Can't Get Enough Of Drunk Baby?

SYNOPSIS:Nica is grieving over the gruesome suicide of her mother when her domineering older sister Barb arrives with her young family in tow to help settle their mother's affairs. As the sisters butt heads over Nicaís plans for the future, Barbís young daughter comforts herself with a grinning, red-haired talking doll named Chucky that recently arrived mysteriously in the mail. But as a string of brutal murders begins to terrorize the household, Nica suspects the doll may hold the key to the bloodshed. What she doesnít know is that Chucky has a personal score to settle. Heís determined to finish a job he started more than 20 years earlier, and this time heís going to see it through to the bloody and shocking end.

DIRECTOR:Don Mancini

CAST:Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, Brad Dourif, Maitland McConnell, Chantal Quesnelle, Summer H. Howell, A. Martinez, Brennan Elliott

MY THOUGHTS:Not Bad. But not Great either.

REVIEW:Chucky...everyone's favorite killer doll, took a bit of a sabbatical after his previous adventure. 2005's "Seed Of Chucky". After a nearly-decade absence, he returns in Don Mancini's "Curse Of Chucky". The film makes no mention of "Seed Of Chucky", and for most people I guess that would be a good thing. That particular installment wasn't very well-liked by most genre fans. I personally thought it was ok though. "Curse"s story begins with a wheelchair-bound girl named Nica. Who lives in a gothic mansion with her sickly mother Sarah. One day, a package arrives to them.

The dimensions of the package, make it obvious "who" and "what" it is. The following night, Nica here's a scream. And it turns out her mom has been murdered. Nica doesn't know what happened, and suspects it was suicide. Of course, now that this new "doll" has arrived, we all know better. Nica's family arrives to take care of things, in the form of her older Sister Barb, and Nica's Niece Alice. In tow with them, is Barb's husband and Jill the Nanny. Their arrival of course means a higher body count for Chucky, but what does he want now? And why did he target "this" particular family? "Curse Of Chucky" is the template for what one would expect a low-budget Chucky movie to be. And if that scares you, it shouldn't.

I know, I know. We all remember what a low-budget "Hellraiser" movie was like. And most of us wanna forget. And some of us have blocked out those horrific memories mentally. But "Curse Of Chucky", despite being Chucky's "DVD debut"...still carries the horror-inspired-charm, cutting-black-humor, and twisted-tone of the previous films. Chucky this time around is a lot less active on camera early on. Instead, the films suggests or implies, most of his kills in the picture's early moments. Saving his walking, talking, chasing, and stabbing moments....for the strong and entertaining final act of the movie. (More on that later). The flick's beginning and middle relies more on character development.

Which is quite decent for a picture that is film number "6". In a series centered on a killer doll. Fiona Dourif plays Nica, the strong yet tortured (and now motherless), younger sister. To the more high-maintenance, and snakey, older sister Barb. Played by Danielle Bisutti (Insidious:Chapter 2). Barb wants Nica to use this opportunity to sell the house and move in with them. Nica however, is dead set against the idea. This conflict and the interactions is creates, keeps the movies characters interesting throughout. Barb also has some "secrets" of her own. Which eventually come out in the wash much later on. One thing that doesn't change in "Curse Of Chucky" though, is Chucky being the catalyst for all the action.

He is still the proverbial puppet-master. Barb's young daughter Alice falls in love with Chucky of course, being a kid and all. And he uses this opportunity to move around behind the scenes. Getting all of the major players in position so he can slice and dice his way through them. And if you are at the point now where you only watch these movies for the kills, then you'll be disappointed this time around. The deaths are standard. Nothing spectacularly creative. They're effective though. Especially during the final act, that's set to the backdrop of a stormy night. But "Curse" does not come near the creativity that "Bride" and "Seed" displayed with their death scenes.

As for Chucky's look. It's slightly different this time around, but there's a small twist near the finale that puts forth a good reason for this. Where "Curse Of Chucky" does wrong somewhat however, is trying too hard at an effort for continuity. The film decides to make mention of Chucky's past victims, which is fine. But it then tries to tie in the pictures initial kill, and Chucky's current motives for his latest killing spree...all the way back to the original "Child's Play"! To make matters worse, someone from Chucky's past (or present depending on if you're keeping score or not)...shows up very late in the movie to wrap things up in one bloody little package.

This just makes for a cramped and over-stuffed finish. Something simpler and less contrived would've sufficed. But even in that regard, the movie still manages to keep with the twisted dark humor, and campy murder scenes. That have carried this franchise beyond "Child's Play 3". Times 3. All the way right up to its final scene. Which is not only bizzare, but also strange as well. In reference to its final sets up the franchise for possibly another entry. While at the same time, playing up the "gender confusion" issues, laid out in the previous movie almost 9 years ago.

THE GOOD:Bisutti and the Dourif's (Brad and Fiona)...all give great performances. Bisutti tows the line with the Barb character. She can be hateable? But also likeable as well. She's snakey like I said, but not evil or malicious in that regard. More of an anti-heroine - quasi-heroine character. Fiona Dourif rises to the occasion as Nica, and Brad as usual...slips back into the role of Chucky with a demented ease. The films conclusion is classic Universal Monster Movie stuff setting wise. Always a plus.

THE BAD:The movies finale tries to pull itself in too many directions. It covers too much of Chucky's past, and tries to make unecessary connections to previous films. The kills lacked that "dark creativity" this franchise has come to be known for as well. The movies final scene I think puts the writers in a tight box for what could possibly be another sequel.

OVERALL:Three stars out of four.


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