The wisecracking doll possessed by a psychopathic killer returns to terrorize a young woman in a wheelchair and her troubled family. –Netflix
Curse of Chucky (2013) is the sixth installment of the Child’s Play slasher series from the 80s. Just like the 1988 original Child’s Play, the serial killer, Charles Lee Ray possesses the body of a popular kid’s doll, “Good Guy.” The ginger doll says adorable phrases like, “Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?” and “You stupid bitch, you filthy slut! I’ll teach you to fuck with me!” While some slasher fans argue that Curse of Chucky is an abomination to the franchise, it is my favorite Chucky movie ever.
Curse of Chucky starts four years after the last film ended, and 25 years after Chucky first came to life. This version sets out to be sleazier, funnier, and even less tasteful than the low-budget slashers from the 80s. This film hits every mark. The 2013 Chucky, AKA the Lakeshore Strangler, is totally badass. This slasher’s got hilarious one-liners, creative death scenes, big jump scares, crazy plot-twists, and the strangest lesbian nanny-husband-wife love triangle I’ve ever seen.
If you’re a fan of the originals, you’ll feel right at home. Curse has OG director Don Mancini and actor Brad Dourif, who’s voiced Chucky and played Charles Lee Ray in every film. And the Final Girl? She’s a wheelchair-bound hero named Nica, played by Brad Dourif’s daughter (Fiona Dourif, True Blood). (I don’t use “heroine” since I don’t think “hero” should be gendered. I also don’t use heroin). If that’s not enough Chucky nostalgia, they also show scenes from the original film when Charles Lee Ray was still alive. Besides, Tiffany might show up. Might.
The film opens in an unlikely way. Chucky’s bride, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) is nowhere to be found, nor is any type of supernatural séance. There are no pentagons or curses, no magic, just Chucky, and he’s already possessed. At first, I was that horror fan, like Come on! Aren’t you going to explain who brought him back? Is he Charles Lee Ray still? Where’s Tiffany? Then the film turns unexpectedly into a mystery much like the original. The questions end up driving the tension and giving the film life.
Charles Lee Ray is back as Chucky, and so are the one-liners. My favorite is, “Women, can’t live with ‘em. Period” during a kill scene. But before we get to the cheese and gore, we open to a decrepit, old house, with alcoholic mother Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle) and her disabled daughter Nica. The mother is reminiscent of the alky-moms from A Nightmare on Elm St. as she makes her disabled daughter, get the door. Again.
A package arrives (obviously Chucky), from US-X and Nica thinks the delivery guy is really hot. Nica and delivery guy flirt hardcore like they’re about to star in a Fed-Ex porn. “So is your mom home or what? Yeah? Too bad!” the US-X guy says coyly. “Should I ask him out” Nica asks her drunk mom in a dumb Kimmy Schmidt way (if you haven’t seen the show, Kimmy was a hostage). “Mom of the year” Sarah tells Nica she’s beautiful, but that the man was “just being nice.” Translation, “you’re in a wheelchair and no one will ever love you.” Sarah is extremely overprotective of Nica, but why?
Nica is crushed, and we see a window into her hell, kept in a Fight Club house with a lying, drinking mom. Sarah is painting sunflowers, the same flowers killer, Charles Lee Ray brought her when he kept her captive. For now, Chucky is just a random doll who came in the mail. Sarah and Nica chalk it up to a joke and leave the talking ginger doll unattended. This is foreboding, since we know gingers don’t have souls.
“Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?” the doll says. But Sarah wants to make tuna melts and watch Real Housewives. Nica groans, as I would too, if those were my evening plans. Then suddenly, a scream, and slasher violins. “Mom?” Nica asks, rolling around the house, looking for Sarah. Nica takes an X-Men style elevator in pursuit of her mother. Nica whimpers as she watches blood ooze towards her, calling an ambulance from the landline. We pan out to Sarah’s dead body, and Chucky in the corner with a sinister grin.
A kill before the credits. Game on.
The 2013 Chucky looks a bit too new and shiny. We’re missing the Frankenstein’s monster bolts and stitches across his face from the last few Chucky films. Chucky looks every bit like the My Buddy doll knock-offs from the 80’s. I used to have both dolls, and can find neither. Uh oh.
Here’s the My Buddy commercial from 1985 in case you forgot who Chucky was mocking:
Next, a priest arrives with Barb, (like Barbie), Nica’s frigid bitch sister. Father Frank (A Martinez) is a priest so he’s super weird and unhelpful. “We left the church” Nica says, urging the priest to go. Boom—go Nica. Barb pleads with Nica to pray for their dead mother. For some reason, the priest is invited to dinner with Barb, her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), her daughter Alice (Summer Howell), and Jill the nanny (Maitland McConnell, 90210).
