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