Curse of Chucky (2013) Review: A Serious Twist
“Fear has a new home.”
Synopsis: After her mother’s mysterious death, Nica begins to suspect that the talking, red-haired doll her visiting niece has been playing with may be the key to recent bloodshed and chaos.
Watch now on Amazon
If Curse of Chucky had been a standalone flick as opposed to part of a series, it probably would have been mildly well-received and almost immediately forgotten. As part of the Child’s Play/Chucky series, it makes an attempt to veer back toward proper horror after the madcap absurdity of the last two movies. While I’m not really sure it succeeds at being scary to any but the faintest of hearts, it definitely makes a stronger attempt than I would have thought possible after Seed of Chucky.
As in Seed of Chucky, our main protagonist is a grown woman rather than a child. Wheelchair-bound Nica and her disturbed mother receive a mysterious package containing a Good Guy doll; Nica finds her mother dead the next day of apparent suicide. As her dysfunctional family gathers to grieve, secrets come out and bodies start piling up. Despite the obvious accusations of nepotism, Fiona Dourif does a good job as Nica, and delivers a performance on par with (if not better than) any of the other series’ actors.
Rather than the horror elements, the more immediate focus for me was the two big mysteries of the plot: how did Chucky (Brad Dourif) end up in this house, and why did he choose these people? The first question doesn’t get answered till the very end of the movie, but the second unravels slowly as Nica works out the danger she and her family are in.
Honestly, Curse of Chucky tries a little too hard to be a gritty mood piece. Between the dark lighting, the gothic house, and the twisted family secrets, it’s hard to find much that feels like either the early Child’s Play movies or the more recent horror comedies. Because the filmmakers show Chucky moving very early on, the audience doesn’t even get the benefit of wondering whether the killer is really the doll, which would have been a nice nod to the first movie (and could have been played up even more in Cult of Chucky). Considering the tone that the filmmakers were going for, our foul-mouthed antagonist gets very little screen time, presumably to keep the movie more on the serious side.
Curse of Chucky is an acceptable movie, but it’s not stellar. (I did very much enjoy the bits after the credits, however.) How much you like it will probably be guided by which entries into the Child’s Play franchise you like best, and whether you prefer your possessed toys to actually be creepy. It marks the second drastic mood shift of the series, but it’s unlikely to upset anyone. It’s a solid “I’d watch it if it were on” kind of movie. Decent, but unremarkable.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: C+
Watch now on Amazon