Review: 'Curse Of Chucky' (2013)

Twenty-five years ago a horror film from director Tom Holland and writer/creator Don Mancini changed the killer doll genre forever with a film called "Child's Play". Flash forward to 2013 (and four sequels later), Mancini has done it again! The latest installment in "Child's Play" franchise, "Curse of Chucky" (the sixth film), Chucky proves to be as timeless as Dracula, Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and so on.

After the last installment, 2004's "Seed of Chucky", audiences and critics alike were filled with mixed reviews. Some loved it, some hated it. Either way, it proved to be straw that broke the camel's back. Shortly after "Seed", rumors of a remake began to stir. These rumors originated from creator Don Mancini himself. He'd write and direct the remake. But Mr. Mancini had a trick up his sleeve; just one final installment in the current canon. A film that would return the series to his horror roots and give the fans what they've wanted: closure.

And "Curse" does just that! From the opening frames of the movie you get the sense that this sequel is vastly unlike its two predecessors, including 1998's "Bride of Chucky". The film really hits the ground running with no immediate explanation on how the killer doll is still around, doing his thing. Chucky shows up one day via postal delivery, packaged in a box, and sporting a classic look; clean overalls and a fresh face (unlike "Bride" and "Seed" where his appearance was gritty and stitched).

Nica, played by Brad Dourif's (voice of Chucky) daughter Fiona, is absolutely sensational as a wheelchair-bound heroine living with her mother in an old rustic mansion. Nica's mother turns up dead the same night the doll arrives at the house, but no one is the wiser. Nica is soon joined by her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti), her husband Ian (Brennan Elliot), their young daughter Alice (Summer Howell), their live-in nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell) and priest Father Frank (A Martinez) to assist with funeral arrangements and all-together mourning.

One by one the occupants of the house start dropping like flies, and it isn't until Nica is doing a little research on the doll that she soon discovers Chucky's true identity as Charles Lee Ray, the Lakeshore Strangler who was gunned down in a Chicago toy store in 1988. It's a bloody and suspense-filled battle until the very end, where we finally learn the backstory of how Chucky is still around and how exactly Nica and her family fit into Chucky's evil plan.

We're also surprised with a couple cameos from series' regulars, one in the closing minutes of the best, and the best coming after the credits roll.

Make no mistake, if this is the final film in the original series, then it's definitely going out on top! Though the film does have its occasional goof or continuity error, it's the still one of better sequels to date. And as for the supposed remake, I have faith in Mancini to deliver the best "Child's Play" yet, as he has proven that he can restore Chucky to his bloody and scary beginnings.

"Curse of Chucky" hits DVD and Blu-ray October 8, 2013, but is available on iTunes Digital HD as of today (September 24).

Review originally published by Nick Meece on the Indianapolis Movie Examiner.
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