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[FrightFest Review] ‘Cult of Chucky’ Cements the Franchise as One of the Best!

[FrightFest Review] ‘Cult of Chucky’ Cements the Franchise as One of the Best!

Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif), the lone survivor of Curse of Chucky, is bound to a mental institution, brainwashed into thinking that Chucky’s most recent victims were all her doing. But, when she’s downgraded to a medium security facility, this new chink in the armor is no match for everyone’s favorite killer doll and, as he reacquaints himself with Nica, her new inmates’ fragile minds provide a dangerous way in for the always maniacal Chucky (Brad Dourif). I mean, who’s going to believe the ramblings of a bunch of disturbed patients?

Writer-director, and all-around franchise mastermind, Don Mancini makes full use of his setting. Split diopter shots, fades to black, split screens and distorted dream sequence get inside these characters heads just like a 1970s-era paranoia thriller. And that’s hardly the safest place to be, as the line between fantasy and reality is blurred and viewers are thrown off and on the trail of keeping track of which new rules are being written and which are merely spinning around the dreamscape.

Harrogate Psychiatric Hospital also provides a beautiful visual backdrop and the clinical, almost THX 1138-like, white walls are the perfect canvas for scarlet splatter. And, boy does the blood fly. Stunning kills are captured with the mesmerizing visual beauty of Bryan Fuller’s recent television work (“Hannibal” and “American Gods”, in particular – the former of which Mancini worked on and he manages to shimmy in a fun gag about the show’s infamous cancellation). These sequences channel the same kind of beautiful nightmare Fuller has explored on the small screen. When death looks this good, it’s hard not to share in the delight of the kill, as Chucky extends his psychological reach beyond the Harrogate fences and deep into the cinema.

[Related] All FrightFest Reviews and Coverage Here!

Cult goes bigger than any of the previous six films by bringing together plot threads from across the franchise. Not only is Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) back, but, as teased in the post-credits scene at the end of Curse, Chucky’s original nemesis, Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent, returning to the role he played in Child’s Play and its immediate sequel), finds himself reeled into this new clusterfuck.

But, for all the memorable characters, Chucky has always been the star of these films and Brad Dourif once again proves this was the role he was born to play. Also superb is Fiona Dourif, Brad’s daughter, who thrives from being put toe-to-toe with her father’s longest-running role. This loyalty to character, as opposed to plucking up a fresh batch of victims each time out, instills this remarkable franchise with an emotional resonance any of the other long-running horror series would kill for, and the family ties behind the scenes only strengthen that.

Seventh films have no right to be this good or break this much new ground. Cult of Chucky takes this wild story in a whole host of new directions that franchise fans are sure to get a kick out of. There are so many batshit delights, especially as things escalate towards the finale, but to spoil them would be to ruin Mancini and co.’s grand carnival. Without a doubt, Child’s Play is a horror franchise worth treasuring. In a world where most of the other heavy-hitting horror icons are struggling to even get new films off the ground, Chucky keeps delivering the goods. He also manages to steal the end-credits stinger crown from any of those pesky superheroes with another post-credits bombshell that proves this ghost train isn’t stopping anytime soon.



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COMMENTS

73 Comments
  • Francesco Falciani

    i hope Glen is in it too. can’t wait!

    • Darren Hall

      I know the answer to this 🙂

      • Francesco Falciani

        Really? So? Please tell me… ☺

    • Black Candy

      Sorry, no Glen

      • Francesco Falciani

        Oh no. Im sorry

  • Christopher Nickerson

    Avoid the Screen Daily review. They label it spoiler free then put a major spoiler in

  • dr.chimrichalds

    I remember when the first Child’s Play came out & how ground-breaking the doll effects were. I also remember Roger Ebert really liking the film.

    • thegreatiandi

      I could have sworn they didn’t like it and all. Kept talking about how horrible it was to put a child in these predicaments….And all the foul language.

