One thing is certain after watching “Curse of Chucky.” While it is a lower budget reboot of the series that also works as a sequel, director Don Mancini loves the character. There are call backs to the previous movies, and director Mancini keeps the series focused on Chucky and Chucky alone, without the intervention of side characters. Brad Dourif returns to voice the character of Chucky, and has a good time reprising the monstrous killer doll that returns to wreak havoc on a dysfunctional wealthy family with many skeletons in their closet.
A follow up to the previous five films, “Curse of Chucky” centers on a beautiful disabled girl named Nica. Sheltered by her mother for many years, Nica receives a Good Guy doll in the mail. After awakening to discover her mother has committed suicide, Nica’s family comes over to console her and convince her to sell the valuable house to help soothe familial financial problems. However, when young Alice discover Chucky, she forms a bond with him that begins to unsettle the family. “Curse of Chucky” has ninety minutes to unravel a lot of story, and accomplishes that feat quite well. Chucky is as menacing as ever, and director Mancini relies on the formula from the first film, to where we can never be sure if Chucky is committing the murders, or someone else in the family is.
Chucky is mostly creepy window dressing for the first twenty minutes, and then begins to really do some damage when his secret becomes known among the house patrons. The revelation of Chucky is slow and quite good, as Mancini revels in the inherent horrific personality of the character. Dourif’s daughter Fiona Dourif gives a great performance (I hope we see more of her in film) as the tragic Nica, who spends most of the movie attempting to outwit her somewhat devious family, and then begins battling the demonic doll. Mancini soaks the film in dread and tension, making Chucky a valid horror menace once again, dodging most of the dark comedy trappings, and ensuring that character can pose a true threat.
There are a ton of twists and turns that Mancini throws in, but the best aspect of “Curse” is that Mancini never really changes Chucky. Surely, his appearance is slightly altered (for good reason), but his presence is still terrifying. As well, his motivations are true to the original character’s goal to victimize those around him while seeking a fresh victim for his body transfer ritual. Director Don Mancini’s “Curse” serves as a really good and entertaining book end for the end of the series, and in an attempt to satisfy fans of the series, includes many Easter eggs and surprises for fans to really chew on that I got a kick out. Especially the final scene in the end of the credits. Stay for that one.