, although it also would be a good sign off since it kind of ties together all of the previous entries. If it weren’t for FURIOUS 6 this would definitely be the best part 6 of the year.

IMPORTANT TIP: Leave it playing through the credits. Not for any reason you know. Just, you want to show respect to all these people that worked on it, right? So don’t turn it off during the credits.


SUPER SPOILER SECTION TO HIGHLIGHT ONLY IF YOU’VE SEEN IT: Isn’t it great that in the world of these movies the actress Jennifer Tilly is possessed and helping her killer doll boyfriend murder people? I wonder if Meg Tilly is gonna find out about this? Also, does she still have those kids? She must live a complicated life.  And does this mean that in movies Tilly’s done since SEED OF CHUCKY, like TIDELAND and stuff, that’s actually Tiffany? Has anyone noticed a drop in her acting skills?

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 2:25 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

83 Responses to “Curse of Chucky”

  1. ah yes, Chucky, the bane of my childhood, I can’t count the number of times as a kid I was convinced that creepy fucker was hiding under my bed or around the corner or under my bathroom sink

    I remember when they said they were gonna do a remake years back, I’m glad they didn’t and instead made an actual sequel, because how boring would a straight up remake be?

  2. you know it’s funny now that I think about it, I was a pretty smart kid, but that didn’t stop me from irrational childhood fears

    it’s like the dog Brian in Family Guy still being scared of the vacuum despite the fact that he’s intelligent enough to talk

  3. The Undefeated Gaul

    October 7th, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I’m looking forward to this. I used to watch the first three a lot when I was young and like them pretty much equally. Even the third one has a lot going for it in my opinion, with a cool opening scene (Chucky killing the old guy using different kinds of toys) and some of the bloodiest kills in the series (the guy getting crushed in the garbage truck, the barber getting his throat slit). Maybe the army base setting was a bit weird, but it did lead to the fun scenario of Chucky switching the ammo with live rounds for the training exercise at the end.

    I didn’t much enjoy either BRIDE or SEED so I’m happy the new one is going old school.

  4. The third film became a huge scandal in the UK due to the Bulger case. The killers actually had rented it, or owned it, and it was thus a focal point of the blame of why those kids committed that terrible crime. Let’s be honest though, it’s not a great movie and there was/is/has always been worse stuff out there in terms of on screen gore or darkness of theme. I always wondered if that may have been a factor in Mancini making the next two sequels very comedic in tone. Maybe he just wanted to flex his comedy writing muscles. Anyway, I digress (was at Liverpool Uni in ’93 so any mention of Child’s Play makes me think of that time). Looking forwards to seeing this latest chapter, more so after Vern’s positive response.

  5. Great review, I’m now genuinely looking forward to seeing this.

  6. The thing about part 3 and the bulger case was that the media drew some very superficial connections between the kill and the movie (It I remember right, the real life victim got sprayed with paint and in one scene of the movie Chuck gets covered in paint too.), but they could never prove that the kids saw the movie. They even checked all the videos that the parents rented through the years, but there was not one single Chucky movie.

    But even when it premiered on pay TV here in Germany, they put a warning in front of it. (Don’t know what it said, though.)

    The two things that kinda ruined part 1 for me where that I always wondered why a BOY would play with a doll (not to mention such an ugly one) and that they tried to make it look like the kid might be the killer, although it has been pretty clear that the doll did it.

    Oh well, glad to hear that the new one is good. It’s coming out here in a few days too and I definitely gonna rent it.

  7. I’m pretty fucking excited for this. CHILD’S PLAY was the second grown-up horror movie Lil Majestyk ever saw (the first was SHOCKER. It created a lifelong admiration of the work of Brad Dourif that led me down a rabbit hole of ever weirder B-movies. It was my horror gateway drug, priming me for the hard stuff. You might say that Chucky played a pivotal role in making me the unemployable nutjob I am today.

