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Curse of Chucky (Blu-ray Review)

Curse-of-chucky-TNDespite having a broken wrist and all I literally did a cartwheel when I found out I was selected to review Curse of Chucky on Blu-ray.  I’m not sure why other than the fact that I chalk it up to my undying love for the serial killer doll.  He’s a relic and a byproduct from my youth.  I have many fond memories of the slashing Good Guys buddy doll.  Heck, I even remember buying a life-size replica of him at Spencer’s Gifts for my ex-girlfriend’s little brother, who was also infatuated with the character (now that one worries me a bit since he was only seven years old at the time and his mom let him watch Chucky on repeat).  So anyway, yes!  Thank you Sean and Jami Ferguson for allowing me to cover this thrilling direct-to-video sequel from Universal Pictures.  I hope to do you guys proud.  So let’s get stabbing!

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Film 

If you are keeping count, Curse of Chucky is now the sixth installment in the Child’s Play franchise.  Once again, the film is written and directed by Don Mancini, who not only created the serial killer doll, but also has written every Child’s Play film too.  I know it’s had to believe, but we have not seen a new Chucky film since 2004’s Seed of Chucky.  If you’re good with math, that’s almost ten years!  That’s way too long in my opinion for such a “killer” character to go absent on the big screen, especially when they already remade all the big guys already, Freddy, Michael and Jason, to name a few.  And yes that’s right…I consider Chucky one of the big guys.  Remember, it’s not how big you are, it’s how effective you kill.  And we all know, Chucky’s a pretty effective killer to say the least.  And if you don’t believe me about the size thing, check out a biblical story about David versus Goliath.  I bet you Goliath didn’t believe it either.

So where were?  Oh yeah…the Curse of Chucky!  I’m sorry about going down that beaten down, biblical road in the paragraph above.  Let’s get back to the reason we are all here…to have a good time!  The film stars Brad Dourif as Chucky, as well as Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, A Martinez and Brennan Elliott.  And as I mentioned before, Universal brought this flick straight to home video.  Oh well, that doesn’t mean it sucks.  That just means that we get to enjoy it even quicker…should it be swell and all.  Well, to assure you that it will, the feature is billed as returning to the franchise’s source material and bringing back the straightforward horror elements of the original movies.  Did it succeed in its mission statement?  Why I am so glad you asked because that’s exactly what we’re going to tackle next on this magical journey of a doll who gets possessed and does the unthinkable.  Come on!  You’ve seen all the films.  You already know all the unthinkable acts that Chucky does.  You don’t need me to remind you of them.  So now ladies and gentlemen…the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  I present to you Curse of Chucky

The film is set four years after the conclusion of the previous film, Seed of Chucky.  Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif), arrives mysteriously in the mail to the family home of a parapalegic Nica (Fiona Dourif) and her mother, Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle).  Let’s just say things don’t end happily for a certain family member, who’s name I will not mention, and the next day Nica’s older sister, Barb (Danielle Bisutti), shows up in town with family in tow, her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), their daughter, Alice (Summer H. Howell) and the nanny, Jill (Maitland McConnell).  And as you will quickly see, Jill is more than meets the eye and it isn’t long before all eyes are on her, but I digress.  There’s a separate twisted plot line there for you to behold and chew on there.  Oh crap!  I almost forgot the priest, Father Frank (A Martinez).  He’s an odd one, fo sho.  So look, it’s not rocket science.  You know the setup.  Do you really need me to spell out for you what happens next?  Can it be that I’m just numb to these slasher films or are they really that formulaic?  My best guess…probably both.  Chucky starts to have some fun now and if you’ve been waiting for this moment to come, it’s here horror fans!  Chucky’s back after a nine-year break!

The thing is, I was hoping for something new and exciting here.  However, it felt stale, stiff and um…formulaic.  The only thing that really shook it up for me was the paraplegic angle and I would have loved to have seen more of the nanny or man versus wife subplot.  LOL.  That was very interesting and hysterical, but again I digress.  Now I wouldn’t say this is a bad film.  Let’s face it there are hundreds of worse direct-to-video titles coming out all the time, but I can now see why Universal might have been hesitant to release this theatrically.  I’m not sure if after the core audience came and went this little guy (now I’m calling him little in this respect only) would have received much repeat business.  Do you think so?

