Thursday, 14 November 2013

Curse of Chucky

In the same way that you sometimes start a conversation, speech, or an opinionated review of a film and then get suddenly side tracked only to realise and return to it later, Don Mancini has made Curse of Chucky. Child’s Play 1, 2 and 3 are true classic horror films and Bride and Seed were just silly slapstick. After a few years Don Mancini has replaced the comedy element with the original horror/dark comedy tone that we all used to love. I personally enjoyed the films; I just never wanted to go back into a Toys R' Us until I was too old for toys. I still don’t think I could sit with a life size Chucky Doll in my bedroom without melting its fingers off.

Curse of Chucky is very clever and great fun for fans of the original (if you are spoiler sensitive run away now) because the whole film is set up like it is a rebooted, rehashed and reimagined remake of the original. It turns out somewhere near the end of the film however, that this Chucky is exactly the same Chucky from all the other ones and that the family he is currently terrorising are the same family that Charles Lee Ray died terrorising that ultimately led him to possessing a plastic doll. Even Jennifer Tilly makes a buxom reappearance briefly near the end, and post credits the fully-grown Andy Barclay receives Chucky in the post. It’s pure nerdgasm inducing fan-service and nothing particularly difficult to do but a lovely attempt at appeasing long term fans and very welcome, especially considering it was the first direct-to-DVD release in the series.

Now the set up is that a crazy woman and her lovely, pretty, sheltered, and wheelchair bound daughter are living alone in a massive house that, to be fair needs to be done up a bit. It’s the classic horror setup and looks like the kind of place normally associated with being brutally murdered and left under the floorboards, or being flushed down the toilet à la Dennis Nielsen. One day, for no reason, a box is delivered by a presumably sexually attractive man who flirts with the daughter Nica, she signs for the box and places the major plot device in her house after her mother berates her for ever thinking a boy could be interested in her. She’s a bit like the mother from Stephen King’s Carrie but less religious and about 13% less mental. 

So of course Chucky gets unleashed from the box, and yadda yadda yadda he ends up killing the mother in a way that looks like suicide. Some of Chucky’s murders are delightfully old school and some are even direct references to the original Child’s Play, i.e. he uses the exact same knife for example and he caves someone’s jaw in with an axe in a very bloody, over the top, 80s slasher kind of way. It’s literally bloody lovely.

So obviously a film which was entirely Chucky and Nica would be short and boring, probably be entitled ‘Chucky vs The Disabled Girl (Chucky vs The Differently-abled US Title) so orchestrated in is a creepy priest, a bitchy sister, a hot nanny who is primed for some extra marital affairs, a brother-in-law and a young niece. The niece, who is a wee girl who likes creepy-as-fuck dolls, takes to Chucky immediately. So after a good few murders and some lovely vicious little one-liners from Chucky everything is revealed that he, as Charles, was responsible for the death of her father, the madness of her mother and directly responsible for Nica’s spinal injuries.

It fills in the gaps from the previous films, and has some fun after the credits with some true eighties style ‘He’s Dead! Or is he really?!’ kind of sequel baiting at the end. The kind of thing that led to a million Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th films back in the Golden Age of Slasher horror. If you are a fan of horror films in the eighties vein and specifically the Child’s Play films I think you’ll at least like it enough to talk about it later, though you might resent the CGI Chucky Doll. Grab it, talk about it, tweet, tumblr, Facebook and Instagram the shit out of it, ‘cos I would love a sequel.

Dave Roberts

Curse of Chucky at CeX

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