HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Curse of Chucky
HTS Overall Score:85
After almost a decade of sitting in his “Good Guys” doll box, Chucky is back at it again. With “The Seed of Chucky” nearly killing the franchise it was a dicey prospect for the fans to ever see the evil doll killing once more. However, the fans are a persistent bunch in the horror community and the constant demanding finally got Universal to cave in and give Don Mancini a chance once more. This time Mancini told fans that he was going to go back to the roots of “Childs Play” and give the fans a serious, dark horror movie once more, instead of following the path of most horror/slasher franchises where the killer becomes goofier and goofier, relying on over the top kills and laughs to get through instead of sticking to the human aspect and the dark horror roots that started the franchise in the first place. I went into the film with mixed expectations. I’m a really big “Chucky” fan and was worried that with nearly a decade in between movies we’d get another mediocre, or even worse, horrible sequel in the lines of “Seed of Chucky”. Low and behold I walked out of the movie VERY pleasantly surprised. Instead of a reboot like some people were theorizing, we had a full-fledged sequel to the series that loops the series all the way back to the beginning with Andy and the how Charles Lee Ray got into the situation that started this whole series in the first movie.
Nica (Fiona Douriff, Brad’s own daughter) is a paraplegic who lives with her psychologically damaged mother. After her mother’s breakdown Nica is forced to care for and be cared by her mother in the old family house. Low and behold a package is delivered out of the blue and guess who is inside? Yup, as you can imagine, there’s our good old friend, Chucky, except this time he no longer has the scars and stitches that adorned his face from the previous two sequels. With the introduction of Chucky the death toll starts rising, first Nica wakes up to find that her mother is dead the next morning which brings in her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) and her husband Ian (Brennan Elliot) along with their daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell) and their live in babysitter, Jill (Maitland, McConnell) to wrap up family affairs. One by one the body counts starts rising. At first everyone is confused by the mysterious deaths, but with Alice seeming to have a creepy friendship with the doll causes some doubt to creep into Nica’s mind. Researching the doll she starts to unravel the mystery and see a pattern of destruction that follows in its wake. Trying to warn the rest of the family she’s met with deaf ears, ears which may wish that they had listened earlier. By now Chucky is in full swing, taking out the family members 1 by 1 and leaving Alice hidden away so that he can perform the ritual that has been keeping him in the body of a doll for some many decades. However, just because she’s in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that Nica is going down without a fight. Arming herself she takes on the killer doll head to head. This leads to a startling conclusion to the film where we may see the doll’s first victory.
As I said, I was really surprised with the movie. I honestly wasn’t sure WHAT to expect. With Universal studios refusing to let Mancini shoot for a theatrical release, he was forced to go straight to DVD and VOD for his profits. Usually in situations like these you see the cheap budget and horrible acting that only a DTV film can provide. My only positive experience in this type of film is Mel Gibson’s “Get the Gringo”. My fears were quickly put aside, though. Gone is the cheesy, goofy humor that nearly destroyed the last couple of films and back is the darker horror that saturated the original “Child’s Play”. If I didn’t know better I’d have honestly thought the movie had a theatrical release, since the filming and acting was still well in line with a theatrically funded film and makes you wonder WHY Universal didn’t allow the film a theatrical release after they had a chance to look it over. Publically screened to fans it got a positive reaction and it’s not hard to see why. While there’s a few plot holes and the ending needs a little bit of a fleshing out the rest of the film has a very nice pace to it and Brad Dourif is pure gold as the voice of everyone’s most hated doll.
The First 45 minutes of the film are a pretty slow burn, setting up the pace and tone of the movie so that by the time the kills start happening you are wondering just HOW and WHO Chucky is going to take out first, but once the kills DO start happening the film takes on a quick kick start in the pants and takes off with a band. With puppets and a mix of CGI Chucky has a much more fluid motion to him than the old jerky motions of the 80’s and 90’s puppeteering which takes some getting used to, but at least he’s not all CGI like I was fearing. Back in motion the kills are quite cleverly done and Nica is a fantastic antagonist for Chucky himself. My only real gripe was that the ending seemed a little rushed and while you can deduce WHY the after credits scene happens it takes a little bit of memory work to remember some of the events of the last film instead of tying up the ending a bit neater for the audience who hasn’t see a chucky film since they came out years ago. However, in the end it was still a lot of fun and a worthy successor to the original “Child’s Play” trilogy.
Rated R for bloody horror violence, and for language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12925[/img]Whoooweee, it’s nice to see such a fantastic set of encodes as I’ve been privy to see this month. “Curse of Chucky’s” 1.78:1 encode is absolutely killer (pun intended) with a razor sharp image. The film is shot with a sort of pale and dreary color palette and the ice cold blues and drab browns and yellows fit the creepy mood to a T. Contrasts are spot on and skin tones are pleasing to the eye. The show stealer here is really the fine detail, every pore and every hair and fiber of clothes is razor sharp and free of any digital artifacting to obscure detail. With such a dreary color tone to the film tends to be shrouded in shadows and darkness most of the time. Luckily the black levels are about as perfect as they can get with deep inky blacks and great shadow detail. Even though there’s a tone of dark shots we’re always able to see what’s going on without any interference from black crush or greyed out blacks. My only mild complaint was a couple of soft diffused shots that robbed a few scenes of some fine detail, but these scenes were fleeting at best.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12926[/img]Not to be outdone, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is simply stunning. While not a bombastic roaring audio track it is artfully done, with some fantastic usage of the surrounds and pretty much every speaker in our setup. The dialogue is locked into the front center speaker with some great panning effects that engulf the listening in a creepy ambience where floor board’s creek beside you and the crashing of glass explodes all around you. The LFE track is pretty restrained for most of the film, but when it’s needed it rips through the sound track with earth shaking power. Overall a beautifully created track that’s very hard to find any faults in. Very immersive and with a great creepy score, one to fully enjoy during this Halloween season.
• Audio Commentary
• Playing with Dolls: The Making of "Curse of Chucky"
• Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life
• Storyboard Comparisons
• Deleted Scenes
• Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy
• Gag Reel
The “Curse of Chucky” isn’t a game changer that will spawn another trilogy or anything like that, but it has redeemed the “Child’s Play” franchise once more and is given a darker tone that makes it creepier and more serious than the last couple sequels all together, allowing the series to go out with dignity and gives a renewed interest in watching the originals once more. With fantastic audio and video scores and some solid extras this is a must get for “Chucky” fans, although as good as this release is, my personal recommendation is to pick up the “Complete Chucky Boxset” released at the same time since it’s a limited edition box set that contains all six films, including “Child’s Play” which is a joint effort by Universal and MGM studios.
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Danielle Bisutti
Directed by: Don Mancini
Written by: Don Mancini
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Studio: Universal Studios
Blu-Ray Release Date: Oct 8th, 2013
Buy Curse of Chucky Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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