NEWS BITS:

Review: ‘Cult of Chucky’ Continues the Creepiness of the Previous Film

Cult of Chucky Needle

2013’s Hitchcock inspired Curse of Chucky rejuvenated a series that had become distracted by it’s increasing wackiness. The change to a more serious and scary tone closer to the original made the sixth instalment one of the greatest of all the Child’s Play films. So there was understandable concern when writer and director Don Mancini suggested the seventh film, Cult of Chucky would contain an insane concept involving multiple versions of everyone’s favourite killer doll. Would this mean a return to the campy goofiness of Seed of Chucky? Would the darker tone of Curse now be abandoned in favour of over the top postmodern self-parody?

Thankfully no, Cult of Chucky continues the creepiness of the previous film and unshackles the franchise from any narrative restrictions.

It’s the most stylish and psychologically interesting Child’s Play film so far. Striking black and white centric cinematography and inventive editing give the film both a classic noir and arthouse vibe. The lack of colour also serves to make the violence more gleefully gruesome.

It opens with Andy Barclay (original actor Alex Vincent!) returning from a failed date to torture the severed, still living head of Chucky who he keeps locked in a safe after shooting him in the end credits of the previous movie.

Cult of Chucky Andy Barclay

Meanwhile current protagonist Nica is placed in an asylum where patients are afflicted by a series of murders seemingly committed by Chucky. Due to Nica’s slipping sense of reality we’re left guessing right till the end whether Chucky is truly back or if he’s simply a symptom of a shared psychosis she and Andy share.

The cast are fantastic. Elisabeth Rose, Michael Therriaul and Adam Hurtig deserve to be especially praised for their darkly humourous and layered performances. They play asylum residents involved in Nica’s group therapy sessions which wouldn’t look out of place in Nightmare on Elm Street 3.

Regulars Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly of course return as Chucky and Tiffany, bringing their usual macabre wisecracking fun. But it’s Fiona Dourif who carries the dramatic weight of the film on her shoulders, succeeding in making us take the mystery and tension seriously even as people get decapitated by a red headed killer doll.

With plenty of twists, psychological tricks and call backs to previous instalments, Cult of Chucky is a trippy, fun ride that’s best viewed with a knowledge of the series as a whole. With the promise of future sequels to come the Chucky franchise has never been stronger or more full of narrative possibility.