    I like all the movies in the series, even the third one. I appreciate that it keeps going in different directions while maintaining the same core personnel. I especially love that it’s literally a family business now that Dourif’s daughter is involved. It makes me feel all warm inside, like getting stabbed with a hot fireplace poker.

    In conclusion, I feel way more emotions about this asshole killer doll than I probably should.

  8. CJ – in the U.S. there was a doll called “My Buddy” that was marketed to boys, which the Good Guy dolls look similar to. Also the faddish popularity of the doll is obviously based on Cabbage Patch Kids, which I think there were some boys playing with in addition to girls.

  9. Also, Andy is a very young kid in the 1st movie, like 5 or 6, and Good Guy stars in his favorite TV show, so I personally never thought that it was much of a stretch that he would play with a doll. Now a pre-teen boy keeping a doll at the military academy in CHUCKY 3 on the other hand, that was a little bit too unbelievable for my taste.

  10. I never had a Cabbage Patch Kid, but I remember when I was seven or so, they put out these Cabbage Patch affiliates that were supposed to be humanoid animals. I asked for one for Christmas, but then when I got it I realized I didn’t know what to do with it. It didn’t have wheels or wings or a kung fu grip or missiles attached to it, so I was at a loss. I realized even then that I’d been suckered in by the hype. I just wanted it because it was the big present that year, the Tickle Me Elmo or whatever of 1984.

    Whatever. I was more into Garbage Pail Kids anyway.

    Cabbage Patch Kids were great for clobbering, though. You hold the cloth leg and swing around that hard plastic head like a medieval flail. You could really do some damage, especially if you caught your victim with the hard nub of the ear.

    In a pinch, you could also give someone a good whipping with a Barbie doll. This was more for humiliation than pain, however.

    Why am I talking about this?

  11. Mr. Majestyk – the same thing happened to me as a kid with the Furby fad, I got one and then after ten minutes or so I realized all it did was talk and that it was actually pretty fucking boring, so off to some corner of my room it went and stayed until eventually I just gave it to a cousin

    the thing also mildly creeped me out because there didn’t seem to be a way to turn it off and occasionally I would hear it just randomly say “hmmmmm booooored”

  12. Toxic: It was almost believable if you assumed the kid had spent his whole life in military school and had never had any toys, so he had no idea what was or wasn’t age-appropriate.

  13. Hey, Vern! Guess this review answers my question from last night. Great review.

    CJ: I’m pretty sure Chucky the doll was based on the My Buddy dolls and their cheap knock-off counterparts that were popular briefly in the 80’s. and boys do play with dolls, even if you did not. Hell, my son is a Brony at age four. Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle fan.

  14. Can’t believe you liked this Vern. It was terrible to me. It started out really good but about halfway through when the doll effects come into play, the budget started to show. Those doll effects were so bad you could tell it was a different doll from shot to shot. Also, I could tell the walking effect was done the old school way with a midget dressed as Chucky. If the doll effects weren’t bad enough then the ending was definitely terrible. I won’t get into it here since it doesn’t seem like anyone else has seen it yet but it felt like something out of an old episode of Tales From The Darkside and not a good one either. Then when you think it’s over it just goes on and on.

    I loved the original Childs Play. I saw it as a teenager and it was great to me that it was an excellent thriler/horror movie shot in my hometown. Not only did they shoot it in Chicago but they shot in places that film crews didn’t usually go to in those days. I watched it again to remind myself of why I even bothered with this terrible movie. It still came off as a tight thriller with some good direction from Tom Holland who’s only other movie of note is Fright Night. Manicni has no clue what he’s doing as a director and should never direct another movie after this.

  15. Now that Vern mentioned My Buddy, I’ve got that stupid song from the commercial stuck in my head:

    “My buddy and me like to climb a tree…”

    Anyway, I remember some of the boys my age having My Buddy and Cabbage Patch Kids. I never quite saw the appeal and was busy with my GI Joes and Star Wars dolls, uh, I mean action figures.

