31 Days of Reviews: The Curse of Chucky (2013)

After Nica’s mother receives a strange package in the mail, she is found dead, and her death is ruled a suicide. As her family and friends come together to grieve and move forward, they pay no attention to the strange gift that’s still hiding in plain sight in the house. This mistake will cost them their lives.

I heard about this addition to the Chucky franchise a couple of years ago, but it took me a long time to actually sit down and watch it. I wasn’t entirely impressed with the most recent sequel Seed of Chucky, and I felt that this movie would be the same. The franchise had become more horror-comedy over the years, and I wasn’t exactly feeling it anymore. That’s what I was expecting to get from this film, which can currently be seen on Netflix streaming. I’m glad that this wasn’t the case.

One of the first things that I noticed about The Curse of Chucky is that it really goes back to the basics of the franchise. It drops the massive amount of raunchy comedy and goes right back to classic slasher horror with Chucky’s beloved raunchy attitude. This may seem like a small difference, but it really makes for a huge change. In addition to the return to the original concept, Chucky himself appears more reminiscent to his look in the 1980s films. No scars. No burns. No stitches. Just a normal, albeit creepy, doll.

I really liked how the story progressed with the Chucky doll and how the past movies were eventually tied in to the story of this particular movie. I remember thinking as I was watching, “is this meant to be sequel or a remake?” My thought after watching is that it could go either way. This movie does continue on from all of its predecessors. It doesn’t negate any of the events that have transpired. At the same time, this movie does open up the franchise for more sequels and story options, possibly bringing Chucky to the new youth.

Now, moving on to talk about this movie specifically. The main character is a woman with a physical disability. She uses a wheelchair for mobility, and there are tools for accessibility throughout her massive house. It’s nice to see a character with a disability shown as being an individual who is capable of taking care of herself. The movie also shows a lot of concerned ableism that the character faces from members of her own family. The movie does frame those comments as negative, and as a viewer, you are meant to get angry at how ridiculous the comments are. This is a good thing. On the other hand, the character with a disability is being played by an actress who doesn’t have the disability. While I’m glad that a movie had a disabled character as the protagonist, the industry still has a long way to go in terms of accurate representation.

On that same thought, I was interested to see that the actress portraying the main character is none other than Fiona Dourif, daughter of Chucky himself, Brad Dourif. She did a pretty decent job with acting in this movie, as did the rest of the cast. Everything shown in the movie was very typical of the horror genre, so I really had nothing to add in that regard.

In addition, the pacing and camera work are also pretty typical of modern horror films. I made a note every time I saw an interesting camera shot throughout the film. Some of my favorites included eerie overhead shots and also shots where Chucky was featured out of focus in the background. Another nice moment to point out was in the beginning, after the mother dies, there is a 360 shot going around the Chucky doll as it sits in a chair, and in the background you see Nica dealing with the police and coroner all while the credits are rolling. That was pretty stand out to me.

There are some interesting bits of story sprinkled throughout. I really liked how the movie set up the characters to make it seem like the father and the nanny were having an affair, only to toss that trope on its head with a little surprise. There’s also an after credits scene which fans of the original may enjoy, and a last minute cameo at the end which definitely made me happy as a fan.

In the end, I do actually recommend seeing this movie if you’re a fan of the Child’s Play series. It goes back to the basics of the Chucky concept. I believe it was even written and directed by the original creator. It’s a pretty average horror film, and I couldn’t have really asked for more. It was enjoyable.

They’ve also announced another Chucky film that will be released. The latest news on that was in February 2015, so Chucky fans have that to look forward to as well.

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