Curse of Chucky isn’t a great horror film but it’s satisfying and a big step up from Bride and Seed and takes the character back to his roots and away from the stand-up comedy routine from the later outings. Fiona Dourif is a delight in the lead role and Maitland McConnell is hopefully on her way to bigger things after this. While I wasn’t overly thrilled with the film, I’m certain fans of the franchise will love it.
Universal | R/Unrated – 95 min. / 97 min. – $34.98 | October 8, 2013
Directed by: Don Mancini
Writer(s): Don Mancini (written by)
Cast: Fiona Dourif, Daniella Bisutti, Brennan Elliott, Maitland McConnell, Chantal Quesnelle, Summer Howell, A Martinez, Brad Dourif
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Storyboard Comparisons, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 40.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
In the opening of Curse of Chucky wheelchair bound Nica (FIONA DOURIF) lives with her overbearing mother (CHANTAL QUESNELLE) and one day receives a package from an anonymous sender and inside our old friend, Chucky! Nica finds this doll “cute” but he’s anything but and the mother rightfully places him in the trash. Right place but really she should’ve placed him back in the box, driven it miles away and buried it in the ground. But she doesn’t and that’s where troubled begin and soon enough the mother is found dead in the foyer.
The following day Nica’s sister Barb (DANIELLE BISUTTI), brother-in-law Ian (BRENNAN ELLIOTT), niece Alice (SUMMER HOWELL), their nanny Jill (MAITLAND MCCONNELL) and Father Frank (A MARTINEZ) from a local parish visit in preparation for the funeral. However, Barb has ulterior motives, disguised as concern Nica cannot take care of herself alone, as the home Nica lives in is valuable and with the death of their mother, a sale of the home would be split between the two and Barb and her family is in need of the money.
But for this family feud can get heated, along with another surprising semi-twist, Chucky begins his diabolical plan that involves the love and friendship from Alice who, as with Nica, somehow finds Chucky cute and adorable. I still don’t see it, but ok… The first victim Chucky serves up is the good old pastor using rat poison in the chili dinner, though Father Frank manages to bolt out before getting killed in a car accident.
As Chucky does his thing ingratiating himself to Alice and the others, Nica knows something is wrong and does some digging dating back to the 1980s when Chucky’s killing spree began as well as his connection to Nica’s family: Charles Lee Ray (BRAD DOURIF) was once a family friend seen in some old home videos. I have to admit, it’s actually a fairly good tie-in with the original and not overly forced.
So, basically that entire household is screwed as Chucky reveals his true self, nasty scars and all, and begins killing one by one in some creative ways. As per creator, writer and director Don Mancini, he wanted to take the series back to its roots not only in terms of story but also in the humor as the franchise turned into camp more than horror. Sure, Chucky has a few wisecracks, but instead of funny it is refreshingly horrifying.
One of the highlights for Curse of Chucky is the emergence of Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad Dourif, whose career has mostly been comprised of small roles in The Master and The Messenger as well as the HBO TV series “True Blood”. Here she does some impressive work with her character being confined to a wheelchair.
Other than Chucky himself and Fiona Dourif, the only other standout is young actress Maitland McConnell who, despite really not having a lot of development or screen time, seems to have the type of screen presence that I only hope to see in the future in a more up front and lead role.
Over the course of 25 years, and four sequels no less, Chucky is a horror cult icon that sometimes is overshadowed by heavyweights like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, and while all three of them are more formidable, Chucky is quite menacing and like his counterparts, everlasting.
For being the sixth in the series, Curse of Chucky is one of the better entries providing some great suspense and OK scares here and there. Brad Dourif once again seems to have a blast voicing Chucky, even if it’s done to a minimum this go-around, and there are some wonderful surprises for fans both in a twist ending and also a post credit sequence.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
This release comes with a title embossed, matted slip cover. Inside are a standard DVD Copy and a paper slip with the download code for either the UltraViolet or standard Digital Copy.
Feature Commentary – Participants on this track include Writer/Director Don Mancini, Puppeteer Tony Gardner and Actress Fiona Dourif. The track is pretty light-hearted with Mancini providing some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits and Dourif discusses her role and working with the other actors.
Deleted Scenes (6:17; HD) – Six scenes got the axe and even though they’re fine, none of them really added to any character or story development outside of a fun exchange between Nica and the officer.
Gag Reel (1:27; HD) contains your standard flubbed lines and on-set hijinks.
Playing with Dolls: The Making of Curse of Chucky (15:34; HD) – This featurette offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made and also contains some on-set interviews with the cast and crew talking about working with one another.
Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life (8:35; HD) looks at the creation of the animatronic Chucky puppet.
Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy (7:08; HD) chronicles the Chucky franchise with insights by the current cast and crew.
Storyboard Comparisons (25:19; HD) for 4 scenes are provided with intros by the director.
Previews – Dead in Tombstone, Machete Kills, “Bates Motel”, The Purge
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Curse of Chucky slays its way onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a finely detailed 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture, shot digitally (a first for the franchise) looks amazing with excellent detail levels from close-up shots to the more distant ones. The colors look well balanced and it wouldn’t be a horror movie without some dark scenes which are stark and show no artifacting or pixilation.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The film comes with a satisfactory 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The dialogue levels are nice and clear throughout and when the action and horror picks up, this lossless track really comes to life as Joseph LoDuca (The Messengers, “Spartacus: War of the Damned”) swells and the screams and killings go into high gear during the second and third acts.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, Curse of Chucky isn’t a great horror film but it’s satisfying and a big step up from Bride and Seed and takes the character back to his roots and away from the stand-up comedy routine from the later outings. Fiona Dourif is a delight in the lead role and Maitland McConnell is hopefully on her way to bigger things after this. While I wasn’t overly thrilled with the film, I’m certain fans of the franchise will love it. The Blu-ray has a fair amount of bonus features and the audio/video transfers are both excellent.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.