    I’m definitely going to check this out. I love Chucky. Even the crappy part 3. Brad Dourif has always been one of my favorites and I love that even though he’s a top notch actor who could probably be doing “respectable work”, he stills becomes Chucky every few years. And now bringing his daughter into the fold? Awesome.

  16. I should clarify that I’m not AGAINST boys playing with dolls. Shit, my older sister played with He-Man action figures and when she asked me to join her whenever she played with the Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony dolls that she also had, I didn’t say no.

    I also wouldn’t call it a huge dealbreaker that the boy in the Chucky movies played with one. (Although looking back at what I wrote, I said it ruined the movie for me. It did not ruin the movie for me, it was just a bad wording.) The other thing that I mentioned in the same sentence was the thing that ruined it, while the fact that the boy was so damn excited about that doll, just came across as a little bit weird to me. Remember, these were the 80s, were gender roles were much stricter. Not to mention that the kid was old enough to get his ass kicked in school for playing with dolls. But since this apparently is “based on a real world incident”, it makes sense.

  17. My buddy. My buddy! My buddy and meeeee!!

  18. Skani: That’s the one! I can’t imagine how many times I must’ve seen that commercial if the song is still stuck in my head a quarter century later!

  19. Kid sister. Kid sister! . . .

  20. Brad Dourif freaking out and cursing is what I like about this series (BRIDE is the only Chucky movie that really works for me), so I usually get bored with the ‘Chucky is secretly killing people off-camera/People get blamed for Chucky’s secret kills’ stuff. However, this one held my interest because of Mancini’s direction and the surprisingly good performances. Dourif’s daughter is actually very good in this.

  21. Skani: holy crap! I had forgotten there was also a kid sister. Now that you reminded me of that, I remember that even as a kid I thought it was hilarious. What a lazy spin off. They didn’t even try to give the doll her own identity. She’s just My Buddy’s Kid Sister. Sometimes you have to let her hang out with you and My Buddy so his mom doesn’t get pissed, but she’s such a non entity to you that you don’t even know her name. Of course, she’ll probably turn out to be smokin hot when she grows up.

  22. Dytroyt – exactly. Closest analogue to Kid Sister that I can identify is the mike myers “middle aged man” SNL skit, wherein Chris Farley served as his aptly named sidekick: “Drinkin’ Buddy.”

  23. Seriously, though, am heartened by the review. I didn’t see either of the “of Chucky” films, but looks like a marathon is in my future. I remember enjoying pt 3 for what it was, but not sure how it’s aged.

  24. It’s funny because Chucky isn’t the 1st place I go when the idea of a My Buddy doll in a movie comes up. I automatically think of SUPERMAN II when that kid falls into the water at the beginning. I swear to God, they used a My Buddy doll.

  25. David Cloverfield

    October 7th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for that tip Vern. Really glad I’ve watched the credits. So satisfying.

  26. Maggie: I instantly think of the “My Stalker” bit from Robot Chicken.

  27. Huh. I saw the trailer for this and assumed it was a bland and forgettable cash-in remake a la Platinum Dunes. I guess they explain why Chucky is in a brand new doll now? I miss his battle damage. Like Jason’s increasingly scarred hockey mask, it let you know that he’d been through some serious shit.

  28. I always liked the little touches they added to CHILD’S PLAY to make the “Good Guy” franchise feel like a real 80s phenomenon with the tie-in cartoon, cereal etc., its evidence of the team putting a little bit of thought into the movie

  29. Chucky was rebuilt anew in each of the first three. It was only in the funny ones that he was damaged.

    Chitown, whenever animatronics are used it really is a different doll in each shot. They have to build one specifically to do each action. I guess you’re saying they didn’t hide it well enough for you.

    Remember Bride came out post Scream and I’m so glad it did. It is by far the smartest and funniest of the postmodern self-referential ’90s horror movies.

