Friday, October 18, 2013

Curse of Chucky

Nica lives with her mother and has been paralyzed since birth. She receives a mysterious package with a weird doll in it and thinks nothing of it. That night, her mother dies in a horrible accident. Her family visits for the funeral and stays with her for "support," including her sister Barb, her brother in law Ian, their 5 year old daughter, their nanny, and the priest who presided over the ceremony. As the night goes on, a storm brews and worsens, causing spotty power outages. Then people are found dead by mysterious circumstances one by one. Nica soon figures out who the murderer is, but the real challenge is getting the others to listen to her before it's too late.

Curse of Chucky is a complete turnaround in tone from the last few films. Bride and Seed of Chucky both focused on humor over horror and Chucky stopped really being scary. This film changes all that and makes an effort to create a creepy atmosphere and instill horror in the viewer again. The creepy historical house in the middle of a thunderstorm at night is the perfect setting for any creepy story. Suspense is built and maintained successfully, making this the scariest Chucky movie in years. Even the way Chucky approaches things contributes to the mood. He isn't seen moving around or speaking until about well into the film, making the viewer guess when he will decide to reveal himself. Nica's disability also makes Chucky more of a threat. She can't just kick him across the room and when the power goes out, her mobility is seriously hindered without the elevator to take her wheelchair between floors. Chucky is back to being a true monster instead of a laughable creature. It brought back memories of when I was a kid and I got rid of all my plastic dolls because I was totally frightened of him.

Nica is my favorite character of the film. She's the most sensible character and very self reliant. I grew frustrated as her family tried to push her into an assisted living home she didn't need in an effort to sell the house and collect the money. They viewed her disability as a weakness to be exploited and made efforts to insult and demean every aspect of her life. Nica is quick to act and doesn't make too many mistakes in her fight with Chucky. Fiona Dourif is admirable in the role and brings a genuine character that the viewer can actually sympathize with and root for. So many slasher films only have two dimensional characters that are only amusing during their horrific death scenes.

The film did have some flaws. There were a few too many cliches and expected scenes. There were a few small surprises, but fit in a little too well with typical horror movie tropes. Some of the acting was atrocious and over the top. The build up went on a little too long for my taste, especially when the reveal is well known to the audience. Suspense is only built up to a point and then annoyance sets in when he will be revealed as the killer.The CGI is terrible and probably shouldn't have been used at all if the quality was going to be so low. Chucky's face changes way too much throughout the film in the new state as if the filmmakers couldn't decide on a consistent look. The pros outweigh the cons and overall, the film was enjoyable.

Curse of Chucky stands as a sort of hybrid reboot and sequel to the franchise. This is also shown in the film when Chucky sheds his new face to reveal the scarred, old one hidden underneath. It acknowledges the past films and advances in a new direction. A bit of Chucky's past is filled in while moving forward with the story and setting a darker tone more focused on horror for future films. I don't know why this film was direct to DVD since Seed of Chucky was such a godawful mess and released in theaters. Hopefully, this new imagining of Chucky will spawn better, scarier films for the franchise in the future.

My rating: 6/10 fishmuffins

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