Jill the nanny is one the best parts of the film. She’s blonde and busty enough to have died in a Scream frat party, for one. She has “first to die” written all over her. After the priest, of course. Chucky’s definitely killing him first. Jill is great with the little girl, Alice, but she’s definitely doing the husband. Ian and Jill eyefuck each other throughout the entire film, leaving poor Alice alone with Chucky.
Dinner time! The women have made vegetarian chili with cheese. Yum. Just before they sit down, Chucky puts rat poison in one of the bowls. As the family begins to eat, we wonder, who has the poisoned bowl? Little Alice says the chili tastes weird. Is that because she’s being poisoned? Or because it’s vegetarian chili? Did you guess veggie chili? That was the answer. Chucky used kids like OG Andy to help him. So it makes sense to keep the kid alive.
So that leaves us with a feeling of terror. Who got the poisoned soup? The priest. Of course. The priest begins to sweat, and stumbles off, mentioning that he feels ill. The cops show up to the scene of the accident where the priest has crashed his car. One cop jokes that the priest is probably drunk as hell. Yet the younger cop takes offense, stating, “but he’s my sponsor.” To which the other cop says, “you’re gonna need a drink after this.” First responders try to help the priest out from his windshield and end up decapitating him. Love this movie.
At this point I’m wondering why it’s been so long since I’ve seen a Chucky movie. I have forgotten how hilarious they are.
Then we’re back to the busty nanny, who’s not screwing the husband? Because she’s screwing the wife. No way! This took a turn. Of all the plot twists in horror movies, I did not expect this. At first, we think Barb is just a jealous bitch. But no, she’s jealous of the husband, because she likes Jill too. Turns out that Ian, the husband, knows about the affair. Wow, this marriage.
Our Final Girl, Nica, is researching Charles Lee Ray online after seeing him in a home video. After her Internet search, Nica finds several hits on homicides mentioning the Good Guy doll. Search results show links to murders on Thursday December 29, 1988, from the original Child’s Play, mentioning Andy Barclay, Chucky’s first owner.
Jill’s on her laptop too, only she’s in a pink bra and panty set, video sexting Barb, the wife. Kinky. Since Jill’s lingerie matches, we know she’s dead ala Paris Hilton and every dumb horror chick ever. Chucky pops up in the screen during the video chat, right behind Jill. Barb tries to warn Jill, but she might as well be an audience member yelling, run bitch! Just as Nica clicks on a link for a photo of Charles Lee Ray, Chucky kicks a bucket of water over an outlet.
Jill gets electrocuted, surges going up through her feet, all the way to her blonde highlights. She gets fried so hard, the power goes out in the whole house. Thanks Jill, there goes the Wi-Fi. But wait, the power’s back in time to show an image of Charles Lee Ray on Nica’s screen. Nica now knows the truth, Chucky is Charles, and Charles will kill them all. The storm knocks the power out completely, turning the spooky house, pitch black.
Nica tries to warn the others, but because of Ian and Barbs’ fucked up marriage, no one believes her. And Nica’s a Final Girl, so no one would trust her anyway. Like if everyone believed Ripley in Alien, it would’ve been a romance. Ian has turned Chucky into a nanny cam, and caught Barb screwing Jill. This marriage. The love triangle between lame duck husband, who no one is screwing, and Barb and the nanny is just hilarious. It’s not fun for Nica though, who’s trying to warn Barb what Chucky really is.
Instead of hearing out Nica, and the part about Chucky being a serial killer, Barb tells Nica to fuck off. “I understand. You resent that I actually have a life. It isn’t my fault you dropped out of school and don’t leave this house!” Barb yells. “Fuck you, Nica!” Barb screams before abandoning her handicap sister. Nica screams out for Jill, who’s dead, and Ian, who has earplugs in (a definite metaphor for his relationship with Barb).
With the electricity out, Nica ditches the wheelchair/elevator combo, and pulls herself up the stairs. Nica had Final Girl written all over her from the start. A Final Girl must exhibit a strength that goes beyond gender, a passion for the truth, and must survive the killer. Nica is bold, brave, and does not give a fuck. She is the perfect Final Girl, but can Nica save Barb and her Ken doll husband?
It then just dawns on Barb to look for her daughter, Alice. Oh yeah, where’s the kid? Barb pulls Chucky’s 2013 face away, revealing his classic gashes, and stitches. “There is no God” Chucky says, a lightning bolt crackling in the sky. “You have your mother’s eyes,” Chucky says, “and they were always too close together!” Nica pulls herself up and up the winding stairs, but it’s too late for Barb. Chucky just killed her.
