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CURSE OF CHUCKY (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Don Mancini

Starring:
Brad Dourif
Fiona Dourif
Danielle Bisutti
Maitland McConnell
Chantal Quesnelle

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Curse of Chucky sees the C-Man get shipped to the home of a gal named Nica (Fiona Dourif) who's wheelchair-bound. She's been forced to live with her awful family for awhile as her mother (Chantal Quesnelle) got dispatched by Chucky once he initially arrived. As they argue over the estate and what's really going on, Chucky's motives emerge.
Is it good movie?
I've watched Curse three times now, all with a different audience. A couple of folks thought it was really lame, and those who love horror flicks? Well it was pretty unanimous for us- it's surprisingly good.

Why does "surprisingly good" sum things up here? Well, let's consider a few things. First of all, Seed of Chucky is off the wall insane. It's a real departure from the rest of the series, even in comparison to Bride. I'll even admit that I didn't love it- I found it just too bizarre and comical to be enjoyable. Secondly, this is a straight to video effort, released just in time for Halloween which could always signal cash-grabby doom.

So what's surprising here? Well, Chucky has returned to his roots! You won't hear any mention of Glen (Chucky and Tiffany's weird son), but there are specific nods that make this one fit in with the general Chucky continutiy while bringing him back to being gleefully evil, with a much darker tone. Even the score by Joe LoDuca is excellent!

All I was hoping for to give this flick a pass was a nastier atmopshere with some gruesome kills from Chuck. This one unquestionably delivers on that front. I won't spoil the gore, but Chucky gets his nasty groove on in this flick. If you're looking for the red stuff, you're going to catch a good, nasty amount here.This flick certainly earns an R rating.

As for Chucky, he's smartly written here and portrayed as scary once again. Through the use of shadows (not to mention the awesome, spooky old house the movie takes place in), lighting and neat ideas like webcams, Chucky is not one to be messed with (there's even a little person playing him in a few scenes again- classic!). He's a creative bugger too, from hiding in bedsheets to poisoning food (awesome scene)! As an admitted distraction though, I have to say that sometimes Chucky's new occasional CGI face looks way, way off- almost Ellen Page-y. It's not a huge deal that plagues the movie, but I found it pretty glaring at times.

However, what I didn't count on was that this one is actually pretty smartly scripted. I wouldn't argue that it necessarily sheds needed light on the mythos, but the plotline of Curse unquestionably brings things around full circle. Child's Play fans rejoice- Curse will take you back to the roots of the first film and give you some context as to Chucky's reasoning for taking down the family he's dispatching. It totally worked for me, and there were moments throughout the film where I was thinking "whoa, that's really cool", the way things all tied together. Impressive! Sure, there's some silliness too (including a priest who's investigating things, and even a lesbian subplot!), but it doesn't detract. I also absolutely loved the film's ending, and there's a must-see after-credits sequence too.

As for casting, I'd have to give that an above average checkmark as well. Cool to see Brad Dourif's daughter in a starring role as Nica, our heroine. The young Dourif clearly has chops, and turns in an excellent performance in what was undoubtedly a tough role where she's confined to a wheelchair (cool twist by the way, and by no means is her disability exploited). Summer Howell plays our little-girl-in-peril, and does a fairly good job at it as well. There's no one here who's awful. Even Brad Dourif gets some physical screen time in a wonderful cameo!

I can't praise Don Mancini's triumphant return to the Child's Play series enough. This could've been a lame trainwreck, and is instead a clear labor of love that re-grounds the series and sets it up gleefully for other sequels. If this is what Chucky is to become, I say bring the pain. This is a Curse worth discovering.
Video / Audio
Video: 1.78:1 widescreen in 1080p, and was shot in digital which provides some great detail, rich black levels and crisp colors. Excellent.

Audio: A DTS-HD Master Audio track tends to be a bit heavy in the front surround speakers, but is relatively well mixed. Good stuff.
The Extras
First up, a commentary track with writer/director Don Mancini, Fiona Dourif and Chucky's puppeteer Tony Gardner. This is excellent stuff, with a gung-ho group of people who provide tons of information on design, inspiration, casting and more.

Playing with Dolls is a 15 minute EPK deal that is pretty standard, full of back-patting and interviews. Fine for what it is, but total fluff.

Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life is a ten minute piece that gives you a great look at how Chucky is operated. I could watch something like this for a solid hour, but this was still really cool.

Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy is another short piece, running about 7 minutes as the Chuck's impact on horror is highlighted while showing off his nastiest and most memorable moments from the past.

If you're into this sort of thing, there's 25 minutes worth of Storyboard Comparisons complete with an intro from Don Mancini for each one.

To round things out, you get six Deleted Scenes, a brief blooper reel and some trailers.
DVD and Ultraviolet copies of the film are also included.
Last Call
At the end of the day, I have to break it down like this: if you're not into horror flicks (especially about killer dolls), then you're probably going to find this film silly and typical. If you're a Chucky fan, you're going to truly enjoy this love letter to the series that breathes new life into our evil hunk of plastic. Chucky's back, and if this is how his legacy continues, I'm happily on board. This is a great new addition to any Halloween watch list!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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