Setting aside the issues the film has with continuity, this direct to DVD sequel redeems the series after the horrible Seed of Chucky.
Over the last few years, we have seen quite a few remakes of classic Horror villains. We had Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007, and the sequel in 2009; the 2009 Friday the 13th which I don’t remember what so ever; The remake of Nightmare on Elm Street in 2010; and now Chucky’s return in 2013 with Curse of Chucky. Now, I’ve seen all of Chucky’s films, even the terrible Seed of Chucky, and while this film does have issues with skipping some details about Charles Lee Ray, it takes away a lot of the bad comedy of Seed of Chucky and looks to return to Chucky’s roots.
With every Child’s Play movie, and the later films, Chucky always found a family to terrorize. Be it the Barclays, the Kincaid, or the Tillys, Chucky was always found by a loving family. For this round, we have a family which features Nica (played by Fiona Dourif – Brad Dourif’s daughter) who is a paraplegic with a heart of gold, or so it seems; her older sister Barbara (played by Danielle Bisutti) who is snobbish, and in a unsatisfactory marriage, but loves the lord; and their mother Sara (played by Chantal Quesnelle) who is a woman who has gone nuts. Rounding off the main cast is, of course, Chucky/ Charles Lee Ray (played by Brad Dourif). This go around, Chucky isn’t trying to be as comical as he was in Bride of Chucky or Seed of Chucky, he returns to a more sinister being who has a sick sense of humor. Charles Lee Ray on the other hand, well let’s just say they sort of ruin the killer who came before the doll in this film.
Story wise, Chucky gets delivered to the house of Sara and Nica by someone who we meet at the end of the film. That aside, Chucky as usual plays the doll role as long as he can before attacking but, after his first murder, he gets to meet Barbara and her family consisting of her husband Ian (played by Brennan Elliott), nanny Jill (played by Maitland McConnell) and daughter Alice (played by Summer Howell). Naturally, being a child’s toy, he ends up spending a good portion of his time with Alice, who is less than 10, and preps her to play Chucky’s favorite game “Hide the Soul.” Of course though, Chucky can’t keep himself from killing so one person dies after another and eventually all that is left is him and Alice. But, Chucky seemingly has forgotten many of the rules involved with transferring his soul so an old friend has to get involved in order for him to finally get out of that damn doll’s body.
Now, let me first say, once again, this movie is so much better than Seed of Chucky. They took away all the random pop culture references and brought back the creep factor of a living toy. This isn’t to say though Chucky doesn’t throw a joke or two in there, but they are more so the jokes he did during the Child’s Play days, than the later ones. Also, I love the way the animatronics team handled Chucky’s movements to make him doll like again. It aided in making him a scarier figure and reminded us why he used to be something which gave people nightmares. Lastly, I must say that this is probably, minus one or two things, the best written Chucky adventure. The dialog and story is written much better than what most horror films have to offer, and while it isn’t award worthy, it definitely is good enough to make Curse of Chucky seem like it had more thought put into it than the other sequels/ remakes of horror films we’ve seen as of late.
But, the film isn’t without issues. The first issue you’ll notice is that it selectively acknowledges past films in terms of what goes on with Chucky’s body, and how to address the 5 films which come before the movie. In some ways it does this well by Chucky noting the families he has terrorized, but then you wonder why they rewrote what led Charles Lee Ray into possessing a Good Guy’s doll. Also, the inclusion of Charles Lee Ray is central to the story, and I felt his inclusion ruined the man who became the puppet. Lastly, though I am not fond of Glen/Glenda, being that this is a sequel, you sort of wonder what happened to them?
If you can set aside the issues of continuity, and Charles Lee Ray being diminished as a villain, this is such a good film that it could revive the franchise. Curse of Chucky reminds you, without being a remake, what made the doll one of the horror icons. He is something you wouldn’t suspect, he makes the slightest move of a curtain or pitter patter on the floorboards seem all the more creepy, and to get people to believe you is hard because he is a doll. This is why I think the film is a rental. It may not be the most scariest of films out there, but with a few jump scares and the creepiness which was found in some of the original Child’s Play movies, the makers of the film seem to recognize some of what worked in the past 5 films. Thus making a film which acknowledges the past killings and people in Chucky’s career, while possibly leaving us with the potential for a future for the series. Even if it may be slim.