Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Short Attention Span Review - Curse of Chucky (2013)

Short Attention Span Review - Curse of Chucky (2013)

We're getting a new Chucky movie, and by that, I mean a reboot, not a continuation of the series as we know it.  I share Jennifer Tilly's thoughts on the matter, and lest you're unaware: we're not too keen on the idea.  Honestly, between 2013's Curse of Chucky and 2017's Cult of Chucky (and talks of a tie-in series from the man behind this franchise, Don Mancini), I see no need to do something new and different here.  Now, I enjoy these movies, but I'm not necessarily what I would consider a diehard fan.  Still, as a guy who digs horror, this does feel like hallowed ground for a few reasons.  First off, they're revamping Chucky himself.  That's a terrible fucking idea.  Secondly, they're looking for an "A-list talent" to try and fill Brad Dourif's shoes where the voice of everyone's favorite sadistic doll from hell is concerned.  The phrase "good luck with that" comes to mind.  Anyway, I'm going to push my little tangent here aside (sorry, but not really sorry at all) and review this 2013 chiller for you.  It is not a reboot at all, but something of a restart, taking the story in a new direction without severing any ties to the pictures that came before.  The tone is a fairly significant departure, with this being more of a sinister and spooky tale largely devoid of the zealous lunacy that we saw in the last few entries.  In that regard, it is a lot closer to Tom Holland's killer venture that started the ball rolling, though I would argue that Curse of Chucky is even more subdued, and plays a little more like an old school shocker.  It slowly builds to a crescendo, and even though we all come to this particular party knowing just what to expect, Curse of Chucky takes its time getting to the good stuff.  After all, the family at the center of the tale doesn't know that the doll young Alice is so taken with is a supernatural vessel for one vicious son of a bitch's tainted soul.  Mancini surely understands the lay of the land, and he handles Chucky's malicious exploits with great skill; the design and effects are on point, and the character's behavior is just what fans are hoping for.  Mancini's greatest feat may be pairing Brad Dourif's unbelievable performance with the ominous nature of the piece.  Brad isn't the only Dourif who shines in this outing, as his daughter Fiona excels as our lead.  Her part is both complex and endearing, and Mancini encourages us to really invest in this strong-willed heroine as he puts the screws to her in a big way.  While I won't rate this as the best of the lot, it is a welcome addition to a legacy that remains potent better than three decades after Chucky hit the scene--a legacy that need not be refashioned for current audiences when all the necessary parties are still fully capable of delivering the goods.

Final Grade: B-

Non-Spoiler Alert: Chucky is still one mean little bastard.

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