Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Curse of Chucky

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! We all know the Curse of Ken...also called the Bane of Barbie's Existence.



 Curse of Chucky – 3 out of 5

Chucky is back and this time…it’s a Direct-to-DVD sequel.

Well…at least it’s not a reboot like they original had planned.

Some years have passed since the events that involved Chucky becoming a daddy and, one day in a secluded house that looks too gothic to NOT be Tim Burton’s house, a wheelchair bound Nica (Fiona Dourif) and her mother receive a mysterious package in the mail that contains a pristine Chucky doll. Nica wakes up to find her mother dead and soon her sister and her family arrive to convince Nica to sell the house and move on. While there, Nica’s niece Alice meets Chucky and becomes enamored with the doll. When night falls on the house, the members of the family quickly learn that the doll Chucky isn’t as innocent as it looks and the doll inhabited by the serial killer Charles Lee Ray gets up and starts to up his body count.

"I think it's from Amazon but instead of that smirk icon there's 'You're Going to Die' written
in blood on it."


I’m a fan of the character of Chucky but I never felt the franchise hit its sweet spot until it got to Bride of Chucky. For the first three films, when the movie was a horror franchise, I felt the movies were too laughably bad to be scary BUT I really enjoyed Brad Dourif as the voice of the ginger-haired killer doll. Once the series moved into the world of dark comedy, I thought the world of Chucky hit its perfect balance. I’ll be honest; I think Bride of Chucky is just plain fantastic! It’s dark and hilarious at the same time and is a lot of fun to watch (Seed of Chucky is not up to the same level as Bride but I still dig that one). This sixth installment to the franchise decides to return to its point of origin…and in more ways than it just being a horror film with very little comedy added to it.

The kid is starting to wonder if the Chucky doll comes equipped with realistic
flatulence.


I was a little back and forth on this film because there are elements that I really enjoy but other elements that I think hurt the film really bad. First off, I’ll just say it, the movie looks cheap. There’s no doubt, even at just a glance, the movie is a Direct-to-DVD sequel. I’m not saying that it looks bad, per se; it just doesn’t have the polished, cinema-quality appearance that the other films had. This complaint, however, is easily forgivable.

The elements that I just couldn’t get behind was the fact the story is kinda sloppy and the return to straight-up horror didn't work for me. For a majority of the film, the story that is thrown together feels like a cheap sequel with the only thing connecting it is the character of Chucky. The family the doll is terrifying and slaughtering feels like a random collection of potential body bag fillers (although I did find it cool of them to include a character who was wheelchair bound; you don’t see that everyday in horror movies). None of the characters have much development to them and all feel like blank slates that only have names so the actors don’t confuse their roles when reading the script.

The cast was kind enough to supply us with an actor that answers the question of
what a person would look like if you crossed Nathan Fillion and Mark Ruffalo.


However, this complaint gets resolved as the story starts to connect itself with the nearly forgotten beginning of the franchise as we see the family has ties to Chucky when he was a flesh and blood serial killer by the name of Charles Lee Ray. It was actually pretty nice to see that Chucky has a little more history beyond being a killer who used a curse to inhabit the body of a plastic toy. The story gets even better as the film throws two absolutely fantastic and tremendously great callbacks to other elements of the franchise—one of these additions is going back to the first film. I won’t give these details away but their sudden appearance instantly made me drift away from a possible 2 out of 5 and then cheer out loud and laugh with delight over what I just witnessed.


"I'm about to stab you to death!!!  Ha ha ha...give me a break, it's been almost
a decade since I've killed anyone and had to make a pun."


Like I stated earlier, I didn’t care for the series returning to its old horror film ways. Like anything with my reviews (or with anyone’s potential enjoyment or loathing of films), this stems from personal choice. I never felt Chucky worked as a legitimate killer. It’s hard to take a doll serious as a killer like, say, you would a Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. Adding more comedy made the character more entertaining and something more than a knife wielding maniac that occasionally uttered out the groan-inducing one liner. With Bride, he became a knife wielding maniac that occasionally uttered out the groan-inducing one liner but was surrounded by great dark comedy that kept the movie flowing.

Have you actually ever looked at Dourif's IMDb page?  Big budget, low budget...
There's literally nothing this man won't do...and literally nothing he's not
awesome in!


It certainly didn’t help this film that a lot of the sequences in this film feel short and were padded out to make this installment hit the feature length mark. These sequences only work against the horror film atmosphere that writer/director Don Mancini is trying to create. There does come a point where building tension transforms into mind-numbing tedium and this movie did it in many places. And speaking of waiting too long for a pay off in a horror movie, this movie’s biggest mistake is waiting way, way, way too long before getting to hear Brad Dourif and his signature voice that made Chucky an icon.

For example, the scene that involved the internal conflict of the priest figuring out
when it was appropriate to ask where the bathroom was went on a little too long...
actually, it probably wasn't needed to begin with.


Let’s face it; there would be no Chucky series without Brad Dourif giving voice to the slaughterer. But even cooler in this film is the fact that Dourif’s own daughter gets to share the screen with him as she plays Nica. While the entire cast is passable (no one is really attention grabbing—Brad Dourif doesn’t count in that scenario because the man is awesome), Fiona does a great job as Nica and provides a great fighting protagonist for Chucky to take on.  It was also refreshing to see a female protagonist in a horror film that is actually strong and determined and not a cleavage-sporting, pointlessly-tripping gal.

Take a second and imagine if Shia LaBeouf did the voice of Chucky...


While I wasn’t overly pleased with the final product of this sixth Chucky film, Curse of Chucky does provide some decent gore (actually REALLY decent gore), a fun surprise ending, greater development for the character of Chucky and, most importantly, Brad Dourif keeping the icon alive. Considering the usual level of quality that comes with Direct-to-DVD sequels to cult classic franchises, Curse proves to be pretty damn good…and, even better; at least it’s not the third movie.

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