Curse of Chucky

I meant to post this yesterday, but I was wiped.  My apologies.  Keep your eyes peeled for another edition of The Shitty Webcam Show, which should go live around 10 PM tonight as scheduled (EST, bitches).

I think it's safe to say that horror fans flinched at the prospect of a direct-to-video sequel to Child's Play.  We've been burned by ill-omened franchise extortion before.  Obviously, we didn't want to see that happen to everyone's favorite Good Guy.  Would series creator Don Mancini manage to buttress the tenability of a horror icon, or would we have another Candyman 3: Day of the Dead on our hands?  I must say, I'm surprised by the heterogeneous crossbreed of opinions that Curse of Chucky has received by dyed-in-the-wool dollsploitation lifers.  Viewers have been split into love/hate camps.  From where I stand (shut up), there isn't much to hate about this all-inclusive installment.

Curse is better than it has any right to be.  For the most part, the scrimpy budget doesn't louse up the finished product.  Not that five million cucumbers is a negligible amount of dough, but Mancini is used to working with surfeited, chockablock reserves.  There were only a couple of occasions where I was reminded that this flick bypassed theaters.  Regrettably, the sets do feel small.  You can tell that the story is eager to break out into other locations, but in all fairness, Mancini milks the fuck out of an archetypal Gothic backdrop.  I don't see it as a coincidence that Curse just happens to be Universal's intellectual property.  My adenoids detected notes of Tod Browning's Dracula and James Whale's The Old Dark House in the neighboring areas (read: everywhere).

The synopsis does not suggest a sequel that recognizes series continuity.  On the surface, the script concerns a wheelchair-bound dame (Nica) saddled with the responsibility of arranging a family gathering in the wake of her mother's passing.  I hesitate to reveal any further exposition.  You know that the plot involves Chucky in some capacity, and quite frankly, that's all you need to know.  The lion's share of the felicity inherent in Curse lies in the bold, enterprising twists that crop up out of nowhere.  Kudos to Mancini for reaching beyond the call of duty in terms of mapping out a network of events that interlaces each of the previous entries.  Because he could have parented a stand-alone rehash, and his paycheck would not have suffered.

Many impugn Curse's solemn tone.  I guess the majority of genre enthusiasts were on board with Seed of Chucky's preposterous chaffing, but where do you go after voodoo semen and the lonesome death of Britney Spears?  I, for one, applaud the decision to take Chucky back to his menacing roots.  The suspense is surprisingly taut, and the aforementioned Gothic milieu is categorically splendid.  Look, I didn't despise Seed, but this shit kicks ass.  And I haven't even mentioned the cast yet!  Fresh face Fiona Dourif (seed of Brad) acts as a photogenic anchor, supplying her role with depth and natural charisma in equal measures.  She's the clear star of the show, her proud papa notwithstanding.

Speaking of Charles Lee Ray, his plastic visage is...different.  I understand why certain people cite his remedial look as a hindrance, but it honestly didn't bother me.  Curse of Chucky has a distinct flavor; it required a distinct Chucky.  Man, who knew that this wicked whirligig would rival the original?  I guarantee that it will catch on as a cult classic.  Don, if you're reading, bring on part seven!  Robert Z'Dar says, "I hate it when Coccaro uses half of my head.  It fucking hurts."

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