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Movie review: ‘Curse of Chucky’ is a fun new ‘Child’s Play’ installment

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Curse of Chucky

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Curse of Chucky is the sixth installment in the infamous Child’s Play franchise. It’s the darkest of the Chucky movies so far, and worth the watch even for those who have never experienced the franchise.

Nica (Fiona Dourif) is a wheelchair bound young woman living at home with her mother (Chantal Quesnelle). One day, Nica receives a package from an unknown sender that contains a near life-sized doll. Later that night, Nica’s mom dies, presumably by suicide, and Nica’s sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti), brother-in-law Ian (Brennan Elliot), niece Alice (Summer Howell), and the family’s attractive young nanny, Jill (Maitland McConnell), come to stay. Also joining them is Father Frank (A Martinez), the priest who will be presiding over the mother’s ceremony.

Little Alice immediately bonds with the doll and says his name is Chucky. Unbeknownst to the family, Father Frank is killed in a car wreck after leaving their house. But he’s not the only one who won’t make it to the cemetery tomorrow. But even before family members start dropping like flies, Nica suspects something is up with Chucky, and discovers he was a big part of her past. But can she stop the Curse of Chucky?

Curse has all the elements of a good scary movie: An old, isolated mansion, a dark and stormy night, and plenty of shadows and mystery. Out of all the Child’s Play movies, this one’s probably the most tense and frightening. Which is good, because creator Don Mancini really wanted to return the franchise to its horror roots. Though the first three movies might not really be that frightening after all. In the experience of your Hattiesburg Horror Movie Examiner (who grew up in the 1990’s as the original trilogy was unfolding), the only people scared by Chucky watched the early movies as children. The original trilogy was unintentionally humorous (albeit fantastically memorable), the next two movies purposeful comedies. Even without the other films, Curse would make a fun standalone slasher movie.

What’s really interesting about this movie is the protagonist is played by Fiona Dourif, the daughter of Brad Dourif, who has been the voice of Chucky in all six movies. Dourif also makes a physical appearance in this movie, his first since the original Child’s Play. But this isn’t exactly a case of nepotism -- Mancini himself picked Ms. Dourif for the role via the traditional audition process. And she plays the role well -- Nica is a likable protagonist, albeit a bit depressing. Doesn’t every story need an interesting protagonist above everything else?

Even if you’ve never seen Chucky in action, you might like Curse, so give it a try. And here’s to hoping for more Chucky movies for years to come.

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