      • dr.chimrichalds

        I don’t know about Siskel but I know Ebert gave it 3 out of 4 stars.

        • thegreatiandi

          I’m gonna look it up. I swear they were pissed off lol.

  • Richard

    Oh yeah thats what I was hoping to hear! Thank you for keeping it spoiler free I cant wait to see this

  • Tyree

    This movie was insanely good for a seventh entry in an old franchise!

    I managed to get a photo with Don Mancini!

    It was a great night.

  • Bart Crowe

    Curse of Chucky was so good!. I can’t lie I was bit nervous when it was reported that Jennifer Tilly would be back in a much bigger role than the cameo from Curse. No offense to the fans of Bride and Seed but I couldn’t stand those movies.

  • Sounds very exciting, and I really enjoyed your review. Not too much hype, just a genuine enthusiastic review, it makes me more excited to see it myself!

  • Necro

    Good review and good to hear especially for a 7th film!

  • Geoff Peterson

    Best written review I have read on the site in some time. Not spoiler ridden and loaded with hyperbole.

    Thanks for the read; I feel like seeing it now and I was on the fence before.

  • Darkknight2149

    I love what I am hearing about Cult of Chucky. Looking forward to the verdict on Leatherface, which premieres today.

  • Darkknight2149

    Out of curiosity, did they premiere the Unrated or R-Rated version at Frightfest?

    • Good question! I don’t actually know. It wasn’t mentioned either way. I would hope they went for the unrated cut, seeing as it’s FrightFest, but maybe they wanted to save it for the Blu-ray etc.

  • Maelwolf

    I’m glad to hear this is solid. Pre-ordered it right after watching watching Curse. Honestly, I love the whole series, and the fact that it’s a roller coaster of horror and comedy entries is somewhat endearing to me.

  • Anonolopoly

    Can we get a couple of clips? We only had one trailer so far

  • This is such a wonderfully written review. I’m even more excited to see the movie now!

  • James

    Can’t wait until this series is finally rebooted

    • scream4ever

      Why it’s still going strong?

      • James

        It may be going “strong” but it’s been terrible for years now.

        • Nikon

          Well its not getting rebooted, so get over it

        • sblast13

          Soooo… Is it strongly terrible, or terribly strong?

        • Mark

          its not going strong lol they are not good enough to be shown in cinema`s

          • Jonathan Larsson

            That’s because Universal currently has distribution rights of Chucky, and if the attempts at the Dark Universe tells us something, it is that Universal don’t know how to handle horror films.
            Curse of Chucky was no classic, but it was definably qualitative enough to be shown at the cinemas, displaying fairly good writing, a good-looking production and great character performances.

          • James

            Oh I agree. Last one in theaters was maybe but bride of chucks? Which was fun and that’s all. They’ve been garbage ever since the awful 3rd. Last good one was the second. Still the best in my opinion.

    • Jonathan Larsson

      Being re-made doesn’t guarantee anything, and most of the time, it just proves the old ones were better. Even most of the bad sequels from different horror franchises are better than the dull re-boot attempts. Besides, why remake Child’s Play now when the movies clearly seems to be making a comeback?

  • Meisha’s Taint

    I don’t like funny Chucky, or girlfiriend Chucky, or Son of Chucky.

    I only want the scary Chucky from the first two movies.

    Let me know when the Childs Play series is scary again and not a muppet movie disguised as a horror flick.

    • oh_riginal

      You didn’t think he was funny in the first two? I sure did!

      • Mark

        It was a different and not stupid kind of funny in the first movies, totally different to all the other crap ones that followed

    • Mike Lawrence

      Totally agree. It got really stupid as the series went on. Introducing Glenda with that accent and goofy story line…really hurt the series, imo…

    • skratchy

      Eh. To each their own. Bride of Chucky is probably my favorite in the whole series.

