Curse of Chucky (Don Mancini, 2013, USA/Canada)

Curse of Chucky is a surprisingly solid entry into the Child's Play franchise. It is rare for a film franchise to last 25 years, let alone to continue to release somewhat quality films after 25 years. This is probably due in large part to creator Don Mancini's involvement. Mancini has been involved in almost every film (and series) in the Child's Play universe, and his unique taste is imprinted on every film. We can even see this in Curse of Chucky's unique opening, which is a clear reference to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? 

The film also keeps the Child's Play universe in the family, with the voice of Chucky Brad Dourif's daughter playing Nica, the main heroine of the film. Fiona Dourif plays the role seriously, and she is one of the highlights of the film. Following the mysterious death of her mother, various guests show up at the house to bid goodbye - her sister, brother-in-law, niece, and their nanny. The lean film follows a traditional slasher formula, taking up the often-used formula of whether Nica is the murderer, or whether Chucky is the murderer? 

The spooky haunted house setting is limited, but it ultimately works. This is enhanced by Joseph LoDuca's creepy musical score. LoDuca of course got his start with Sam Raimi on the Evil Dead films. In leaving behind the goofiness of Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky, Mancini can successfully make the franchise scary again, while also building upon the mythology of the franchise. In its attempt to wrap all installments of the franchise into the finale, the film might be stretching itself too thin, but overall Curse of Chucky is an enjoyable entry into the franchise. Despite this, we still miss some of the manic comic energy of the two prior comedic entries. 



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