So, Curse of Chucky is the first direct to Home Media/Video/DVD/Blu Ray (I’m just going to say Video, I don’t mean VHS, just force of habit) entry into the series. As far as not going to theatres sequels go, it’s not bad.
Originally after Seed of Chucky, which was the last of Chucky’s attempts at being a dark horror comedy series, Don Mancini (director of Seed and writer of all of the Child’s Play/Chucky series), wanted to do a remake. The commentary on certain scenes in the most recent DVD release of Child’s Play talks about this. Brad Dourif actually does commentary acting as if he’s Chucky on the commentary, it’s pretty entertaining. They talk about a scene with a dentist in the remake, but I guess the funding never materialised. So they decided to go with a sequel.
So this is definitely a direct sequel to Seed of Chucky. The story is about Nica (played by Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif’s daughter) who receives a Good Guys doll in the mail (you can guess which one it is). Nica is a paraplegic and needs a wheelchair to get around. Nica and her mother live together, which leads to said mother dying in an accident… alright an ‘accident’. Nica’s sister and her family come to help Nica deal with things (mostly trying to get her to sell her house). People start meeting gruesome ends and chaos ensues.
So, Brad Dourif is awesome as Chucky. He has a couple of average one liners, but his dialogue is good for the most part. We see some flashbacks with Chucky as a human, which fits in nicely with the footage from Child’s Play 1. One would think Mr. Dourif’s age between the scenes would be noticeable, but they aren’t (maybe because it’s in black and white). Brad Dourif is an Oscar winner and was in Lord of the Rings, the man can act, so seeing him do anything is a treat.
Fiona Dourif does a good job. There have been far worse protagonists in Chucky movies. Originally she was going to be cast in a lesser role (since it was her father’s role in the series that got her the role, but her performance was good enough to be cast as Nica – film commentary). A lot of the film is shot from her wheelchair vantage point and this puts her in a more believable situation, due to her killer is a possessed doll. She does use her feelingless legs in a really cool way at one point during the movie.
The animatronics are some of the best in the series. The only problem I have is that the doll that doesn’t articulate (the default good guys doll), looks a little different than the one that you know is going to go on a killing spree, so it ruins the suspense sometimes. Speaking of suspense, this movie is like a House of Haunted Hill/Red Mask of Death type of film, people cut off from the outside world, having to survive the night.
The other actors aren’t bad and play their roles well enough, but come on. They’re Chucky fodder. I’ve seen a lot less thought put into slasher characters in movies I like, so having any real thought put into these characters is always welcome.
SPOILERS!!!! plus Nerd Continuity Stuff
So if you haven’t seen the movie, but don’t care about spoilers, here you go. Jennifer Tilly is in the movie as Tiffany. Well to be more specific, she’s Tiffany in Jennifer Tilly’s (the character based on the actress) body… if you remember, Tiffany met the actress that played her in Bride of Chucky & Seed of Chucky and transferred her soul into Tilly’s body. The end result is that Tiffany looks like she did before Chucky put her into a doll. I’m not sure how this fits into the ending of Seed, with Chucky’s arm grabbing Glen at the end, but I guess Tiffany (in Jennifer Tilly’s body) got back with him or something. She was the one who mailed him to Nica’s mom in the first place (deep breath).
Nica’s father was killed by the human Charles Lee Ray and then he kidnapped her mom while she was pregnant with Nica. Nica’s mom somehow calls the cops before the scene we see and that’s when Lee Ray is killed, he’s forced to put his soul into the Good Guys doll at the beginning of Child’s Play 1, but not before stabbing the unborn Nica though her mom’s belly. Chucky is the reason she is in a wheelchair. This connection adds another dimension to the movie. I’m glad Mancini writes some of the mythology into the movie, rather than just having Chucky kill a random family for no reason. The original name for the movie was Revenge of Chucky, which makes sense.
So Nica is blamed for the murders and Chucky is retrieved by Tiffany in the same manner as he was in Bride of Chucky. The scene is so similar you may think it was from Bride of Chucky.
So Chucky is sent to Nica’s niece’s new home, with her grandma. Chucky attempts to put his soul into the girl, but I guess her grandma stops him or something. I’m also assuming he has the amulet from Bride/Seed on him, because he is absolutely in the same body as CP3/Bride/Seed. He’s covering up his stitches with make up/plastic adhesive. This is cool, because we get old school Chucky as well as new school Chucky in one movie. Back to the amulet… see Chucky can only put his soul into the body of the person he first revealed he was alive to. This would be the kid from Child’s Play 3 (since he got a brand new body in CP3).
So Chucky is sent somewhere else, with no real explaination why he isn’t walking around in a little girl suit, which would have been a creepy ending. They instead an awesome ending that ruins the creepiness of the precredits ending, but it’s so awesome it doesn’t matter. He is sent to Andy Barclay’s apartment. The kid from CP 1-3. Chucky is shot at the very end, but they could draw the fight out more if they start the next movie from that spot. The actor is the same one as the kid from CP 1 & 2, which is neat.
The only continuity mess ups are Chucky’s doll body seems a lot more doll-like, and not turning human, which he is waaaaaay past due for if you’ve seen any of the other movies. His head is knocked off and it detaches like a doll’s head and he’s stabbed and stuffing flies all over the place. This is small, but I noticed it right away. That was one of the more disturbing aspects of the old movies.
Curse of Chucky is a welcome entry to the series, the low budget shows, but they get the most out of it. Brad Dourif is awesome as usual, but the multiple endings, while cool, conflict with the tone of each other (and maybe the conclusion?). There have been way worse direct to video sequels to theatrical series (cough Hellraiser, Pumpkinhead, Donny Darko, The Butterfly Effect cough). Aside from a couple of cheesy moments, its a solid entry into the series. Chucky is scary again. This is worth your time, if you like Child’s Play or horror in general, you should check it out.