CHUCKY’S BACK, SLASHING AND SNARKING AWAY
Cult of Chucky
Review by Ray Schillaci
Our favorite “Good Guy” doll, Chucky, is back in action with his unique set of skills: torment, torture and murder, all with a wink and a devilish smile. Add to the mix practically everybody that’s been allowed to survive in the franchise (Andy, Nica, the voice of Chucky, Brad Dourif, and Tiffany – both the doll and Jennifer Tilly) and the original writer, Don Mancini (also directing here), and you have a biting and potent mix of thrills, chills and dark laughs. Cult of Chucky also makes up for whatever lack of grue and gore that the past has neglected. Not that it adds to the franchise, but with todays jaded audience it should make them flinch now and then.
Set aside all that, and it’s good ol’ Chucky’s snide remarks that is every bit as good if not better than the the Freddy Krueger or James Bond one-liners. Seeing the familiar faces act out this latest sinful scenario is wrong in so many outrageous ways. Nica, the wheelchair bound heroine from the last Chucky outing, Curse of Chucky, has been committed and believed to have perpetrated the murders, because a handicap woman in a wheelchair is far more believable as a demented serial killer than a “Good Guy” doll.
The only one that believes her is Chucky’s original playmate, Alex, who has kept the disfigured doll’s head in a safe. The boy we grew up with is now a man with woman problems. It seems like any time he gets close to somebody and talks about those who died around him, the subject matter is a buzzkill. For this, he blames the little tyrant, and occasionally visits his playmate. Oh, by the way, Chucky, although just 3/4 of a head, is still alive with that sh*t eating grin, and smiles all the way through as Alex applies a blowtorch to his head for old times sake.
Bringing back Fiona Dourif is a real coup to the film. Hers is a very complicated role with a variety of baggage, and there’s a point in the film that being the daughter of Brad Dourif, the original serial killer, Charles Lee Ray/Chucky, really pays off big time. Although, bringing Jennifer Tilly back and the dolls is fun, having Alex Vincent actually grow into an adult as Andy is the real treat and we root for him from beginning to end. Vincent is given a chance to display some real dark humor, and the man runs with it.
The only one missing is the Glen/Glenda doll from Seed of Chucky. Heck, they managed to bring back Tiffany and a variety of ways to resurrect Chucky, why not the sexually confused GG especially in these times of the spotlight on the transgender community? Can’t help but think they might have missed the boat on that one.
Nica’s story has her moving from a maximum nuthouse to a minimum-security one since she has shown a vast improvement and has admitted to all the murders, and that Chucky was conveniently used as a scapegoat. While meeting the other crazed cases, attending group therapy, and working perhaps too closely with a lascivious therapist, Nica is introduced to a new Chucky doll for “therapeutic reasons.”
People start dying in the most horrible ways around her, and once again Nica is haunted by Chucky’s spirit? The movie begs us to question – is it Nica? She even begins to question it herself. We know that the real devil doll has been decapitated and kept captive by Andy. To make matters worse, the doll introduced is being cared for by a crazed woman who claims he’s her son, previously smothered to death, and another doll shows up as well with the arrival of Jennifer Tilly. To add to the mayhem, Andy smuggles another version of Chucky into the place for his own vengeance.
As the cult grows, so does the body count in the most gruesome ways. The unrated version of this film does not hold back, and nearly takes away from the dark joviality that these films have been known for. But then again, there is the audience that revels in this kind of absurdist goregantuan horror show. Cult of Chucky does not disappoint the fans of Chucky, and manages to get us to look forward to further sordid exploits of Charles Lee Ray/Chucky and his cult. Unfortunately, I missed the after credits bonus that people are talking about. So, watch right through to the end of the credits, and those of you who are Chucky fans will not be disappointed.
Directed by: Don Mancini
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Run Time: 91 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment