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Curse of Chucky (2013)

Written and Directed by Don Mancini

Friends to the end you say, if ever a end should transpire. Which never seemed to be the case with a particular good guy doll we all know and love. Twenty-five years having passed since the original, with this last installment (which again, we will pretend never happened) left more than enough room for interpretation as to what could occur next for our favorite pint sized antagonist.
By and at this point, the next ‘logical’ step would be a reboot/remake of some sort. Which had been rumored and discussed for some years prior as it already was. Yet because the rights had been split, with the original belonging to MGM and the rest to Universal, it was decided that in order to suffice that they would delve more into the character of Charles Lee Ray and his origins. Given a budget of five million dollars and thirty days to shoot, we venture into a story happening one dark and stormy night within the confines of a beautiful Victorian house lavished in homage’s to the series as an entirety.

Before we begin any further, let me preface in stating that as a fan of this particular series, expectations were not exactly low, however I had to go in with an open mind; simply excited at the surrounding elements of the film. Because while Brad Dourif (Charles Lee Ray) had suggested his daughter work with Don beforehand, Fiona Dourif initially auditioned for the role of Barb, eventually filled by Danielle Bisutti. Though Mancini believing that Fiona would be better fitted for the lead of the role, having also previously played a disabled character; the wheelchair a constant prop she had no trouble handling. Working for a beautiful irony (if acquiring such info), and sticking to the otherwise satirically story-line having maintained so well over the past two decades.

We begin with an all too familiar package delivered to Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle), who has no second thoughts on throwing out the doll once opening. However is found later that night by daughter Nica, set-up as though her mother had taken her own life, the doll hauntingly near the scene of the crime. The next day bringing about her Aunt Barb along with a slew of disposable characters we hope entertain in said aspects throughout. Father Frank (A Martinez), Jill (Maitland McConnell), Ian (Brennan Elliott) and Alice (Summer H. Howell) tending to Nica and her needs, though Barb holds malicious intent on getting her to move into ‘Dawning Day;’ a home in which assisted those living with a disability. Wishing to acquire the house in fear of losing such amenities used to at this point, whether their live-in nanny (Jill) or God forbid, being forced to send her own daughter to public school. *gasp*

Matters being put on hold as Nica prepared dinner for six; a vegetarian chili that Chucky is able to garnish at least one plate with rat poison. And if you follow the plate once getting to the table, you’ll immediately know which would meet their untimely demise soon enough. As the rest of the family spends the night watching old home videos, Nica’s suspicion grows about this mysterious package that seemingly kept ending up in the oddest of places. Sharing in her own moment of discomfort with the doll when the power goes out and she becomes entrapped in her elevator; things not as left once the lights came back on.
Barb, with her obligatory bitchiness perfected, throws the audience a curve ball or two. Knowledge of the doll coming about as Nica researched the Chucky dolls, finding a photo of Charles Lee Ray that looked familiar; having found him in the background of their home videos. Ok, actually not in the background but rather, in a hilarious fashion as they very dramatically focus their attention onto him, oh so suddenly.

Everyone looking to locate Alice who had run off as Barb took the doll into the attic where after close observation found that Chuckys looks were also not as they’d appear. While Nica seeks help from Ian as he finally looked through the nanny cam, obtaining evidence of the true culprit. Psychologically taking jabs as we hear the real reason he had come back into her and her mothers life. Charles having been the reason behind Nica’s handicap. The police arriving shortly after to find one survivor with all signs pointing to a case of insanity in what would appear as the ending. When in fact, it was as though they had three alternates playing back to back as a means of rounding up several different loose ends.

Frankly, I found it time that Don Mancini come around to directing his claim to fame. Having so passionately developed this character and sticking with it for so long is not something every artist seems aimed on preserving. But its hard to go wrong when you know what your audience wants and are willing to provide. What’s more was that it went back to his roots and realized that while the first installment was a true classic, fans just as much enjoyed Bride of Chucky and incorporated a bit from that side as well. I mean, one cannot watch the ending sequence without almost immediately recalling the infamous opening scene from the before mentioned. Bringing in the original knife to be used in the flashback sequence, subtle touches of CGI that one wouldn’t be able to otherwise notice. How beautifully the score was composed for key tension filled moments. Of course, there were a few moments here and there that were unintentionally funny or had something you know could have been left on the cutting room floor. But overall, the film did not disappoint. Especially once the credits roll and we receive yet another ending. But it was certainly enough to hold off this Chucky fan for the time being.