Of all the horror franchises out there, the one that still seems to have legs is the Child's Play franchise. One of the last great 80's horror films that has not done a reboot, remake, or any of the other shenanigans. That's because series creator, Don Mancini, is still very much involved in the franchise and calling the shots on where to go next. Chucky has been all over the map when it comes to horror subgenres. From the seriousness of the original Child's Play, and the pun dropping follow up films. Bride of Chucky brought us into the absurd and Seed of Chucky took a stab (literally) at the insanity that is Hollywood. A jumping the shark movie if there was one. Mancini then got Chucky back to his roots with Curse of Chucky , which brings us to this latest iteration, Cult of Chucky. Does it stand up? Is it a good movie?
A Solid Cast
As one could expect, Brad Dourif once again reprises his role as the voice of Chucky. Which is great considering we're living in a day and age where iconic horror actors reprising their film roles are in short commodity. I figure Brad will be with us for as long as they make Chucky movies, as his age won't really matter so long as he is the voice of the animatronic doll. No surprise that Jennifer Tilly has also returned as Tiffany Valentine.
Returning in this film is Brad's very talented daughter Fiona, who is also repraising a role from a previous film, that of Nica Pierce, the heroine from Curse of Chucky .
A surprise addition to the film is Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay. It's great that they have brought the character back after 20+ years considering the fact that Andy Barclay was so integral to the franchise during it's early beginnings.
This foursome put in such a great performance, you can kind of overlook the just-good-enough acting from the rest of the cast.
It's Mostly Practical
That is to say that most of the special effects are practical, with some digital enhancements to pull off some of the more graphic bits, you'll be happy to know that a lot of the special effects are practical. Even then, those that are completely digital are so well done, they don't disrupt the flow of the movie.
Without spoiling the film too much, it features multiple Chucky dolls running around killing people. How does this happen? You'll have to watch to find out. It's kind of silly, but considering where this franchise has gone, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
A Good Balance
The film also has a good balance of seriousness and humor. Considering the source material, this was the best way to go. Chucky isn't scary anymore and trying to make him scary would just make it awful. Instead, this movie sticks with Chucky being menacing and inserts some self-referential humor as well. Like with past installments, the film doesn't take itself too seriously and that still works.
Rating: 10 Traumatized Childhoods out of 10
Like I said above, it rare to see a horror franchise that is still going strong after all this time without falling into the usual crutches like a reboot, or an origin movie. Other franchises should take notes because Don Mancini knows how to keep a franchise fresh and exciting. This new Child's Play movie is fantastic and it has such a bizarre twist at the end that makes Seed of Chucky seem less outrageous. Again, without spoiling anything, all I can say is Fiona Dourif is certainly her father's daughter. It's uncanny.
Cult of Chucky is on Netflix now, so stop putting it off and go and watch it!