And so what I thought was most peculiar about this flick was how it presented itself.  The humor was there, but it was restricted.  Chucky’s “cursing” mouth was always present.  And the killings, while slow and stiff like in the original Halloween, were all there as well.  So far, if you are keeping score, we have three checks.  So what am I talking about?  Well, I’ll tell you.  I’m talking about how Curse of Chucky brought the franchise full circle while also serving as almost an origin story as well that I found most intriguing.  I sat there and I was like okay how is this a sequel to the last film and then when it all came to fruition onscreen I was like oh there it is.  You got me there!  Good one!  So it will be interesting to see where this franchise goes from here.  There’s an after the credits surprise, but is this “safe” presentation enough to warrant a number seven or do we stop here?  I think it’s all your hands here horror fans.  What do you say?  You want to see some more Chucky?!  One thing’s for sure…Chucky has some new moves in this one thanks to modern day effects.

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Video 

Whether you like the movie or not is your problem, but make no mistake…there’s no way you can possibly nitpick this 1080p AVC MPEG-4 encoded video transfer that was shot digitally.  For a horror film, it’s hard to use words such as pristine or beautiful, but that’s exactly what I’m calling this chiseled video presentation that’s framed in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  While the flick’s palette may be cold and damp, make no mistake…things look that way intentionally.  This is a horror movie, after all, folks!  What did you expect, a Moulin Rouge colorful transfer?  Get real!  And that’s exactly what this transfer does.  It puts you in the reality of the situation.  Black levels are all deep and penetrating, skin tones are lifelike and the contrast levels are all in check.  Remarkably, it’s the fine details in the digital print that make all the difference here.  Textures, pores, blood and weapons of death are all “razor sharp,” no pun intended.  So I guess it’s safe to say, you’ll get that Blu-ray pop with this title that we all know and adoringly love!  Last but not least, there’s not a speck of noise, artifact or any other encoding issue present in the transfer.  The movie may not be perfect, but you’d be dead wrong if you said the video wasn’t.

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Audio 

Universal brings Curse of Chucky to the Blu-ray format with a stalking DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless audio track.  I say “stalking” because of the rear speaker qualities that simulate the little guy stalking his victims in the shadows and his little feet pattering from one direction to another in the hallway.  The directional and ambient effects of the surround sound channels are the real all-stars here…especially with the weather elements such as the rain and thunder.  However, with that being said, the lossless audio track is not as aggressive and robust in the rears as I would like it to be, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?  While the movie is mostly front heavy, that doesn’t stop the film’s score by Joseph LoDuca from infecting your rear speakers from time-to-time (his soundtrack manages to make this film larger than it is in a good way).  And when it counts, the subwoofer does kicks in, but like I stated before…not aggressively enough in the rears for me.  I want to be engulfed, not blown away.  My main concern is always the prioritization of the dialogue in the center channel and thankfully that’s preserved here.  Everything is clear and intelligible throughout.  If the mix was a little more kicking in the rears, perhaps we would be talking a score of a 5 here as well.  Via the disc’s main menu, one can also select French Canadian DTS 5.1 and Spanish DTS 5.1 surround audio tracks, as well as English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

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Extras 

It may not look like much at first sight, but when you take a closer look at what we have to “play” with here in the Special Features department, you’ll realize it’s more than meets the eye…initially (I wanted to stray away from any Transformers-like verbiage there…LOL).  There are actually three extras below I dissected for you that are exclusive to the Blu-ray release only (I made mention of those below), not one but two audio commentaries as well as two cuts of the film, several making of featurettes and even a Digital Copy available in two different formats.  So you tell me.  Really?  What’s not to like below?  Come on!  I’ll show you around this playground.