A rogue eyeball falls down the stairs and hits Nica square in the face. Ew. Perhaps a symbol of Barb’s lack of insight, never believing Nica.
“Barbie?” Nica implores? Which is so funny because Chucky is very much, not Barbie. Barb’s corpse falls on Nica, but she presses on. She’s a badass. Even after Chucky squishes Barb’s eyeball, Nica finds a wheelchair and escapes Chucky. Nica locks herself in a room with Ian and wakes his dumb ass up. Nica tells Ian to go save Alice from Chucky, without mentioning that Chucky is a serial killer. Really, it’s Ian’s fault for being a repressed male with ear buds in for most of his life. In a way, Ian represents Chucky, as they are both repressed and emasculated. Although Chucky’s been possessed by Charles Lee Ray, he’s still a doll, eternally asexual.
Ian finally helps out, pushing Nica to “safety.” She warns Ian to stay away from Chucky but we know Ian’s as good as dead. He didn’t even notice his daughter was missing until now, so according to horror rules, he’s getting slashed on the morality clause. Horror doesn’t like bad parenting.
While Ian’s off about to get killed, Nica’s locked in the garage, as Chucky runs the car’s exhaust, trying to kill her. Really? Chucky might hurt the environment, but he’s not taking down our FG. She breaks the window with a hatchet, but Chucky’s already swallowed the car key. Ian takes the axe and is convinced that Nica is the killer. Ian watches her clutch her heart and gasp. She needs her injection, dropping the syringe at his feet.
Another lightning strike and Nica and Ian are found alive, for now. Just as Ian watches Chucky’s nanny cam footage on his laptop, proving Chucky is the killer, we know it’s too late. Chucky appears, grabs the axe, and slashes Ian in the face, splitting his jaw, killing him.
“My turn” Nica yells, stealing Chucky’s line and axe. Then bam, she decapitates Chucky. Nica drops the axe and wheels away. Wait, no. We know from Randy in Scream that there are rules to every horror film. The killer always comes back in the final scene. As Nica wraps her bleeding legs, Chucky appears behind her, sauntering around, headless.
Chucky grabs his head, and puts it back on. Because he is a doll, Nica. She’s a badass Final Girl, but she’s no Sidney Prescott. Chucky grabs Nica’s wheelchair, and pushes her over the banister, onto the floor where her mother died. There’s so much blood. Is it over? Is Nica really dead?
“You’re Charles Lee Ray. And you’re dead” Nica says, as she comes to. “No, you are.” Chucky says, and Nica remembers who he is from the family videos. Nica starts to connect the news articles with the videos. Charles captured Sarah, her mother, and held her captive, just as she did to Nica. Charles brought her sunflowers and kept her bound in duct tape. This is why Sarah kept Nica captive all these years. She wanted to protect her daughter. Sarah was the OG Final Girl. After Charles stabbed her pregnant belly, she managed to escape and raise her now handicapped daughter.
Nica goes full FG and emasculates Chucky. “You are a male, aren’t you?” she chides him. Chucky is caught off guard, slips in blood, allowing Nica to escape. Nica grabs the knife from Chucky and screams, “You wanna play, motherfucker? Let’s play!” The look in her eyes, says she does not play. She raises the knife in the air Psycho style, and brings it down into Chucky’s back, which doesn’t kill him.
The cops finally come back. Remember them from the first scene? The young cop in AA, follows the sounds of Nica’s screams. They find her bloody, and alone, but alive. She looks like Carrie at prom night, her white dress covered in blood. The cop finds Nica, which sucks. Because the cop will just drop her in the psych ward, which he does.
At this point we remember, that Chucky was mailed in an “evidence” bag from a crime scene. Another cop grabs Chucky, puts him in a new evidence bag, and drives off to sell him on the streets. Then Chucky’s bride, Tiffany, pops up behind him and slits his throat. She groans with satisfaction, looking at Chucky. “They never learn,” she says, licking the bloody knife.
In the final scenes, we see Tiffany, with her classic bleach blonde hair, phone sex voice, and fishnet stockings, at US-X, shipping company. Chucky gets sent back to Alice, the little girl.
The young girl tells Chucky how Nica killed her parents. She doesn’t seem sad, just confused. Chucky consoles her, “I’m your friend to the end.” Alice smiles, and Chucky begins a pagan chant. The same chant he used to possess the doll in the first place. So now instead of living inside of a doll, Charles Lee Ray will inhabit Alice, the little girl.
And boom, another jump scare with a corpse popping up. Luckily Nica is safe and sound in the psych. ward. Because that’s how most Chucky movies end, at the insane asylum. The final scene shows an open door.
Ready for a seventh Chucky movie? I am.