For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, as well as a list of previously featured films, please go here.
Curse of Chucky (2013)
When I got a new Redbox code I was seriously debating what to do with it. I had recently resigned myself to the fact that I would, for the foreseeable future have very few screenings that were not for the purposes of 61 Days of Halloween for myriad reasons. However, considering some of what I had heard and the desire, after having seen all of the other films recently, to see this one too I settled on it.
When I was done watching Curse of Chucky I was quite nearly hyperbolic about it but lowered my tweet reaction to a more guarded “redeeming” film. However, that is not meant as a slight or that I second-guessed my enjoyment of it. I was, even though I am not a massive fan of the series, practically gleeful after the film was over because of what it managed to do.
One example to contrast against is the Children of the Corn series. I covered, but did not write about all of them, one year. Essentially, what would need to be done to rectify that series, without (again) rebooting it, would be something far more involved than what Chucky accomplished here. You could almost write a book-length (OK, maybe a Kindle single-length) concordance of the Children of the Corn films to try and rectify and corollate all the new rules that emerged, or ones that changed and mutated.
The Child’s Play films never went too far outside the norm in terms of its general groundwork. What it did was change the tenor and formula of the series. It went from quasi-serious horror with a ridiculous premise to just ridiculous. However, this film did two things: first, it went back to its bread and butter (nothing wrong with that, bread and butter tastes delicious) but refused to disown where the series had been.
Yet, while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel it does have a new wrinkle in its approach. Yes, there’s a connection established to these new characters and why Chucky cares about going after them, but the timeframe of the story is also a short one and the tale is cloistered. A vast majority of it takes place in one locale amidst a set group of characters all under the same roof.
The connections come mostly in the discovery phase as well as in denouement, and many of those just made me smile. This film has a clever new wrinkle in terms of a doll usage in real-life, as well as a surprising touch of interpersonal.
Last, but certainly not least, is Fiona Dourif (Daughter of Brad, the voice actor behind Chucky) brings back into the fold a protagonist you can root for wholeheartedly both because the film does build her character and because of her performance.
Any time a frustrated fan says “Why bother?” about a sequel, films like this one should be cited as examples of the ship being righted. This Chucky movie does something nearly impossible, after six films in a horror franchise I actually want to see a seventh.