      To me, it doesn’t matter if it has humor in it. I don’t get why some horror fans HATE humor. Bride and Seed were still great flicks, though I admit Seed probably my is one of my least favorite in the series, after Child’s Play 3 😛

    • AWwriter

      You should have given the last one a chance. Sounds like this is more of the same. In many ways it was a return to the first two films.

  • Mike Lawrence

    Looking forward to this. I really dislike how cheesy Chucky was getting in the past few entries so it’s so good to see them going back into a straight horror direction.

  • Luca Vasto

    and Universal Pictures counts with limited distributions, a single theater (the fright frst) and then the VOD.
    SHAME on universal,
    I hate deepley Universal, Don Mancini must absolutely take off his
    franchise at this nasty company, New Line, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony, they
    are perfect for chucky, to be able to officially return to the theaters all over the world and not just in a single theater at fright fest
    Just with the vod release, chucky deserves a good distribution

    • Kassem J

      Fuck Sony

      • Luca Vasto

        why???

        • Saturn

          Because they forgot to turn the new Chucky movie into a Venom origin story.

          • Luca Vasto

            ahahahha LOL XD

        • Kassem J

          Dude, have you seen the crap they been spewing out the past 5 years? You are delusional if you think Universal is anywhere near worse than Sony

          • Luca Vasto

            I think, overall, the movies have worsened in recent years, whether they are sony or universal or other companies.

            I hate the Universal because they have always hurt the Chucky franchise, a franchise I love

          • Kassem J

            I’ll admit my initial response was a bit harsh. However, my point still stands. At least Universal didn’t give us The Emoji Movie, Ghostbusters 2016, The Dark Tower, Sex Tape, Jack and Jill, Aloha, The 5th wave, etc, etc. Admittedly, I’m also angry Columbia Pictures, one of Hollywood’s oldest and most prestigious, is now being desecrated distributing the above mentioned trash.

          • Luca Vasto

            agree with you 😉

    • AWwriter

      Why? So they can make a mess of it or cancel it like F13th, etc? Theaters are all digital now anyway. It’s just a bigger screen. It’s 2017, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with releasing these films VOD – especially since 95% of people would have watched it at home anyway.

      • Luca Vasto

        im disagree sorry, watching a movie in a theater is much better than watching a movie in vod, and chucky is an ICON, deserve an official theatrical release, i don’t think that if chucky movies come out in theaters, the public ignores it.
        Chucky boasts many fans and these fans go to the theater.
        Last
        but not least, if they are released at the theater, crap like Annabelle
        or The Ring 3, I find it right that even chucky appears at the
        theater.
        IMHO of course ;-).

        • Saturn

          Although Rings was a turd I don’t feel it’s fair to consider Annabelle “crap” (the first one maybe, but the new one is pretty good).

          • Luca Vasto

            i hate annabelle sorry :-).
            I repeat: Chucky deserve a classical theatrical release, not limited or vod, chucky is an icon like freddy, jason, michael or leatherface (this one , with last movie go in limited also 🙁 ) child’s play is not a weak franchise like Hellraiser or Children of the corn, these two franchise is not so good so the decision to allocate them to the home video market is right, but not chucky, as seen from these reviews, this franchise is still of excellent quality, so it deserves a better distribution

          • Saturn

            I agree that they should be releasing Chucky theatrically, but I fear it won’t happen again until the big budget, soulless, remake.

          • Luca Vasto

            ok but chucky movies have always been a little budget and the first five movies are official theatrical not vod o limited ;-).
            NO reboot or remake, i really hope in Chucky goes to Elm Street, in this case theatrical release is confirmed

