“CULT OF CHUCKY” is here just in time for Halloween season and that title is mildly better than “Child’s Play 7” I suppose. This franchise is one that never seems to die and despite how many times Chucky a.k.a. Charles Lee Ray gets melted, blown to pieces, or chopped up, he always comes back to deliver us his clever, crude personality while adding to his already enormous kill-count.
The story in this one is convoluted to say the least, but it follows Chucky as he returns (again) to torment Nica who was also in 2013’s “Curse of Chucky.” The events in this story take place after that film, Nica has been placed in a mental treatment center and from there the killing begins.
This movie brought up an interesting question while watching. There’s no doubt remakes in Hollywood are excessive as filmmakers seek to capitalize on any old property they think could bank on nostalgia. The remakes are not always the best, but does a part-seven in a franchise where the story has gotten so jumbled and distorted, come across any better?
There is some fun in this one but none of it comes from the story-line. Glaring plot holes and a lack of effort in building the (why) of things keep the story from creating any cohesion. It turns the film into a sequence of kill scenes, mixed with Chucky’s trademark wit, a weak narrative for the character of Nica, and a collection of disposable characters.
The animatronics created for Chucky as well as the special-effects were well done. He blends from innocent doll to serial-killer Charles Lee Ray with a great visual result. Which made me think why not reboot the story from the beginning? With the new advancements in technology to instill some life in the horror icon. The visual appeal of the film was certainly there, but without a story to engage you in it doesn’t deliver the full level of entertainment that it easily could have.
But that is not to say this was a horrible movie because it wasn’t. It has some entertaining moments without question. Chucky was back with his classic personality and crude brand of humor. He had some well-written material here and there and he does draw some laughs as he kills his way across this mental facility. Brad Dourif was back as the voice of Chucky and only he can do it justice as he gives the character a charm only comparable to the great Freddy Kruger, and Robert Englund’s performances in that iconic role.
The story-line does incorporate the narrative of the prior films with a mild effort. But it was much more as fan-service than it was for structuring the plot and conveying why/how we get a collection of different Chucky’s as the story progresses. But it was clear this was a movie to sit back and watch for the horror elements, and that trying to follow along with the story to any level of detail would only be a distraction. It’s a guilty-pleasure part-seven in a franchise that has lived on the straight-to-video path for a handful of years now and it’s best served with the brain off, and the popcorn in hand as Chucky takes people out one-by-one.
Credit must be given though, it works in some fun, creative ways for Chucky to kill his victims that do use some digital-effects but also a lot of practical-effects that always assists in giving a horror film that slight tinge of a vintage feel. It’s gory, it’s gruesome, and ridiculous, but in more good ways than bad. And had the story showed a little more effort and reasoning, it could have been much better than a barely average direct-to-video slasher flick with a famous character in it.