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New on Blu-ray: “Curse Of Chucky”

Killer Doll Back In Fine Form

Above: Summer H. Howell just loves her new doll in "Curse of Chucky" coming out on DVD and Blu-ray today.

Sometimes I don’t understand Hollywood. Okay most of the time I don’t. But why “Curse of Chucky” (coming out on Blu-ray October 8) is going straight to video is a head scratcher.

Chucky – the knee high kid’s doll possessed by the spirit of a ruthless killer – is a familiar horror icon with a fairly devout fan base. A new Chucky movie might not set box office records but a horror film with its lineage is bound to bring a decent crowd in at Halloween time. Plus, “Curse of Chucky” is actually a good film, head and assorted other body parts above most of the horror films that get released theatrically. So why it’s only coming out on DVD and Blu-ray is a mystery… and stupid.

The film is directed by the man who wrote the original Chucky film, “Child’s Play” back in 1988, Don Mancini. Mancini has essentially made a career off Chucky doing little that didn’t involve the evil doll. He also wrote “Bride of Chucky” (my favorite), and then went on to write and direct “Seed of Chucky.” He returns to the writer-director chair for “Curse” and delivers a fun and scary ride. There are some genuinely effective gore moments and Chucky returns to a more menacing and less jokey presence. He has no qualms about victimizing kids and the disabled.

Brad Dourif returns yet again as the voice of the creepy red-headed doll menace. And interestingly, his real life daughter Fiona Dourif plays the wheelchair bound Nica, who is the object of Chucky’s wrath. Nica is dealing with the death of her mother. Her mother’s apparent suicide coincides with the arrival of a mysterious package containing a cute, talking doll… Chucky of course. Nica’s sister and family -- a hubby, nanny, and five-year-old girl Alice – arrive for the funeral and the carnage begins.

“Curse of Chucky” returns to the franchise formula but in this case that’s a good thing. Working with a budget that is almost half of what the original film was, Mancini is still able to deliver everything you expect from a Chucky movie. So you get clever kills, well edited stalking sequences, a couple of twists, and a killer pair of endings with great cameos. So make sure you watch through to the very end after the credits for the final fade out.

Sure the film has an awful expository section at the end to explain why Chucky is after Nica, but aside from that dead spot, the film delivers an entertaining horror tale well worth checking out. Plus there is a collector edition box set of all six Chucky films complete with hours of bonus features (interviews, featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reels, and a tribute to the effects).

“Curse of Chucky” (rated R for bloody horror violence, and for language) is a fine edition to the Chucky legacy and it’s always a delight to hear Brad Dourif rant as the killer trapped inside a ridiculous kid’s doll. And this time out there is some great effects work on Chucky’s face to return him to full evil.

Companion viewing: “Child’s Play,” “Bride of Chucky,” "Black Devil Doll," (caution, this film is offensive on almost every level) "Dolls," "Puppet Master"

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