Growing up in the 80’s as a child and a fan of horror movies, naturally one of the franchises that hit home with me was Child’s Play. The innocence of Andy Barclay and the terror of Chucky was something that I had felt late at night in my bedroom, alone in the dark and at the heart of the Child’s Play franchise was the dichotomy of the two childhood characters. At least in the first 3.
After that, with Bride of Chucky, like all franchises from that time period, it became self aware and more a parody of what it had started as than an outright horror film. And then, much like the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Freddy’s Dead in particular, the series truly jumped the shark when it went from horror comedy to total self parody in Seed of Chucky, and like Freddy’s Dead, Seed all but killed the franchise.
And then, with the early 00’s release of the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Freddy Vs Jason, interest in the franchises from the golden age of slashers began to rise from the dead, much like the characters in the films themselves.
Remake after remake was proof enough that interest in good franchise slashers still lived and like Friday the 13th, TCM and Nightmare before it, talk began to circulate of a remake of Child’s Play and like the others before it, groans of pain arose from the fandom.
However, instead of the much talked about remake, Don Mancini, creator of Chucky decided that a remake was a mistake and instead served up a heaping helping of Curse of Chucky.
Nica, a young wheelchair bound woman is forced to pick up the pieces after the sudden death of her mother, but when the family gets together to settle up the estate, Nica begins to suspect the doll her young niece has been playing with may have more to do with her family than anyone could possibly know.
With this simple plot, Don Mancini brings Chucky back to his roots as a full fledged horror film. Gone are the witty one liners and self referential moments. In taking Chucky back to his humble beginnings, we also loose many of the elements that had been set up, continuity wise (specifically Tiffany and Glen/Glenda), yet at the same time, Curse does exactly what a sequel should do – give us the Chucky that we know and love while adding to the mythos of the character.
Little has ever been said about Charles Lee Ray, the man prior to Chucky and in Curse, we get more of his motivations, his life before the doll and what his original crimes were. Brad Dourif reprises the role he has played since the beginning and actually gets some screen time through flashbacks as we explore the connection between Ray and Nica’s family.
And speaking of Nica, Curse truly becomes a family affair as Nica is played by Dourifs own daughter, and played quite well at that.
When pictures began to leak onto the internet, it was apparent that Chucky got a bit of a redesign. Gone were the scars from Bride and Seed which lead many to wonder how exactly this would fit into the already established time line, and without giving anything away, I will say that this movie fits snugly in the series. Also, a bit of a heads up, stick around for a post credit sequence that features a cameo that will give long time fans some warm fuzzies and brings the series around full circle.
Curse of Chucky is exactly what we wanted in a Child’s Play sequel and more. Despite this being a direct to video/VOD movie, it feels like a big budget Hollywood sequel with some fine directing on Mancini’s part and tight camera work, keeping Chucky right where he belongs.
Is this a perfect movie? No, but if you are a fan of Chucky, you will find much to love in this sequel. Hopefully this will start a trend. Stop with the remakes, and if you have to give us more of the familiar faces that we know from our youths, give us a continuation to the series with as much love, respect and heart that Curse displayed.