        • Luke Knutson

          I totally respect your opinion Luca Vasto but im going to have to politely disagree. Going to the movies is getting more expensive and more expensive. Nowadays everyone has a big screen with surround sound in their home. You want a movie experience turn all that on and turn the lights off. Im kind of sick of the theater experience anyways. A ticket, a large soda, popcorn total 42.86$ (im exaggerating slightly but you get my point). What DTV and VOD does is it allows smaller movie companies to use a budget that is affordable to make whatever film they want using the best resources for the buck. I think if F13th decided to go the VOD route. We’d get more movies made. Its not like any of the big franchises are really making alot these days and alot of that is do to budget restrictions and stupid lawsuits. Most of these movies used to be made on shoe string budgets and they kept pumping out sequel after sequel. The VOD market is very valuable and needs to be re assist because it could be used to the full potential for companies, franchises etc that are in trouble like f13th and halloween. Adam green used it for hatchet 2 and 3 and worked wonders. If you want the theater experience I get that but you can still get that experience at home if you make it work. VOD shouldn’t be frowned upon either.

          • Luca Vasto

            I agree with you
            that going to the theater is expensive, but it’s always a wonderful
            experience to see my childhood myths on the big screen is much nicer
            than seeing them on the television screen.
            And as I
            said, there are several terrible horror movies that are very badly done,
            which are distributed in theaters, while the last chucky movies,
            extraordinary, well made come out of limited or vod.
            It is an injustice in my opinion.
            I
            hope that in my country (italy) cult of chucky get a theatrical release
            in italy, sometimes it happens that American films that come out in
            america, limited or vod, they are released theatrical, for example Leatherface
            (2017) which comes Released direct tv and limited, in italy released on September 14 in theaters 😉
            I hope this also happens for cult of chucky

          • Grayson

            Just my two cents. I agree that I would rather watch a movie in the theatre, EXCEPT for horror. There is nothing worse than having people making noise around you while you are trying to hear every creak and groan in the movie. I don’t even think it’s possible to get scared with 200 other people there with you. Horror is a much better experience at home. IMO of course.

          • Luca Vasto

            opinions 😉

  • Nicolas Caiveau

    I can’t wait to finally watch it. It’s truely awesome that after all these years, the series is still set in the same continuity, no awful reboot like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street (and with the original actor and original writer too !). I wish, all these classic horror icons would be back with new sequels to the original movies and ignore all the reboots. It totally works with the Evil Dead TV show.

  • Andrei Iliescu

    I saw this at FrightFest as well. Truly amazing. It’s incredible that a franchise that reached no.7 is this good. Other horror franchises should take notes. Oh, and I got to take a picture with Chucky himself. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1b7bbc4f060e20b0eac37942326677845f2ea97242e7cb8db42d2da005ea1f1.jpg

  • skratchy

    I am so stoked for this!!!

    I’ve been a fan since the beginning. It’s tragic that Chucky is often forgot about among horror fans, and has gone to straight video, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. Curse of Chucky was a wonderful surprise, and return to form.

    May Don Mancini helm this franchise till the day he dies!

  • Reece Catlin

    I’m sorry I can’t watch it 🙁 I can’t stand Jennifer Tilly’s voice

  • Knut Lilium Redfield

    I’m a little bit unsure about this… I know you guys loved the last one but I on the other hand was let down by it and couldn’t see why people liked it. It wasn’t really scary. But that is just my opinion. I’m hoping this one is better than the last. Again, it’s only my opinion. Don’t kill me.

    • i feel ya man the last one really wasnt that great

  • Michael Blackney

    So hyped, I loved Curse so much more than I expected to. I’m glad Fiona Dourif is returning and the one location aspect.

  • Chris Risdal

    Glad this reviewer didn’t flat out spoil the entire movie like this one guy I heard about. Can’t wait for this one.

  • Evan3

    What’s up with the new reviewers? Suddenly every movie is a borderline masterpiece? Loving everything just destroys my ability to trust the accuracy of reviews. You people are critics… get critical!

  • Seeing the “original” Andy return was enough for me. You’d think wouldn’t Chucky and Andy collide? Chucky wouldn’t just let him get away. I know he grew up and all, but there had to be more to them eventually colliding with one another. I wanna know what happened to Andy!

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  • thegreatiandi

    Not only am I super amped for this…But you guys gave us the damn SKULL RATTING SYSTEM BACK?! Yesss!

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