In Cult of Chucky full movie, the murderous doll returns to wreak more havoc, but is the seventh film in the franchise anything to get excited about?
For those keeping track, Cult of Chucky is the seventh film in horror’s most resilient killer doll series, having dropped the Child’s Play title some twenty-seven years ago. Honestly, did anyone think that we’d still be talking about a new Chucky film in 2017, let alone a pretty good one? Actually, that’s not as far-fetched as you might believe, especially following 2013’s unexpectedly victorious Curse of Chucky, which helped reinvent our beloved serial killing Good Guy doll (as always, voiced by Brad Dourif) for a new generation of DTV/VOD fans.
As written and directed by series’s creator Don Mancini (who’s helmed every Chucky film since 2004’s Seed of Chucky movie and written them all) demonstrates, a little creativity and humor goes a long, long way in this business, especially when your franchise history includes splatter kills and procreating rubber dolls.
Things start off with an ordinary discussion over the 2nd Amendment and quick recap of previous movies as original Child’s Play star/victim Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) tries to quell his frightened date’s fears about his ‘disturbing past’. Andy, if you’ll recall the extended-cut ending of Curse of Chucky, returned to the franchise for the first time since Child’s Play 3 to accept a surprise package containing – surprise! – a knife-wielding Chucky. Thankfully, he was more than ready to ‘play’ – with loaded shotgun at the ready.
With Cult of Chucky movie, Andy fully fills in that small group of horror heroes we’ve witnessed in Nightmare on Elm Street’s Nancy and the boys from Phantasm that are completely self-aware of their place in their respective series. Andy now keeps the mutilated head of Chucky, still alive and still a complete bastard, tucked away safely, only taking him out to ‘play’ on lonely, dateless Friday nights.
From here the story shifts over to last film’s star Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, also real-life daughter of Chucky’s voice Brad Dourif). Having survived Chucky’s onslaught, the wheelchair-bound Nica has been confined to the type of plain-white mental institution that only seems to exist in low-budget horror films, forced to psychologically work out her ‘murder’ issues among other mentally unstable patients. What could possibly go wrong?
For some bizarre reason, Nica’s rehabilitation includes using actual Good Guy dolls as therapy, especially ones called…Chucky! When asked where the doc purchased the new doll? Hot Topic, of course. Series favorite Jennifer Tilly also makes her comeback as Tiffany/Jennifer Tilly (totally acting up her dual meta-roll this time around) to introduce yet another Chucky doll to the poor patients, once again for therapy purposes.
There’s not much to the plot, except the institution locale give the filmmakers plenty of reasons to ape the genre’s best, including forced-injections and patient strapdowns. Things can get a little bit uncomfortable when sexual assault rears its ugly head, but consider the irony when a maniacal killer doll swoops in to ‘save’ the day. If any of this sounds crazy, it totally is, and it’s best to not sweat the details; that’s not the type of movie you’re watching.
While viewers have to sit through the film’s 90+ minute running time to see how the whole ‘cult’ thing plays out, it’s mostly worth the effort. No spoilers, but we do get multiple, murderous Chucky dolls on the loose, each sporting slightly different looks, including dismembered limbs or dorky hairstyles. I’m not entirely sure if the doll animatronics are really good or not, but there’s no doubt seeing a physical robotic Chucky next to human actors is crazy; kudos to Mancini for keeping things old-school.
Some have compared the Chucky movies to The Fast and the Furious franchise, another franchise that was essentially DOA before being ‘rebooted’ into the glorious, action-packed ‘family’ epic that’s come to dominate the box-office. That’s a fair comparison, actually. Stylized horror franchises featuring cartoonish killers like Chucky, Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and other lunatics have limited lifespans, or at least in their true forms. The best evolve, play up their strengths and move with the times; they stick around if they’ve still got something to say.
Just take a look at box-office and home-video (and now VOD) returns; horror is big business, possibly the most profitable genre in all of Hollywood. We live in an age when a well-received IT reboot crushes every record in its wake, The Conjuring is now a cinematic universe and grosses billions, and everything that can be a yearly franchise is. The last time we saw the genre so openly cheer on its absurdist roots was the series mix-matching of 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason; such pairings are now practically what it needs if you want to make money. There’s certainly room for a few new, well-made Chucky movies, thank you very much.
These newer Chucky installments have taken the mantle once occupied by the latter Nightmare movies, the ones where Freddy was more comic relief than actually threatening, throwing in the creative death blows of the Final Destination movies, another series that refused to carry on. There’s several quality kills shown here – especially if you are a fan of powerdrills – though nothing you probably haven’t witnessed before. Still, there’s enough old-school gore and bloodletting to satisfy that certain itch, even though nothing is remotely scary and you’ll be laughing through them all.
It is needless to watch any of the previous Child’s Play/Chucky entries to enjoy the easy laughs and gory kills of Cult of Chucky full movie, but it’ll help, especially with so much fan-service scattered throughout. I won’t spoil them here, but check the IMDB credits when you’re done watching for a few nice surprises, ones that guarantee to keep the Good Guy training rolling forward. These new Chucky movies work best if you accept the fact that they’re effectively no longer a horror series but comedy/horror, with a few jolts added in for you Netflix and chillers. It’s not quite as good as Curse of Chucky, but that it’s good at all is a minor miracle.
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