Sunday, October 27, 2013

Film Review: The Curse of Chucky (2013)

The Curse of Chucky (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"I hope to see more traditional horror films in the Child's Play series."

A mysterious package arrives at the home of Nica (Fiona Dourif), a paraplegic, and her mother, Sarah. The package, with no return address, contains Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif), a killer doll responsible for dozens of murders. Oblivious to this fact, Sarah passes away in what is believed to be a suicide, and Nica is visited by her sister Barbie (Danielle Bisutti), and her family...

The Curse of Chucky continues with Chucky causing havoc in the home -- his ominous presence begins with simple movements, disappearing and reappearing, and so on. Starting small by blending rat poison into the dinner of an unlucky guest, Chucky eventually ups his game to full murder. The story shows some great self-control as it keeps Chucky quiet but creepy until the halfway mark -- but, those first words are oh so satisfying. Afterward, it's a pretty straightforward slasher film -- or, better yet, a respectable installment to the Child's Play series. There are a few twists, and the explanation clears up most of the potential holes, as well. This is film feels like it has multiple ending, and they're all great; it features two sweet surprises for fans of the series, make sure you stick around for the after credits scene -- it lacks some delivery, but it's great.

The Curse of Chucky brings the series back to its horror roots. Fortunately, the killer doll genre isn't over-saturated, so this installment is refreshing. This movie builds great suspense, and, although many are fake-outs, The Curse of Chucky has a plethora of loud music jump scares. If you're looking for something other than suspense and jump scares, you're in luck: this film film has great slasher elements. The violence, particularly the special effects, have an old-school style, and there are some very creative kills. The story does feel like it loses some momentum towards the end, though. And, there's this whole love-affair subplot that came off as cheesy and unnecessary. Barbie's character was also annoying. Nica was good, but her dialogue becomes a bunch of one-liners during the final act -- not the good punchlines Chucky delivers, she just had a few cheesy one-liners.

The acting was good from most of the cast. Fiona Dourif is good for the first two acts, but I really didn't enjoy her during the third -- it felt overdone and forced. Danielle Bisutti captures her annoying character well, despite being a walking cliché. Brad Dourif is great, his dialogue is great and his sinister laugh is still amazing. Some of the supporting actors were weak, like the after-credits actor and the police officer, but the main cast was solid. The music had a mystical, enchanting vibe, blended with an ominous tone. The film is shot nicely, although it occasionally was a bit too dark. I liked the animatronics for the Chucky doll, as well, I'm glad they didn't go all computer.

Overall, The Curse of Chucky, although not without its flaws, is a great installment in the Child's Play series. It has plenty of scares, some great punchlines without being heavy handed, and Chucky is as sinister as ever. In my opinion, this is the right direction, I hope to see more traditional horror films in the Child's Play series -- another sequel or a reboot, just stick to horror.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence, blood, and gore, and excessive language. (unrated version)

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