October 5, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Curse of Chucky'

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Review by Jude Felton

Oh Chucky, where have you been? You made a wonderful return in 1998, when you met your Bride, and lost the child’s play. I didn’t have time for your seed though; it seemed a bit too messy for my liking, so I had to wait until now to see what your Curse delivered.

I, for one, am glad to see Chucky is back, and doing what he does best. I’m still a little miffed that they are “Chucky” flicks now, and not the Child’s Play films that started the franchise, but they have all, generally speaking, been fun affairs and I always have time for our favorite Good Guy Doll.

Before I talk too much about Curse of Chucky, in terms of plot and style, I will address the Halloween 5 factor about the new film from Universal. Remember how Michael Myer’s mask looked absolutely crap in the fifth Halloween flick? Well, Chucky looks grim in this movie too. Not the entire film, I should hasten to add, but it does veer horribly into dodgy CGI territory at times, especially with Chucky’s face.

The whole point of these movies is that Chucky is a doll; a child’s toy and the creepiness factor was that it was a toy maiming and killing. Hence, the puppetry of early films served the franchise incredibly well. Once you computerize Chucky’s face etc. you are taking the film away from its very core. The CGI itself is fine, but Charles Lee Ray’s cherub-like face, in doll form, is not the place for it. It does distract from the film, so if there is another film in this series let’s get back to the look of the earlier films.

In terms of plot, and the film itself, Curse of Chucky is a welcome return to form; it’s dark, violent and the humor is saved for a few wisecracks, rather than the entire tone. The action, for the most part, takes place in an isolated house, where Nica lives with her mother. An unexpected package arrives, somewhat randomly, and it’s not long before there’s a doll loose aboot this hoose.

You don’t need to know too much about the plot; Chucky kills folk, okay? What writer/director, Don Mancini, has done though is to fill in some gaps in the Chucky history, and actually does tie events together quite nicely. There IS a reason for Chucky arriving at this house. There are also a few cool moments that fans of the franchise will really appreciate, so watch through to the end of the credits. Also, Nica is played by Fiona Dourif, who herself is the daughter of Brad, who once again returns to voice Chucky. Weird, but cool.

The look and feel of Curse of Chucky, aside from the horrible CGI, is a real throwback to the franchise’s roots in the 80s’. Yes, we get the Chucky wise-cracks, but the entire feel, look and tone of the film is classic, dark and violent. Sure, it’s filled with clichéd characters and situations, but by god it works well. This is a fun flick; it’s not trying to be clever or re-invent any wheels, although it does a great job of breathing some new life into this series of films, whilst managing to throw in a surprise or two.

The film does take a little while to get going, with Mancini going for the gradual build-up. When it does kick into gear though there are some cool death scenes and plenty of claret.

Personally, I am glad Universal released the film. Some folk bemoan the majors when they dabble in horror, but Universal always delivers the goods when it comes to the quality of their Blu-rays, and Curse of Chucky is no exception. The film looks and sounds great and comes with a decent amount of special features, including some that are exclusive to the Blu-ray edition.

Curse of Chucky, minor irritations aside, is a wonderful return to the fun feel of horror flicks. Horror is the main ingredient here, with the humor being just the seasoning, and it works well. I was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed the film.

So, Chucky, it’s good to have you back; you’ve been missed. Now, go sort your face out, and then we’ll be more than happy to see you again, sometime in the future.

Curse of Chucky is released on Blu-ray Combo pack by Universal on October 8th.

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