Over the years, I’ve noticed a pattern with the truly iconic horror villains. Characters such as Freddy, Jason, and yes, Chucky, became so imprinted on the social consciousness that they ceased to be scary, becoming so well known that they began to lose their resonance. Once that happened, the inevitable next step was to satire what was once a deadly serious creation. Fortunately, after enough time had passed, these characters became so associated with camp, the filmmakers were able to bring them back full circle and reintroduce the world to the true purpose of these characters lost to time. That of scaring the crap out of the audience.
This brings us to Curse of Chucky, the latest entry in the Chucky franchise. After Seed of Chucky, and Bride of Chucky, I had just about written the character off as the joke he had intentionally become. That’s not to say those films weren’t entertaining in their own right, but Chucky was no longer the terrifying figure he once was. Well, I am thrilled to say that Chucky is back and scarier than ever.
The success of these films hinges on the dichotomy of a children’s plaything serving as an instrument of torture and evil. That happens in spades throughout the film. The story itself centers on wheelchair-bound Nica, whose mother is mysteriously killed after the arrival of an unmarked package containing Chucky. This brings the rest of her family to the house, including her young niece who adopts Chucky as her own. The relationship between the child and the doll harkens back to the best the franchise has to offer. As the film progresses, the focus for the family is who or what is responsible for all of the killings. From my perspective, the greater mystery was how Chucky got to Nica in the first place, and why this was happening at all. The payoff is fantastic.
Brad Dourif returns as the voice of Chucky, bringing his trademark sarcasm and sadism to the role. He has been the perfect voice for Chucky from the beginning, and you can tell that he has a blast playing this character. The deaths are as creative and gruesome as ever, ranging from decapitation to electrocution. Bringing these horrific moments to life are fantastic special effects, including amazing puppetry. One of my favorite aspects of this character is that he is a supernatural character with little to no CGI involved. The artistry to bring this character to life is amazing.
As for the Blu-Ray itself, the picture looks terrific. Most of the film takes place in Nica’s house, which is very dark and gothic by design. The image is sharp and lends itself to the atmosphere created by this location. There are also several interesting extras, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, a feature commentary, storyboards, and a couple of documentaries. One of the documentaries is a standard “making of” feature that is essentially a lot of people talking about how much fun the film was to make, and how exciting it was to work on the film. There are a few brief glimpses of the production itself, but nothing too earth-shattering. The other documentary is a more technical “behind-the-scenes” look at the creation of Chucky, the artistry behind the deaths, and various little odds and ends from behind-the-scenes. You won’t find anything too revelatory in these features, but it’s always fun to get a peek behind the curtain.
Overall, I couldn’t have been happier with this film. I was a little apprehensive when I found it was going Direct-to-Video, but don’t let that deter you. As a lifelong fan of the character, I found myself completely satisfied with this newest entry in the franchise, and I hope it’s the first in a long line. Welcome back, Chucky. You’ve been missed.