It's been almost a decade, but Chucky's back! Universal Home Entertainment gives fright fans "Curse of Chucky" just in time for Halloween. There's no doubt that decades down the road, the image of the deranged Good Guys doll will be immortalized right next to the Universal Classic Monsters like Frankenstein's creation, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Right or wrong, the "Child's Play" movies and their sequels have made that big of an impact on pop culture.
Wheelchair-bound Nica (Fiona Dourif) and her mother (Chantal Quesnelle) live alone in a secluded mansion. When a mysterious package holding a vintage Good Guys doll named Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) is delivered to their doorstep, they think it's just a mistake. After being tossed in the trash, Chucky is found sitting near the bloody corpse of Nica's mother. As the house fills up with guests for the funeral, the body count rises. The malevolent soul inside Chucky needs a body to inhabit, and Nica's niece (Summer H. Howell) meets his deranged requirements.
Director/Writer Don Mancini brings the "Child's Play" movies full circle with "Curse of Chucky." After two entries in the series many would call more camp and humor than horror, he re-injects this entry with a healthy dose of suspense and thrills. His choice of an old dark mansion also helps by giving the film a classic gothic atmosphere. I would say this is the perfect balance between the original and its lighter-hearted sequels.
The special effects team is hard at work in "Curse of Chucky." This is not the sanitized PG-13 or R-rated slasher films we saw in the late 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. It's graphic and the gore is here for everyone to enjoy. Whether running, smiling, turning his head around, or slashing away at someone, Chucky looks fabulous.
Brad Dourif is every bit as humorous as we've come to expect when he voices Chucky. You can't help but giggle every time you hear the childhood toy utter foul language and say inappropriate things. He really is perfect in the role.
"Curse of Chucky" is full of skepticism towards religion and Christianity. Chucky tells the little girl he terrorizes that there is no God several times. Nica and her mother both left the church after an obvious period of disillusionment. The priest (A Martinez) also seems rather judgmental and Nica's sister presents herself as a Christian but definitely doesn't live that way. You can take all this as an attack against Christianity or as a general example of how Director/Writer Mancini sees hypocritical "followers" of the faith.
The Unrated version of "Curse of Chucky" didn't strike me as any worse than what would be considered an R-rated movie these days. There's plenty of graphic violence, foul language, and sexual situations. However, there's no nudity to be found.
"Curse of Chucky" is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Every gory slash, cackle from Chucky, and rumbling roll of thunder will resonate throughout your home theater. The picture quality is clear and easy on the eyes as well.
There are some interesting special features included on the Blu-ray edition of "Curse of Chucky." Audio commentary is provided by Director Don Mancini, Puppeteer Tony Gardner, and actor Fiona Dourif. It contains three featurettes entitled ""Playing with Dolls: The Making of 'Curse of Chucky,'" "Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life,'" and "Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy.'" Storyboard comparisons, deleted scenes, and a gag reel round out the bonus material.
I'm actually quite surprised that "Curse of Chucky" didn't get a theatrical release. I know it boils down to Universal wanting to test the waters for their upcoming reboot of the franchise without investing too much in promotion. The film really does a great job revitalizing the series and reminding genre fans why they fell in love with the maniacal character in the first place.