Chucky returns (again) in the seventh instalment in the ever-expanding killer doll franchise, kicking off this year’s Frightfest with a bang – and a powerdrill, a blowtorch (you get the point)….

Picking things up from 2013’s Curse Of Chucky, the film follows Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif), now incarcerated in a mental asylum after the chaotic events of the previous film.

Despite being stitched up for multiple murder, Nica is transferred to a low-level-security facility, under the watchful eye of Dr Foley (Michael Therriault), who (unsurprisingly) insists her talk of a maniacal doll is way beyond the realms of reality.

Now housed in a new home, Nica has to get to grips with her surroundings and the gaggle of ‘interesting’ characters that roam the corridors. Progress certainly seems to be being made – until Dr Foley’s decision to buy a vintage Good Guy doll……

To give away more than that will negate much of the ‘surprise’ value of the film, and considering the writer/director Don Mancini specifically asked for spoiler-free reviews at the post-screening Q&A, who am I to argue?

In many ways Chucky guru Mancini’s latest addition to the franchise is a tale of two halves – for the first hour or so the film throws up a dark, serious tone which touches on mental illness and paranoia, maybe even taking some by surprise (even though many will equally remember other Chucky offerings – certainly the first outing – having a similar feel).

From there though it jumps into the more ‘familiar’ Chucky, with over-the-top carnage, one-liners and a playful, knowing vibe which I imagine gives most fans just what they expected – and wanted.

Mancini is brave (and savvy) to toy with the formula enough to ensure this is no simple retread, and Cult Of Chucky certainly opens up a new realm of possibilities as far as the franchise goes.

It is also worth noting that the film rewards long-time fans of the films with a series of references, nods and touchpoints that, without a shadow of a doubt, could pass many over many viewers’ heads, but certainly enriches the experience for Chucky completists.

On the acting front it is pretty strong all round – with Fiona Dourif anchoring the film with a believable performance and the likes of Adam Hurtig, Therriault and Elizabeth Rosen providing solid support.

Juxtaposed with that, the laughs are provided courtesy of returnees Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly as Chucky and Tiffany respectively, both relishing the seemingly free reign they have when it comes to their roles.

All in all, Cult Of Chucky is a satisfying experience that most definitely proves there’s plenty of life in the ol’ Good Guy yet.

 

Horror Channel Frightfest Review: Cult Of Chucky
3.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.