  30. Plus, in SEED OF CHUCKY, he was actually the animatronic puppet from a movie-within-a-movie, not a doll. So he was built anew with all of his scars from BRIDE lovingly recreated.

  31. Jareth Cutestory

    October 8th, 2013 at 7:11 am

    They always made a big deal about how you don’t “buy” Cabbage Patch Kids; rather you “adopt” them. They came with birth certifictes and stuff. I have no proof for this, but I always figured that Chucky represented a sly comment on this practice: you want a souless toy as a full fledged member of your family? Okay, here’s the little hellion. Enjoy.

    Also, both Fiona Dourif and Power’s Boothe’s daughter played whores on Deadwood. Entry level positions.

  32. I thought the SEED OF CHUCKY puppets were still the damaged dolls from BRIDE, taken from the crime scene, sold to a movie studio and turned into animatronic puppets?

  33. I don’t think it’s ever explained how they got the dolls. I just assumed they were made by the special effect guy.

  34. Yeah I guess it makes more sense, considering Tiffany wasn’t exactly in prime condition at the end of BRIDE.

  35. Yeah the dolls in SEED are Hollywood versions of dolls from BRIDE. They’re actually a little ‘prettier’ and don’t look as cool as the BRIDE puppets.

    BRIDE:
    http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/29200000/Bride-of-Chucky-bride-of-chucky-29211673-1024-576.png

    SEED:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WZ0HNHpQqb8/UQ4brp5Ka9I/AAAAAAAAAz4/Id-X0aR5Ntk/s1600/chucky.jpg

  36. Clearly my knowledge of the CHILD’S PLAY franchise is amateur at best. We all have our failings.

  37. @franchise fred- Yep, I was aware with all the behind the scenes documentaries I’ve watched through the years and should have made it more clear. They did one of the worst jobs of hiding the different dolls that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s pretty bad and highly distracting. It was strange to go back and watch the original and see the good job they did with Chucky’s facial expressions and then see how bad his expressions were in this one. Also, Brad Dourif sounds a little off in this one. There is no way the director didn’t notice how bad some of those doll shots look. I’m sure they just didn’t have the money to fix it, but Mancini is not a good director. The tone of the movie is all over the place.

  38. A new Chucky movie is always cause for celebration. This just made it to the top of my DTV watch list (along with Ninj* 2).

    Actually, those are the only movies on my DTV watch list. I have no idea what else to look forward to.

  39. grimgrinningchris

    October 10th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Maggie- SUPERMAN II was way before the My Buddy dolls came out. It is very definitely and very obviously a doll, just not a My Buddy doll.

    Glad to hear this rocks. I need a good one!

  40. Vern: Thanks so much for the kind words. Chitown: That’s it, you are off my Christmas card list.

  41. Mr. Mancini! It’s a thrill to be on the same board as you. Your creation guided me by the hand into a world of horror that has given me so much joy and insight over the years. In your honor, I offer you a song: http://youtu.be/PjZ1Q6YKF70

  42. Hey Don, if you’re still lurking here, can you tell us a bit about the proposed Chucky tv series from a few years back? I really would have loved a half hour dark comedy series about the Chucky clan.

  43. In preparation to watch this movie, I made it a point to watch all 5 Chucky movies to brush up my memory of all the events leading up to part 6 and I am very happy to say that in the realm of horror series/sequels, this stands out as one of the best in terms of consistency and quality. I chalk it all up to Mr Mancini (Tip of the hat to you, sir! Awesome to see you stopping by if that is really you.) and his decision to keep trying to do something different each time.

    And those post-credit sequences were perfect. Just the things to throw to fans of the series who have been following it from the beginning. Can’t imagine where it can go if another one is made but I will be in line to watch it.

