In 1988, Child’s Play was released in theaters, creeping me out as a kid. The series started with serial killer Charlie Lee Ray dying in a toy store and using some voodoo to transfer his soul into a “Good Guy” doll, the hottest kids toy of the year. Andy is the unfortunate child to get this toy, which talks to him and terrorizes everyone around him so he can possess Andy’s body.
In the 15 years since the introduction of Chucky, we have gone on a wild ride: the first three films all focused on Andy growing up, and deal with this doll that just won’t die. I remember seeing the third film in the theatre with my grandmother back in 1991. Not until 1998 did we get Bride of Chucky, a film that tossed everything we knew out the window and introduced Chucky to his significant other (voiced by Jennifer Tilly). The comedy comes in full force in Bride, and it was probably my favorite in the series. After Bride we got Seed of Chucky, which took the comedy even further and is the film that pretty much killed the series.
Despite everything, Chucky has always gotten a theatrical release…until now. Nine years after the mess that was Seed, Chucky is back, but this time he’s gone straight-to-video. Curse of Chucky is Don Mancini’s second time directing the doll – his first time was Seed – but his sixth time writing a Chucky film (which means he has done them all). Right from the start of Curse, we get a slow, creeping build, almost like a haunted house story is about to unfold. The tension slowly climbs, and while none of the deaths are downright amazing, they do their job of entertaining the audience.
Curse takes place four years after Seed and finds Chucky being delivered to a house where a parapolegic lives. Her niece, sister and a few others come over after her mothers untimely suicide. Curse was originally teased as taking place between Child’s Play 3 and Bride of Chucky, and it is clear that something is up from the get-go as Chucky looks remodeled (*SPOILER FOR CHILD’S PLAY 3* if you’re a fan of the series you know that Chucky is pretty much mutilated after Child’s Play 3 *END SPOILER FOR CHILD’S PLAY 3*).
Brad Dourif returns as the voice of Chucky, and his real-life daughter takes the role of Nica, the parapoglegic. Everyone does a fine job, excluding Nica’ssister, whose stares and expressions always come off as her having a bad case of gas.
The CGI is sometimes rough around the edges, but thankfully, it doesn’t ruin any of the gore or kills. The first kill in particular is rather fun, and there’s a cool Russian Roullete of Chili as well that shows off some great camera work.
Curse of Chucky is the film that the fans have wanted since Child’ Play 3. It is a tense build-up of suspense, little comedy and plenty of blood. I don’t want to spoil anything as the film contains a number of great twists for the fans, but be sure to stay after the credits for a bit extra. Hopefully this is a successful reboot for the series and we can get a few more stories to finish Chucky off for good.