Watch Curse of Chucky Online Chucky was thrust upon unsuspecting world way back in 1988 at a time when unstoppable killing machines like Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers were all the rage in horror. Child’s Play told the tale of a ‘Good Guys’ doll who was possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray, and what he lacked in size he more than made up for in wise-cracks and malevolence.
The first film revolved around his efforts to slice and dice a young boy called Andy, while a pair of sequels saw Chucky follow his young nemesis first into foster care and then military school as he endeavoured to kill him.
The horror franchise then fully embraced its darkly humorous heart for the hugely entertaining Bride of Chucky – wherein the deadly doll hooked up with bad girl Tiffany – while the last film to feature the mini-murderer was the equally silly Seed of Chucky in 2004.
The film itself is a strange and not entirely successful hybrid of continuation and reboot, re-introducing the character to new audiences through a story that nevertheless features multiple throwbacks to the original series of films.
Our hero this time around is Nica, a paraplegic living with her mother in a remote mansion. As the film kicks off an all-too-familiar ‘Good Guy’ is delivered to their door, closely followed by the apparent suicide of Nica’s somewhat batty mother.
In the aftermath of the death, Nica’s domineering sister Barb heads to the house along with her husband, daughter, maid, and a priest. What follows for the next half-hour is unfortunately deadly dull as family tensions come to the boil, conversations last for what feels like an age, and Chucky is rarely seen.
Mancini may be trying to build tension, but it’s not till the half-way point that the doll finally makes his mark, which truly tests the patience of the audience as what takes place in the interim is sleep-inducing.
Mercifully, when he does show up, it’s worth the wait, Chucky going to town on Nica’s extended family in increasingly unpleasant ways, and while the kills aren't as imaginative as those seen in previous films, they do give the film the shot in its arm that it needs.
He’s still used sparingly – which may be as much due to budgetary restraints as it is for plot reasons, but Chucky looks great, the filmmakers utilising animatronics rather than lashings of CG; the film all the better for it.
And the fact that he hides in the shadows for much of the film means that Curse is as much a haunted house movie as it is a Chucky flick, with much of the suspense concerning potential victims roaming the dark mansion in search of answers or escape. Unfortunately however, the characters are so bland and the story so uninvolving that you really don’t care when they start to drop like flies.
Brad Dourif is as good as ever as the voice of Chucky, his sneering malevolence continuing to be a big part of what makes the character so funny and horribly appealing. Indeed you don’t want to root for the tiny serial killer, but the brilliance of this series is that at times it’s hard not to.
Dourif’s real-life daughter Fiona plays protagonist Nica, but there’s no nepotism at work here, the young actress much better than the bland performers that surround her, and proving to be the kind of likeable lead that you really root for in the film’s finale.