“We’re friends ’til the end, remember?”
Dir. Don Mancini
The doll without a soul is back, and this time not only is he coming to dinner, but he’s bringing rat poison with him too. Yes, it’s the Chuckster (Chucky, again voiced by Brad Dourif), the freckled psychopath with a twinkle in his eye; though to some surprise, here he tones it down, well, a little. Take the poisoning scene which could have been silly and redundant, but is thoughtfully tense with nice cinematography, not to mention intrigue as to who will chow the wrong bowl. Kudos to the director for not overexposing us to the freckled hellion too early. But then it all takes a nosedive. Chucky resorts to another gleeful killing-spree with excessive and especially unconvincing gore; the early moments of atmosphere now drown in a mess of red coagulating syrup and unnecessary close-ups to boot. Chucky is a bit off-colour as well and CGI has a lot to answer for; you’ll notice he looks uncharacteristic and vaguely oriental in the first half. What’s more, no one needs to see an emphasized decapitation scene; thankfully most of us don’t know what a real one looks like, but surely our spidey senses tell us it’s not so meticulous and choreographed as it is presented here – 1976’s The Omen did it better. The film does pick up again, but only once freckle-face has his showdown with worthy adult-protagonist Nica, interestingly played by Fiona Dourif; when the wheelchair-bound heroine in her disability elevator knocks the little punk’s stuffing out, and to no effect, you can’t help but feel her peril. Thus Chucky gets his mojo back, and just like in the original, manages to walk that bizarre line between ridiculous and scary. Indeed, this is better than one would expect from a video sequel (number five), but the tacked-on endings which wink at the franchise only further derides the film’s original promise to deliver an original scare, more than it thinks it honours the fans. Curse of Chucky is surely better than Seed of Chucky (2004) and is part Chuckalicious as well as part miss. There is also an attempt at a back-story, but don’t hold your breath; it stinks of the artificial and forced variety. Now if only Tom Holland would come out of retirement.