Following it’s premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest back in August, Cult of Chucky is arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on Monday. The film continues the story started in 2013’s Curse of Chucky, which reignited the iconic Child’s Play franchise. Curse of Chucky left things wide open by reintroducing Andy Barclay (played by original actor Alex Vincent rather than Justin Whalin who played him last on screen), a character that hadn’t been seen since Child’s Play 3.
To recap, Curse of Chucky introduced Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) to a new family where he wreaked havoc and murdered everyone apart from wheelchair bound Nica (Fiona Dourif) and her niece Alice (Summer H. Howell). It was revealed by the movie’s end that Charles Lee Ray aka Chucky had been having a relationship with Nica’s mother and stabbed her while she was pregnant, causing Nica to be born a paraplegic. Following the murders Nica was taken to an insane asylum when no one believed her story about Chucky and Alice was put into foster care.
Cult of Chucky picks up with Nica having been in therapy for some time and as she’s starting to show signs of improvement, her doctor (Michael Therriault) decides to move her to a more relaxed facility. Once there Nica continues therapy but is alarmed when a Good Guy doll is introduced into the group sessions and one of the other patients takes to it as a replacement for her dead child. Convinced that Chucky is coming for her, Nica befriends the other patients at the institution but is Chucky really still alive, or is she delusional?
To tell you much more about the plot would ruin the enjoyment of the film and a lot of it hinges on surprises. Two things I can tell you is that Andy is back and so is Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). How and why they are back I won’t reveal but it’s fun watching the horror franchise come full circle. If there’s one thing Cult of Chucky does very well, it’s pay service to the fans who’ve been there since the first Child’s Play movie.
Cult of Chucky is a slower movie than its predecessor and it’s not as straightforward a horror as Curse of Chucky was. There are plenty of scary moments and the gore quota will satisfy fans of the series but there’s also a lot of humour that recalls the Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky tones (although it’s a far better film than the latter). Brad Dourif clearly still relishes delivering the most biting of lines and you can hear the joy in his voice as he settles back into arguably his most famous role.
Fiona Dourif continues to prove herself as a solid and compelling lead. Where many actresses could have gone OTT, Dourif scales it back and she always keeps Nica’s humanity at the heart of the character. Even when things go bat shit crazy (and believe me they go REALLY bat shit crazy), she still shines brightly. It’s a real joy to see Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent back in the series too after their smaller roles in Curse of Chucky. Tilly is always an absolute hoot as Tiffany and there’s a real nostalgic quality about seeing Vincent reprising his role once again.
The Blu-ray release features some great special features. There are 3 deleted scenes with optional commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette titled Inside the Insanity of Cult of Chucky that shows the making of the movie and a feature commentary with director/writer/executive producer Don Mancini and head puppeteer/associate producer Tony Gardner.
The best of the special features is Good Guy Gone Bad: The Incarnations of Chucky. The featurette explores the different iterations of Chucky that appear in Cult of Chucky and you get to see how the film-makers bring him to life under Tony Gardner’s expert eye.
There’s also short film The Dollhouse made by Kyra Gardner, the daughter of Tony. She takes a look at what it was like growing up around the Child’s Play franchise by interviewing the cast and crew of the movies, and sharing her own experiences. It’s a really fascinating insight into the world of Chucky from the eyes of someone who grew up with it.
Cult of Chucky made me jump a few times and it made me howl with laughter too. Mancini has a wild imagination clearly and he manages to channel all of his ideas into a film that is a worthy successor to Curse of Chucky. It’s also perhaps his most balls-to-the-wall outing yet but that’s definitely part of its charm. The future of the franchise may be unclear but there’s no doubt in my mind that there’ll be another film before long. Seven films in and Chucky still feels fresh and relevant, and Cult of Chucky is a bonkers love letter to fans that gives plenty of pay off whilst delivering plenty surprises.
Watch a clip from Cult of Chucky:
Cast: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, Michael Therriault, Adam Hurtig Director: Don Mancini Writer: Don Mancini Certificate: 18 Duration: 91 mins Released by: Universal Pictures Release date: 23rd October 2017