Growing up in the 80s, there was no shortage of movie maniacs to root for through multiple sequels as they murder their way through a group of unlikable a-holes, get killed, and miraculously find a way to return to life in the next installment. But while Freddy, Jason, and Michael have all gone the ways of remakes, reboots, and what-have-yous, it looks like our man Charles Lee Ray, aka Chuck the killer Good Guys doll, is coming back for more with CURSE OF CHUCKY (read up on that shite HERE), and this silly son of a bitch couldn’t be more happy! That’s right folks, Chucky’s back and thirsty for more!
Easily one of the greatest slasher-killer’s in the history of movies, Chucky mixes sick humor (thanks to the exquisite voice performance by Brad Dourif) with savage bloodshed, all in the name of finding a better, younger body to trade places with. Chucky literally made every kid believe (at least for a hot minute) that their favorite doll might just get up and stalk the shit out of them someday if they’re not careful. Blasting on the scene in 1988’s CHILD’S PLAY, the first flick was actually pretty scary, relying on the terror of being stalked by a kid’s doll. The tone is on the serious side and everyone involved did a bang-up job, even the kid (who could have been the most annoying kid ever, but luckily wasn’t). The effects weren’t awesome, but they worked… Chucky looked more like a walking talking doll, and even if some of the puppetry wasn’t great, it worked because… he was supposed to look like a doll!
CHILD’S PLAY 2 switched gears and changed the face of the entire franchise, changing up the tone to straight-up horror to horror with a splash of comedy, giving Chucky some of the best one-liners out there, yet never taking away his evil side. One other reason why CHILD’S PLAY 2 works so well is the odd color palate they have going for it, especially at the Good Guy factory, giving the whole thing a very weird vibe… and one that totally worked for the series. The look and special effects of Chucky greatly improved over the first one, making him even more menacing than ever before (the way he lurked around the classroom with that ruler is pretty damn awesome).
Then there’s CHILD’S PLAY 3, which isn’t all that great to be honest, but there’s something about it that has always held a special place in my heart. The military school setting is whack, but the paintball war (where Chucky replaces the red team’s paint balls with real bullets) and the finale at the fair were pretty cool. But it’s really when Chucky was reborn with BRIDE OF CHUCKY that the franchise took a turn that nodded to the audience and said “yes, this is funny, and we’re totally in on the joke”, embracing the comedy as much as the blood-drenched horror. Director Ronny Yu went the right direction, from bringing Chucky back (loved the sewed up look), to introducing Tiffany, yet another freaky looking doll possessed by a complete a-hole. Hell, there’s even Katherine Heigl and the great John Ritter in the house. BRIDE OF CHUCKY gave the CHILD’S PLAY franchise new life, and was more or less, the true meaning of reboot (in a way), as they changed the name and changed the tone entirely, yet… it was a sequel.
But all the effort they made in putting together BRIDE OF CHUCKY was unfortunately lost on SEED OF CHUCKY, which had a solid premise but a goofy execution. Chucky bangs Tiffany and creates a killer baby doll? Sounds good, but… in actuality, not so much. But now here we are, a few years later, and Chucky creator Don Mancini is back to give us more CHILD’S PLAY goodness with CURSE OF CHUCKY, and I couldn’t be happier!
With a premise as simple as “Chucky stalks a family in mourning after a funeral”, and the promise that it’ll be more like CHILD’S PLAY than SEED OF CHUCKY, my hopes are high that this one’s gonna blow us all away. Rumors have it that it’s going to be straight to DVD, but if the promise of a more straight-edge sequel, I can easily see Universal releasing this sucker theatrically, which would be fantastic. Can you imagine, with all the remakes and reboots out there, Chucky returns within the same franchise as he’s always been? No remake of CHILD’S PLAY, no Platinum Dunes treatment, just an honest to Christ sequel? Oh hells yeah. I’m so there!
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I am over-the-top excited for another round of murder and mayhem with CURSE OF CHUCKY! With CHILD’S PLAY creator Don Mancini on board to write/direct, the flick is gearing up to please all of the fans out there (like myself) who have never given up on Chucky and who just want him to return and do what he does best: kill bitches and crack Dourif one-liners. And If that’s what we’re in for, then the anticipation for CURSE OF CHUCKY starts here with zero chance of slowing down. Boo-ya! Thank you Jack, Chucky’s Back!