Tuesday, October 8, 2013

FILM REVIEW: Curse of Chucky (2013)


Curse of Chucky  had no business being any good. It is yet another sequel from a tired franchise that no one asked for. However, it is October 2013 AD and I only have one goddamn question: Why in the fuckcakes did this film not receive a freakin' theatrical release?!

Let's rewind a tad...shall we?

The first Child's Play  was a classic 80's horror film that introduced us to the world of Chucky and his sadistic brand of evil. Then, the sequels started to stray away from the horror until it basically started churning out balls out comedy mixed with some gory fun on the last two sequels, Bride of Chucky  and Seed of Chucky. And while I was among the few who thoroughly enjoyed those two films, strictly from an entertainment standpoint, I certainly wouldn't have been upset if the studios never gave us another Chucky movie ever again. I mean...how many more times could we take the demonic exploits of a killer doll who isn't necessarily scary anymore...and how many more stories are left to tell?

Well...the answer to that last question is that there's at least one more story to tell. And that story was told impressively well. So well...that I'm actually recommending this film to you, my lovely Deviants. Seriously...this isn't a joke. I actually liked Curse of Chucky  enough to warrant a recommendation. I know, right?? Blew my mind, too!

Original writer, Don Mancini is in the director's chair this time around...which is a pretty damn good thing for a series looking to inject some much needed original flavor into an iconic horror character. Mancini understands what makes Chucky so cool and iconic. He basically invented the character himself and for him to direct how his lines and movements are conveyed onscreen, is an inspired idea, which really comes through in the film and makes this iteration of Chucky so magnetic. It was also a great idea to keep Brad Dourif as the voice of the possessed doll...because, well...there's no one else who could pull off his venomous material with such tenacity. The film looks great, too...which would have lent itself nicely to a darkened theater. Why this film wasn't considered for theatrical distribution in October is well beyond any realm of understanding...especially when you think about stuff like Texas Chainsaw 3D  enjoying a wide release. Just doesn't make any sense to me. Oh, well...add another to the long list of mysteries that will forever go unsolved.


Another nice treat is adding Dourif's own daughter to the cast in the role of Nica, the wheelchair-bound final girl in this film. Fiona Dourif is a solid actress in her own right and proves to be such a great compliment as the protagonist to her father's antagonist. It is such a fun ride watching the two square off with one another for most of the film's running time and I would really hop along for another ride, should this outing spawn another sequel with the two going toe-to-toy shoe. I've heard that Fiona mostly resembles her dad whenever she's out of make-up, however...it was really hard seeing Brad in her while I was watching the film. Believe me...I searched for mannerisms or shadowy profiles...and, while I could detect a faint resemblance between the two in certain scenes, they really are quite different in performance. Both are great character actors, tho. Brad being among the greatest of our generation.

The cast rounds out quite nicely, for who they are. Summer H. Howell never strays into "annoying bratty child" in her role of Alice. Danielle Bisutti and Brennan Elliott are decent for what is asked of them. And Maitland McConnell (Ninja Cheerleaders, anyone? Anyone?) plays the hot au pair, Jill...who only really strips down to her undies in the film. Would it have killed Mancini to write in a decent cliche of a nude scene?? Perhaps the biggest surprise to me is how good A Martinez was in the movie. I was only expecting a stereotypical Latino priest performance, and the man gives us a badass silent-but-powerful brooding man of the cloth. Unfortunately, Martinez never gets to flex his skills...but, still...I'd love to see him in other genre stuff. Specifically, as someone who is sworn to kill evil shit...goatee and all!

The premise is simple. Chucky shows up via "strange package being delivered to random house" and the fun doesn't take long to ensue. I'd reveal more...but, I don't wanna spoil any of the fun surprises in store. Besides, all you really need to know in a Chucky movie is the who's and what's...not necessarily the why's. Those particulars are reserved for the final act.


Speaking of Chucky, I've read complaints when the trailer went live months ago regarding his new design. I rather quite liked his new look. It's not really a re-imagining of our favorite iconic murdering doll...but, a sort of refinement. He looks more FAO Schwarz rather than KB. And he's as razor-tongued as ever...delivering menacing one-liners to innocent kids without missing a beat. Chucky is back, folks...and he looks pretty goddamn badass.

In the way of missteps, Curse of Chucky  has its share. While I enjoyed the way it attempted to tie all the films together, there were a few things that just didn't really make sense...due to rational-thinking and stuff like implausibilities and whatnot. I won't go into those things, due to spoilers...but, let's just say that the writing is convenient for some of the reveals in store and some of the continuity is sacrificed for a bit of fan service. But, if you could forgive those kinda things...(and you will...it is a movie about a killer doll, after all)...then a good time is to be had.

Another gripe is the lack of gore and, as mentioned above, lack of blatant nudity. The film is not without gory set pieces...but, watching the great FX on display in certain scenes made me want much more. This isn't so much a "make-or-break" thing for the overall experience as it is a minor gorehound critique. And as far as the nekkidness goes...they fumbled a golden opportunity to take advantage of one of the twists revealed mid-way through the story which may or may not have involved hot girl-on-girl action. The Deviant in me would have loved such a thing in a film called Curse of Chucky...instead, the raunchiness is mostly left to just teasing.

But, still...Curse of Chucky  is a killer film...with killer production value....and killer one-liners...and killer performances. I honestly wasn't expecting such a high point in the franchise. However, as it stands...Curse of Chucky  is among the best in the series. Highly recommended for fans of the killer doll and such a shame for those wanting to watch the film in a dark theater...where it should have been. Shame on you, Universal, for missing out on a mammoth opportunity to re-introduce Chucky in a much grander fashion this Halloween season. Instead, Curse of Chucky  will make a great addition to anyone's Good Guy collection.






FIONA AND CHUCKY BEHIND THE SCENES


Thanks for reading,

bryan.




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