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A new Chucky sequel? Of course it's terrible, but you know you're secretly curious....
Universal / 97 Minutes / 2013 / Rated R / Street Date: October 8, 2013
Here's a question, horror movie buffs with particular soft spots for 80s slashers: is Child's Play underrated? I ask this knowing that regardless of any qualitative merit, the movie has a distinctly esteemed fan base - it's no Friday or Elm Street, but usually fans of those franchises will be quite kind to Chucky's slate of bloody pictures. But as Curse of Chucky unfolded in front of me in pristine high-def glory (more on that later), I couldn't help but question the inherent cinematic value of the one that started it all.
The fact that this writer was waxing philosophical while experiencing Curse of Chucky is proof positive that this straight-to-video sequel isn't on its own a legitimately engaging enterprise, but I really am curious: is Child's Play a shitty movie that we simply give a pass because of the fact it was released in the sweet-spot of many of our blossoming horror flick appreciation, or is there more to the demonic-baby-doll Brad Dourif gorefest than meets the eye? A reappreciation is in order (and thankfully, a DVDFile review of The Chucky Collection is coming later this week).
Back to the Chucky at hand. Eh - on second thought, perhaps it's best to stay in nostalgia mode. Bride of Chucky (1998) was a sequel that aimed for a low-common-denominator audience, of course, but with John Ritter's death-spasm and a handful of truly inventive kills, it was a fun way to waste some time. But Seed of Chucky and now Curse of Chucky feel too thin and uninspired. It's always devious fun to see our favorite red-headed serial murderer/doll hard at work, but do a few gruesome thrills earn this latest installment a thumbs-up?
This brings me back to the question at the beginning of this review. If Child's Play is a fine film, then maybe Curse of Chucky isn't terrible - for fans of the genre, it should be noted that simply returning to the land of Chucky is likely worth the price of admission, but there might be some inventive groady cinema at hand here. Should Child's Play, upon a 2013 viewing, turn out to be a stinker that horror fans like myself love in spite of myself, then this one's a clunker by comparison. Stay tuned...