  44. I just watched it and it’s motherfucking AWESOME! If you ask me, it’s the most suspenseful Chucky movie ever and the ending (both the parts before and after the closing credits) had me smiling so hard, I totally forgot that I’m actually not feeling well right now. But now I remember, so excuse me while I puke on my bed. Anyway, CURSE OF CHUCKY, great damn movie!

  45. Also in terms of FX, I really liked the moment when we see a badly computer animated Chucky walk downstairs and then a few seconds later we cut to an animatronic one, that has the same stiff movement pattern as his CGI counterpart! It’s like either the CGI artists mimiced the movement of the puppet intentional or the puppeteer saw the CGI version beforehand and decided to blend in. (Maybe through a re-shoot? It was just a few seconds long shot, so maybe it was done on a Sunday afternoon in someone’s garage?)

  46. Finally caught this one.

    Good Stuff
    Pretty creepy and some genuine tension in parts, which is no easy feat for a series this old and increasingly goofy. For DTV, production values are very solid: the film looks great. Mancini et al. did a great job of turning the low-budget, single-location constraint into a positive by setting it in a spooky old gothic house and doing the old Agatha Christie/12 Little Indians thing. Chucky also looks great, in my opinion. Some people complained about bad CGI-Chucky scenes, but it all worked for me, and I didn’t catch a lot of editing seams. It’s also very well-cast, with memorable characters, good dynamics and conflicts among the characters, and good performances, all around. Fiona Dourif is a solid lead and final girl. Some pretty good, gnarly kills.

    Less-Good Stuff (***SPOILERS***)
    Although this film does deliver a few good scares, an overall creepy atmosphere, and some good kills, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a truly scary film. I know this will be heretical, but the Chucky dialogue and Brad Dourif’s affected Chucky accent have always been a bit over-the-top for my taste. This film nicely demonstrates what I consider a general principle: The more we hear Chucky talking, the less frightening he becomes. I guess I’m more of the Talky Tina Twilight Zone school when it comes to creepy dolls.

    More generally, while I appreciate the care and thought that Mancini took in trying to graft this film into the larger Chuckyverse, I think this proves to be misguided. The Charles Lee Ray flashback and Tiffany”flashforward” scenes are carefully done and fun enough in their own right, bu they add nothing to what is otherwise a pretty effective stand-alone “creepy doll in creepy house” body count film. Why make this film carry the referential freight of those other films, whose connection to this one feels contrived and unnecessary.

    Verdict
    Although I think the film has been a bit over-hyped (Its Rotten Tomatoes score is best of the series!), it’s definitely worth a watch. I would think die hard Chucky fans would really dig it. I enjoyed it. My only complaint is that the first half of this film manages to achieve a pretty effective “tonal reboot” of the Chucky character (akin to what Wes Craven achieved with Freddy in New Nightmare), but by the end, it seems to come full circle back to campy Chucky.

  47. I would also agree that this was pretty overhyped. Personally I’d take CHILD’S PLAY 2 and BRIDE OF CHUCKY over this any day.

    First off the continuity is pretty off putting. Now I know if you take this as yet another timeline in the series it works. I’d even say that ignoring the fact that Chucky had some human kids out there with “Jennifer Tilly” was pretty smart. But then Chucky clearly went through part 3 but I guess BRIDE didn’t happen because Tiffany is alive again? or is that Tiff as Jennifer Tilly? but if so then we are the kids? see what happens when Mancini tries to get all cute with the easter eggs? the Andy scene at the end is equally puzzling and there was no need for any of that. It should’ve been more focused and restrained in that regard.

    Also really didn’t like the idea of Charles Lee Ray being some stalker. There has been no precedent to that before. Matter of fact we’ve been told that Ray was a selfish sociopath without a care who did shit to further his own agendas. Not somebody who dwelled on bitter emotions. At least not until after that damn kid pissed him off but by that time he was blown up plastic.

