Earlier this week the new addition to the Child’s Play franchise came out on DVD, on demand, and Netflix much to the excitement of horror fans everywhere. The latest Cult of Chucky isn’t only the newest, and seventh in the series, it’s a return to a vibe closer to the original than the more comedic, sarcastic tones of Chucky’s past. This one, again starring Fiona Dourif, (daughter to the real life Chucky). While it’s been four years since the last installment, this one somehow has a fresher feel than recent others. Even Chuck himself looks different. More alive somehow, more expressive, and in turn, scarier. Close ups of his fast moving little, red shoes as he freakishly creeps along only confirm and enhance that idea. Cult of Chucky isn’t a masterpiece, and it has some plot holes. But it’s also pretty good in a lot of other ways. In the movie, Tiffany says, “a classic never goes out of style”, and this Cult of Chucky review couldn’t agree more.
I don’t always love asylum based horror movies, so at first I was a bit worried. Also, I couldn’t really remember Curse of Chucky that well, and you definitely need to have seen it to understand a lot here. At the very least, know the characters. Specifically Nica, who was terrorized by Chucky in the last film, framed by him, convicted of the murders, and then put in the looney bin. That’s where she is when we find her now. But whether she truly thinks she’s nuts, or guilty isn’t quite clear. Her sleazy doctor brings everyone together for some therapy that (BIG SHOCK) includes using a Good Guys doll. Some shit about confronting the past. Subsequently Tiffany/ Jennifer, who is now the guardian of Nica’s niece stops by to say that first, her niece is dead. And second, here is another Chucky doll for you. This leaves us with two red-headed dolls and we’re not quite sure which one, or if both are causing the initial havoc. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that while this Chucky plays off its original feel, it’s still a long way from the beginning. It’s not as simple as one, little, killer doll. Plus, Chucky seems to have other, supernatural powers now like transporting himself into other entities and bodies.
By this point in time in the film series, Chucky is like Trumpism. Even after the guy is gone, it’s clear his message has spread and living on. And yet, as this Cult of Chucky review already mentioned, the classic tone of the still original feels very present. How can it feel so new, but still hark to the old days? A few simple reasons.
1. Andy Barclay returns. The original protagonist to our villain returns, and it’s the first time we’re seeing him since part two all the way back in 1991. (Not counting a post credit cameo in Curse of Chucky). The coolest aspect being that original actor, Alex Price still plays him. You know, authenticity and all that. His role, while not exactly pivitol, is fun to see. And there’s another related twist that also has some fun pay off.
2. Chucky’s original look is back. So many recent Child’s Play movies have seen a disfigured, burned, or scarred Chucky. After all, through all the years, a lot has been done to him. But Cult of Chucky brings us back to the original, innocent Chucky doll. And then several more, varied versions of him.
3. Campy Kills. The movies, while always appealing to some fans, to others seemed to go a bit off course. Veering more into comedy, than horror. Cult of Chucky aimed to fix that by including some interesting kills that provide slightly more scares that laughs. Or maybe both, but that’s okay too.