  • Rated and Unrated Cuts of the Film (HD) – That’s right folks!  Both cuts of the film are included here on this Blu-ray disc.  The Unrated Cut (97 minutes) basically just contains a tad more gore and language, but you are not missing much if you only watch the Rated (95 minutes) version with your kiddies this Halloween season.
  • Feature Commentary – Writer and Director Don Mancini is joined by Chucky puppeteer Tony Gardner and Fiona Dourif in this audio commentary accessible in both cuts of the film.  The enthusiastic track discusses the visual design, technicalities and the feel of the new outing here.
  • Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life (HD, 8:35) – This featurette shows the design, technicalities and what’s all involved with bringing Chucky to life and the puppeteers and animatronics employed behind the scenes. This one is exclusive to the Blu-ray release.
  • Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy (HD, 7:08) – Remember when I called Chucky one of the big guys way up above in this review?  Well thank you production team for this one!  This one showcases Chucky and his legacy as a horror ICON.  It also plays and recalls some memorable moments from the franchise.  I love it!!!  This one is also exclusive to the Blu-ray release.
  • Playing with Dolls: The Making of Curse of Chucky (HD, 15:34) – This is what you would assume it to be, given the title of the extra…the beloved making of featurette.  It encompasses everything from scripting to shooting and includes interviews with the cast and crew as they discuss everything that is Curse of Chucky.
  • Storyboard Comparisons (HD, 25:19) – The title of this one doesn’t make it sound like much, but it is.  Here’s a 25-minute look at four comparison scenes.  You can play them all or individually.  There’s a brief introductions by Mancini.  The four stroyboard comparisons are labeled as “Electrocution,” “The Attic,” “Ian’s Death” and “Nica vs. Chucky.”  This one is also exclusive to the Blu-ray release.  It places the action next to the storyboard for that particular sequence in the bottom right.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:17) – Here we get treated to a total of six deleted scenes.  You can select to play them all or individually.  I’m usually not much of a an of these, but if you are…have at them!  They are titled “Getting Dressed,” “Taking a Break,” “Looking for Chucky,” “Dad Gets A Ride,” “Burned,” and “Ancient Egypt.”
  • Gag Reel (HD, 1:27) – Tragically, this gag reel is very brief and not too enjoying.
  • DVD (SD) – It is what it is, right?  Here’s the disc to play for your kids in the back of the minivan.
  • Digital Copy – In typical grand slam Universal fashion, we get treated to not only an UltraViolet Digital Copy, but also a glorious iTunes one too!  The iTunes Digital Copy is in HD and it weighs a total of 3.31 GB.  There’s also iTunes Extras to download as well clocking in at 942.6 MB.  Love it!

Before we move onto our final cumulative score below, I thought it would be fun to take some exclusive unboxing picks of Universal’s Curse of Chucky on Blu-ray.  Enjoy!

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The inviting slip cover that protects the exterior of the precious Blu-ray case.

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The back of the slipcover, which is the same as the rear case art.

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You know Chucky has to be screaming let me out of this plastic!

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Air!  Finally!  Here’s what I have to offer inside!

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And here’s the money shot everyone has been waiting for!  Eat your heart out!

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Summary 

So I guess what it all boils down to is how big of a Chucky fan are you?  If you are like me, then you have to have it!  If you’re a casual fan, perhaps maybe a rental at first would be safer than an expensive blind buy.  However, one thing’s for sure…well okay…there’s three things.  The audio, video and extras here are all well worth the price of admission.  You just need to figure out is the film up your alley or not.  It felt really safe to me.  I was hoping for something bigger and bolder here, hence my restricted score.  But then you got to think about it for a moment.  This is Chucky!  It is what it is!  How much bigger and bolder do you really want it?  Look what happened when they changed the formula of the third Hangover film.  That didn’t go over very well.  So maybe I better be careful for what I wish for.  Whatever your decision is…have a safe and a happy Halloween season this year.  Rejoice and be glad…Chucky’s back!  Enjoy!

Curse of Chucky was released today, October 8th.  Please help support our site by clicking here or below to bring home this title today at the lowest price on our partner site, Amazon.  Thanks!

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “Curse of Chucky (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    The ending was lame, but I liked the movie for the most part.

  2. Brian White

    Ditto.

  3. Eric Flapjack Ashley

    I thought for a sixth film in a franchise (and a direct-to-video one at that), Curse of Chucky was pretty dang good. I liked that it went back into a more serious tone, and by adding the plot of the lead heroine being handicapped, it made viewers sympathize more with the actual good guys rather than the “Good Guy”. Having not really been a big Chucky fan – especially after Seed – I was pleasantly surprised by this one not having expected much at all.

    It should be noted though, that only the unrated version has the important after-credits sequence. The R-rated version does not.