curse of chuckyUniversal Home Entertainment

“Twenty five years. Since then a lot of families have come and gone. The Barclays, the Kincaids, the Tillys. But you know, Nica, your family was always my favorite. And now, you’re the last one standing. So to speak.”

I have to give credit where credit is due. Of all the classic horror franchises to have come out of the 1980s, it has been the Child’s Play series that have been the most consistent with knocking ’em out of the park. Sure, Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street and Hellraiser franchises may have more movies under their belt (so far), but when it comes to hits versus duds, there’s really only been one dud for the Child’s Play series (that would be Child’s Play 3, aka Chucky Goes To Military School). Even when the series said “screw it” and started leaning toward black comedy when horror movies were becoming more self-aware and meta during the 1990s with Bride Of Chucky, they’ve at least have been far more entertaining than they should really be. Sure, Seed Of Chucky was a little more goofy, but entertainingly so.

Anyway, Curse Of Chucky is the first continuation of the Child’s Play franchise since the aforementioned Seed Of Chucky. There was talk for a while of doing a reboot of the first one, but I for one am glad they decided to go with a direct-to-video sequel that looses none of the previous movies cannon (if you can call it that), but forges ahead with its own story that manages to retain the entertainment, but also goes back to basics, kind of.

The story takes place at a remote old Victorian house, where a reclusive mother lives with her wheelchair bound college-age daughter. She’s very overprotective of her, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since birth due to a trauma while in utero. One day, they receive a mysterious package delivery containing a Good Guy doll, something neither of them recall ordering. Later that night, there’s a scream, and the daughter discovers her mother’s body lying in a pool of her own blood, dead of an apparent “suicide”. Seen, the sister of the daughter and her family come over to help bury their mother…and also try to convice her to sell the house because the sister is a horrible human being. The sister’s young daughter finds the Good Guy doll and bonds with it. Of course, faster than you can say, “Chucky did it”, the bodies begin to pile up, and no one can believe that an inanimate doll is perpetrating these murders. Soon, Chucky plays his cards, and reveals himself as the killer. But, of course, who would believe a doll committed all of them murders? No one, that’s who.

I have to admit, Curse Of Chucky was a far more entertaining horror movie than I initially gave credit for. I’m afraid that, despite many examples to the contrary, there’s still a stigma about straight-to-video release movies not being as good as theatrically released movies. Especially when we’re dealing with higher-numbered sequels. Here, though, long-time director of the Chucky movies Don Mancini decided not to go the cheep route, and has produced a theater release-quality film that holds up to the previous entries. It’s effective on both the horror and dark comedy, and manages some new spins on a well-worn concept by keeping things in the shadows for the majority of the time. In the end, Curse Of Chucky is what you would expect–a B horror movie that’s highly entertaining and unabashedly so. If you never liked the Child’s Play movies, Curse Of Chucky probably isn’t going to turn your opinion around. If, however, you’re a fan of the series, Curse Of Chucky is mighty satisfyin’ watchin’, indeed. Recommended.