    My thing is if Chucky had no issue going after Andy again not so long after part 2 why did it take him so many years to go after these people? it should’ve been not long after becoming a killer doll I would think or even a little before that. With that said I did enjoy it when I took it as just another alternate sequel to the first 3 only and not “PART 6”. It had good atmosphere, some of the kills were pretty cool and the production design, actual directing and the cinematography were surprisingly competent for it’s budget. I also liked the for real ending in the court room and anticipate the eventual payoff to that in another.

    To me it’s better than part 3 and SEED OF CHUCKY but that still only makes it the fourth best. To act like it’s the best in the entire series like some have done on the net (none of the sequels have ever matched the original) is kinda preposterous.

  48. Thanks, Broddie, I didn’t realize how many inconsistencies there are if you try to brute force all 6 of them into a single coherent timeline. Probably, b/c it’s been like 20 years since I saw 1-3, and I never did see Bride or Seed (Those last two seemed to go too far into self-parody).

    Anyway, even if these fan servicey easter eggs totally cohered with everything from 1-5, I’d still say they are extraneous and detract from film. To me, it’s more mythical and creepy if Chucky just shows up intact at this house and terrorizes them for no particular reason at all other than that he’s Chucky, and that’s what he does. That’s the essence of effective horror: there doesn’t have to be a reason other than you being in the wrong place at the wrong time or you being targeted by mysterious forces with motives that are above your metaphysical paygrade.

  49. I don’t need Chucky to be effective horror. I just need Chucky to be Chucky. The more he’s a silent stalker, the less Brad Dourif gets to go balls-out. So while I agree that SEED went as far in the other direction as I’d be comfortable with, I’m glad they didn’t course-correct too much. Pop culture is littered with eerie dolls, but there’s only one Chucky.

  50. Majestyk, I think that’s fair. I think Dourif is a fine actor, and I particularly enjoyed his Sheriff Bracket, among other roles. I also get that it’s an iconic role that he “owns” the same way Robert Englund owns Freddy. So, I realize I’m probably not going to win over many hardcore Chucky enthusiasts to my view that the series should lean into the quiet, vacant Chucky. Just pinpointing in terms of gut reaction why I enjoyed the first 2/3 of this movie quite a bit and the last 1/3 quite a bit less (but still an overall win). Honestly, it’s the same for Nightmare: I enjoy Freddy a lot more when I hear and see less of him, and I think his one-liners are more effective when they’re meted out sparingly (same for Arnold, I guess). Of course, I’ll still take stand-up comic Freddy if that’s all I can get.

  51. FYI, Cult of Chucky will premiere on Oct 3 on Netflix.

  52. Just watched it. I’d say it’s the second worst after CHUCKY 3, sadly. It’s not terrible, it has its moments, it tries a couple new things (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS there’s several Chuckys this time and Fiona Dourif has some fun playing her dad END OF SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS), it has some fun gory effects, a few chuckles, but there’s too many “hey fans remember this and that from the previous episodes?” for my tastes and, I don’t know, it looks a bit cheap and it just doesn’t add much to the series. I’ll still watch the inevitable sequel though.

  53. Talking about CULT btw, not CURSE.

  54. I’ll probably watch it on Wednesday night. I’m going to do horror movie trivia tomorrow night.

  55. Anyone interested in an alt opinion I really liked it. Much more than Toxic it seems. I never bothered to rank the CHILD’S PLAY’S/CHUCKY’S but I *guess* off the top of my head it would be: 1, BRIDE, CURSE, CULT, 2, SEED, 3. Don’t take that as a diss against SEED as I still enjoy it and upon rewatching 3 last year I learned I dig that one more than others as well which (for me) probably makes CHILD’S PLAY the most consistent in quality horror series. I hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next one to see where this new story line is going.

  56. I’m gonna watch it over breakfast. For the record I felt that CURSE was very overrated even if I enjoyed it. I didn’t really see it as a return to the original form. It was more like CHILD’S PLAY 2 which to it’s credit is not a bad thing.

