Following 2013’s Curse of Chucky, everyone’s favourite Good Guy is back to cause chaos once more. The question is, is this seventh installment in the famed Child’s Play franchise a worthy entry or merely an attempt to cash-in on an established property in a genre often bereft of new ideas?
Picking up directly after the aforementioned Curse – itself a clever reboot for the series – Cult of Chucky sees Nica (Fiona Dourif) locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane after the bloody murders of Curse are pegged on her. After her psychiatrist (Michael Therriault) introduces an ominous Good Guy doll to the asylum in an attempt to banish the concept of there really being a demented killer doll responsible for the previous bloodshed, it’s then that the iconic Chucky once more begins to cause more of the carnage and chaos that he’s famed for. Meanwhile, Andy Barclay – the original youngster tormented by Chucky in the first three movies, and played here by the returning Alex Vincent – has his own plans to take down Chucky once and for all, having himself failed to convince the world that Chucky is very much real and very much a crazed lunatic.
For those fearing that Cult of Chucky may be an unnecessary addition to the much-loved franchise, fear not. Rather than a ham-fisted cash-in, Cult is a smart, engaging and mightily gory effort which is a welcome evolution for the Child’s Play franchise. Doused in nods and Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans, yet full of twists and turns that even the most ardent of die-hards won’t see coming, Cult of Chucky takes the baton from the clever relaunch that was Curse and runs with it through a gloriously gruesome and intelligent follow-up. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Child’s Play affair without a large dollop of humour, and Don Mancini’s script offers up plenty of well-timed chuckles, particularly in the latter half of the movie as the ante begins to be upped.
While Cult of Chucky as a whole should stand out as one of the most pleasing horror efforts of the year, similarly Fiona Dourif is absolutely mesmerising as she returns as poor Nica; the wheelchair-bound victim who just about managed to outwit the killer doll in Curse of Chucky. Dourif proved herself more than worthy as the doe-eyed victim in the last outing, and here she’s on splendid form as she’s given far more to sink her teeth in to as the plot of Cult unravels.
Inventive, sinister and with some ingenious kills, Cult of Chucky is right up there with the best that this fan favourite franchise has put out since its inception in 1988. Wanna play? You bet we do!
As for additional content, Don Mancini and head puppeteer Tony Gardner are on splendid form on the audio commentary, and the three featurettes included on the Blu-ray release are hugely entertaining looks at this movie and also what being a part of the crazed Child's Play family is really like.
Special Features: Audio commentary with Don Mancini and Tony Gardener / Three featurettes / Deleted scenes
CULT OF CHUCKY / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DON MANCINI / STARRING: FIONA DOURIF, BRAD DOURIF, ALEX VINCENT, JENNIFER TILLY, MICHAEL THERRIAULT, AIDAN RITCHIE / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 23RD
Cult of Chucky is out on DVD and Blu-ray Monday 23rd October.