It’s been almost 10 years since an installment in the “Child’s Play” series has been produced, but fortunately for us “Curse of Chucky” is now on blu-ray. The series started way back in 1988 when Don Mancini came up with the idea for a child’s doll that had been possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. The killer doll would then terrorize unsuspecting people as he continued his murderous ways. The first couple films were straight-up 80’s horror flicks with no real intention of being campy. Or at least as un-campy as they could be considering their villain was a doll. The later installments of the series realized that the same horror from the 80’s wouldn’t hold up to the new generation, so they embraced the camp and started getting weird with it. As for Curse of Chucky, it seems as if they were trying to go back to the creepiness of the series, but I think the idea of a killer doll is best left in the 80’s.
“Curse of Chucky” brings back Don Mancini as writer, although “back” is probably the wrong word, since he’s written ever installment in the franchise, as well as David Kirschner as producer, who has also been with the franchise since the beginning.
The movie follows Nica, a wheelchair bound girl who lives with her mother in an old creepy house. Her mother has taken care of her most of her life which has lead to some resentment from her older sister, which we find out pretty quickly after the mother is killed… by Chucky, who was mysteriously delivered to the house earlier that day. With the mother dead it’s time for the sister to step in and try to convince Nica to sell the house and live out the rest of her handicap days in an assisted living facility. Of course Nica isn’t having any of it.
Nica, her sister and her husband, their daughter Alice and the nanny Jill, all come to the house to try and convince Nica to sell the house. Naturally Chucky has other ideas as he befriends Alice and starts killing people one by one. Without giving away the ending, of course there is some connection between Chucky and the family he his now terrorizing, but there’s a nice little cameo at the very end that I wasn’t expecting. If you’re familiar with the more recent installments in the series you can probably figure out who it is.
Overall the movie was “OK”. It was definitely better than some of the later flicks like “Seed of Chucky” and “Bride of Chucky”, but it’s never going to be able to recapture the essence of the original. It’s a different time we’re living in now, people want to see horror movies that are somewhat believable, or at least have aspects that are believable. Nobody is going to believe that a serial killer’s soul was put into a child’s doll after some voodoo experiment.
I did like that it appeared as though a lot of the effects favored the practical side, rather than relying on CGI. And even the Chucky doll itself looked to be a well designed puppet most of the time. Obviously there were times when you could tell he was cgi, but for the most part it looked pretty good. I think the dark setting helped blend everything together.
So while it’s not the worst installment in the Child’s Play series, it doesn’t hold a candle to the first one. The video quality on the blu-ray is totally acceptable. The blacks are nice and dark and everything is nice and crisp. And even though most of the movie takes place at night, in a very dimly lit house, it’s easy to see through the darkness and know what’s going on. The audio on the blu-ray is actually quite good, and even had me jumping at a few parts I was expecting to, which was a nice surprise. There are a good amount of special features on the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, ranging from commentary tracks to a couple behind-the-scenes, as well as deleted scenes. They clock in at around an hour (not including the commentary), so there’s a good amount to keep you busy.
So like I said, the movie itself wasn’t terrible, better than some of the more recent installments. It tries to drop the dark humor it recently acquired to try and recreate the magic of the original, but kind of falls flat. The audio and video on the blu-ray are pristine and there’s a good amount of special features. So if you’re a fan of the series I would say give this one a shot, I think you’ll probably enjoy it.