    I also felt that Chucky’s clinginess and obsession with this random family seemed out of character. He usually seemed detached and ambivalent even when it came to his own wife and kid(s) so I can’t see him holding a grudge for that long. That took me out of the picture despite a solid tone and atmosphere. With that said I have enjoyed all the CHILD’S PLAY movies so far. Just curious to see where I think this one would fall in line.

  57. I liked the opening scene. Friends till the end indeed.

  58. Do they give Andy nothing to do then kill him off right away?

  59. Actually it’s more like

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    He gets a fate worse than death.

    Seems to be the recurring theme in this latest CHILD’S PLAY movie.

  60. You would think at this point Charles would have gotten out of the doll by using a random stranger.

  61. But why would he? He doesn’t aspire to a quiet, normal life, he enjoys being Chucky. Besides, now we know that (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS he can be in several different dolls and people at once, so who knows, maybe there is a normal Charles living as a farmer somewhere while the “cult” keeps murdering people END OF SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS)

  62. Your spoilers are making me more excited to understand what you are talking about.

  63. I fuckin’ loved it. I don’t know what the fuck was going on with Multiple Malcolm (was he possessed or what?) and I’m not sure I get the ending (who’s in the Tiffany doll?) and it’s one mega Dourif spazzout away from being great, but Fiona Dourif perfectly embodying her dad circa FATAL BEAUTY was compensation for all that. I love that Chucky is still creator-controlled after all these years. Other horror icons get passed around from one Ellis to the next, but Chucky is a family business, and I think the love and commitment shown toward him and his continuing story make all the difference. They can trot Andy back out and it’s not fan service, it’s the story’s author exploring and expanding the constellation of characters he created. I couldn’t be happier that his series continues to exist in this form.

  64. I agree Mr. Majestyk; the fact that this series has endured with ALL it’s continuity unapologetically intact in this day and age is a miracle and feels like a straight up Godsend. So refreshing to see.

    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

    I assumed that Chucky put Tiffany on to his new voodoo spell and that the Tiff doll was possessed by a division of her soul. Or it could be possessed by one of the kids. I actually thought Multiple Malcolm and the girl who babied the doll were gonna turn out to be Glenn and Glenda and then Mancini gladly said “Nah bro just another Red Herring”. Whenever they bring Chuck’s kids back I rather see them as more than lackeys.

    Baby Dourif did do her thing post-possession and with an homage to BOUND by the end to boot. Lots of homages everywhere actually. Caught a lot of Hitchcock and De Palma references throuhgout.

    Did you peep the post-credits scene? the CHILD’S PLAY 2 fan in me was very happy. Talk about it all being a family affair indeed. All we need now is Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon in the next one.

  65. I thought because of the dialogue about the kid from CURSE that they’d reveal that Tiffany and voodooed her into the doll, but there’s not enough to go on. The doll’s laugh sounded Tillyesque so that’s probably the simplest explanation, but there are a lot of loose ends in that denouement (which is a good thing–it allows the next one to go off in multiple directions) so I won’t rule out the other possibilities yet.

    Hicks coming back would make it even more of a family affair, since she met her husband (original Chucky designer Kevin Yagher) on the first one, and they’re still together. They have a 25-year-old daughter. That’s a full-grown person who wouldn’t be here without Chucky.

    Seriously, I find all the family connections on the Chucky crew to be heartwarming as fuck.

  66. Broddie, you missed the obvious Evil Dead shot..

    I loved it. It’s an all time great horror movie sequel. It is the Empire Strikes Back of Child’s Play. It also some great acting and one of the greatest wooden performances in movie history from Andy.

    Here is the thing though. Mancini seems to love Chucky so much that I don’t think he will ever give us a new hero to finally defeat him. Also, Andy could have just learned some voodoo. I think Andy vs Chucky in a voodoo contest would rule. Thumbs up.

