Curse of Chucky

Film4 Frightfest 2013

 

As creator Don Mancini introduces the world premiere of the uncut version of the film, it doesn’t seem like it’s been 25 years since the series began – not least because from where I’m sitting Mancini looks like he must have been about 10 then!

The latest installment in the evil doll series features Fiona Dourif, real life daughter of Chucky-voicing Brad, and is cited as being a return to the more serious nature of the first three films after the comedy focus of Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky. It sets its cards early with an effective pre-credits spike, and as the film progresses it becomes increasingly obvious that this time round it is about balancing the comedy and the tension, and it does so impressively. Also handled well is the characterisation – it would be easy to define Nica (Fiona Dourif) solely by her disability but the script wisely avoids this, and the relationships with mother Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle) and sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) have a ring of truth without being patronising. And as the plot darkens and Chucky comes again to the fore as the teensy terroriser, long-held secrets will be revealed…

Deaths are inventive and effectively nasty with a clear streak of black humour, and the dialogue is sharp and witty. As for Chucky himself, he’s had a bit of a facelift – 25 years is a long time for a doll! – but it doesn’t detract much (and ultimately makes more sense than it initially appears), and the vast majority of doll action is done without CGI, continuing the trend of the other films.

If having to nitpick, the film does suffer a bit from the Return of the King syndrome of multiple endings, which also gives a question mark over the post-end-credits bonus, and while it is weaved nicely into the first three films how Bride and Seed slot in is less clear.

But these are minor really, as Curse of Chucky is genuinely great fun, and to my mind, the best of the series. Long live the demonic doll! ****

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