So this is the best Chucky film since the first arrival of everyone’s favourite pint sizes plastic assassin in the mid-80s.
But hold on. Check the decidedly mediocre competition here before you lend much credence to that statement.
Perhaps the cleverest thing that this film does is practically disavow all knowledge of the events of the first six (!) films in the franchise bar some carefully selected moments in the first couple. You can do that when the lead character is a doll. It’s simply a ‘new model’… “Now with no clumsy baggage!”.
When Chucky arrives in the mail unexpectedly addressed to Nica’s Mum with no sender details, they look at each other, exchange confused shrugs and plonk the ugly inanimate ginger harlequin on a chair.
Over the next hour or so there are a couple of “I could have sworn I out the doll here. Now he’s over there.” moments, and you might swear that at one point you saw the doll’s eyes move. Maybe?
Then that night Nica’s mother falls off the first floor balcony and dies…
The family arrive within a day or so for the funeral and to wind up the estate. There is concern shown regarding Nica’s ability to care for herself in this large, remote… valuable (hint-hint), property. Nica’s sister is keeping a close eye on the hot nanny, and how her husband looks at her. And the young daughter finds all of this…
Funnily enough the adults all remember the Chucky doll being momentarily sought after in shops, yet no-one recalls the string of murders associated with it.
Let’s be honest. People watch Chucky for the plot the same way readers peruse Playboy for the articles. This is all about the thrills and kills. This unnecessary edition has few of the first and frankly not many of the latter.
Chucky looks smoother and cleaner here, and he certainly cracks less of the terrible jokes that proliferated the past few dodgy efforts. In fact it is only in the latter stages that he reverts back to the factory installed hack’n’slash settings. This isn’t necessarily a negative. Curse of Chucky is almost deliberate in pacing, with a new malevolence that the increasingly silly sequels moved away from. While the killings are few, they tend to be a little more gory and effective – at least as effective as any doll related slaughter can be.
The Chucky films are a confusing throwback to another time. There really isn’t a need for it in today’s market. Yet here it is again, whether we like it or not. Chucky is like Hungry-Hungry Hippos; when a kid gets it for Christmas they mutter “thanks. I guess” play with a few perfunctory times, then shove it in the top shelf of a cupboard while wondering who actually enjoys these things?
The fact remains that Curse of Chucky is the best film in the series for two decades, mainly because it seeks to replicate all that was competent in the first film. That shouldn’t for a moment suggest that it merits another one. But I can’t help but think that at some point in 2015 we’ll hear ‘Revenge of Chucky: Hungry-Hungry Hippos edition’ is Coming Soon.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. If ever a toy line earned the right for a merciful discontinuance, it was this one. Cinema’s stumpiest serial killer continues slashing his way to obsolescence. Please?