  67. Cult of Chucky was bomb. Kickass fun movie with laughs and gore.
    References galore, especially to Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Great watch

  68. Stern: I would LOVE it if this series would have a voodoo/magic showdown ala Sammo Hung’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND.

  69. Both Mancini and producer David Kirschner don’t really like the voodoo angle (which was brought in by Tom Holland) so I don’t know if they’ll ever really lean into that aspect of the mythology. But for a minute there in CULT I thought Andy had voodooed himself into the doll with the buzzcut so he could fight Chucky doll-to-doll, so I would not be opposed to the idea of a big voodoo showdown.

  70. I know they don’t like it but the whole basis behind Cult is because of voodoo so they might as well go for it.

  71. Yeah, they seem to have made their peace with the voodoo and decided to have some fun with it.

  72. Sternshein, your comparison to Star Wars makes me think that to me, CULT is more like Disney’s Star Wars than Empire Strikes Back. It’s watchable but underwhelming, because it’s mostly “hey remember that thing from the other episodes? Well it’s here again but in a different context! Aren’t you happy I’m rewarding your brand loyalty? Truly I should be the one who manages the Chucky intellectual property until the end of times, not those other guys, because I respect fans so much and I just want to give them what they already know they like”.
    And I mean don’t get me wrong I’m still happy to get more sequels by Mancini rather than a soulless remake, but I’d rather see a new “creative kill” than a wink to the waterbed murder from BRIDE and I could do without gratuitous quotes like “a true classic never goes out of style”.
    But anyway if I’m the only one who didn’t love it and we get an ARMY OF CHUCKY where a Chucky-possessed human dies from peanut allergy and a surprised Chucky says “Weird continuity error… normally I have a very high tolerance for nuts” and Jeremy Sylvers returns for some reason, I guess I’ll try to make peace with the idea that it’s the best kind of Chucky we can hope these days.

  73. Toxic, obviously, I disagree with your assessment a lot. I know you try to address it but it really doesn’t make sense to compare this to Disney’s Star Wars. I could maybe get behind it if George Lucas wrote and directed episodes 7-9. Don Mancini has written and been a part of every single one of these. I don’t really know what your feelings on episode 1 – 3 but I hate them but I’m not going to say that I know better than George Lucas.

    I stand with my statement that this one is a classic.

  74. Yeah, I think you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your own material. It’s not like CULT was a total retread like FORCE AWAKENS. Structurally it was a whole different setup and the plot didn’t go anywhere previous CHUCKY films had. Along the way there were callbacks, which are not my favorite things, but when you’ve written six movies over the course of nearly 30 years that people still remember and love, you have a right to take a victory lap if you want to.

  75. Again I’m happy that Mancini still has control over his creation and if the self-referential winky-winky stuff is really what he wants to do, and not something that he feels he has to do to keep fans happy, then more power to him. I’m just worried that Chucky is on his way to becoming the Bruce Campbell of killer dolls.

  76. That ship sailed 20 years ago. If CURSE didn’t work for you it didn’t work for you, but it’s not like this series has been sacrosanct about self-referential humor until all of a sudden last year Don Mancini went on some message boards to try and keep up with what the kids want. That is one aspect of the Chucky experience and has been for a very long time.

  77. *CULT, not CURSE. I hope the next one doesn’t continue the alliteration or I’ll never get them straight.

  78. Then I’d say CURSE is MY NAME IS BRUCE Bruce Campbell to BRIDE’s ARMY OF DARKNESS Bruce Campbell.

  79. CULT not CURSE.

  80. Curse is nothing like My Name is Bruce.

  81. Are we all getting the CURSE/CULT disease?

  82. CURSE is nothing like ARMY OF DARKNESS except for having a Universal logo in the beginning and gothic elements. There!!!

  83. I see it was BRIDE that was considered the ARMY OF DARKNESS not CURSE. That’s actually pretty accurate. Bah!

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