Cult of Chucky (2017) Horror Movie Review
Written By: Angela DiLella
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Don Mancini
Producers: Ogden Gavanski and David Kirschner
Screenwriter: Don Mancini
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Fiona Douriff as Nica Pierce
Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay
Brad Dourif as Chucky
Michael Therriault as Doctor Foley
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), once the boy traumatized by Chucky in Child’s Play (1988), is all grown up now. He acts out his trauma on Chucky’s preserved head. Meanwhile, Nica Pierce, a young woman who was framed with the murder of her family by Chucky, struggles to deal with her own trauma that the doctors tell her was a mere illusion. Now institutionalized, she is introduced to another Good Guy Doll and must try to escape the terrors that await her.
As you would expect from a Chucky movie, there are some moments of evisceration. Both Chucky and Andy commit some pretty heinous acts, and the bodies of Nica’s acquaintances in the mental hospital pile up. There is an interesting and unique kill or two, but the gore is minimal compared to your average slasher film. Given that this is the seventh Chucky film in the franchise, the overall shock and gore factor felt stale.
The Grave Review
I need to be completely candid and say my stomach dropped within the first ten minutes of this movie. It wasn’t because it was too gross, but rather because it was that I just knew things weren’t going to get any more interesting. The movie opens on grown-up Andy bombing a date, then going home and taking Chucky’s head out of a safe. As Chucky makes fun of Andy’s pathetic romantic life, Andy gives Chucky a hit off his joint during their conversation, venting his frustrations out on the head. Meanwwhile Nica, who has been placed in what may be the most poorly regulated mental hospital ever who talks in group and then proceeds to have sex with a guy in a stairwell. Okay, that may have been a little more than just the first ten minutes, but this must paint the picture for you too, right?
These are a number of questions I asked myself before, or in between, getting existential. Who is the audience? What is the appeal? Why am I here? Does Director Don Mancini and the recurring cast need money this badly? Should we check on them and make sure they’re doing okay? Even Brad Dourif who voices Chucky sounded like he’s phoning it in.
created stories that were irrelevant to the overall plot. For example, there is a lengthy period of time where the headed Chucky is frequently ridiculing Andy’s romantic life. But the significance of this was puzzling to say the least. The main reason for Andy keeping the Chucky Head was for viewers to become aware of the fact that Chucky can make other Good Guy Dolls (who happen to be in pristine conditions for being an 80s doll) come alive at will. But even that aspect posed the question of why the story line was not focused more on Nica’s story. In fact, Nica’s institutional Doctor is creepier than the actual antagonist, Chucky, because her doctor sexually assaults Nica, leaving her with little recourse. As a result, there was little to no focus in respect to the true threat in this film.
The plot could be interesting if all of the characters outside of Nica weren’t so relentlessly unpleasant. I also wouldn’t mind if Andy was out of the picture entirely; Nica’s situation is interesting enough that we could have had the whole story in the asylum (until the escape at the end). The idea of the cult of Chucky being several living Chucky dolls is interesting, but it feels like they didn’t go far enough with it. I don’t find Chucky particularly scary, but a pack of them coming at you? That’s scary. Then again, the few Chuckies we got had absolutely excruciating banter, so maybe I should appreciate that the ball was dropped.
I know this movie is really intended for the hardcore Chucky fans who have stuck with the series through thick and thin, which isn’t me, though I have seen most of the movies in the franchise. Reading critics’ reviews upon Cult of Chucky’s release makes me wonder if we saw the same movie. But I honestly can’t help but wonder if even the huge fans enjoyed this one. There are fan reviews and reactions on sites like Rotten Tomatoes which have some variation of the idea that the movie was bad, but at least it was a new Chucky movie, which is a feeling I can relate to with my own pet franchises. So, if you are a big Chucky fan, go ahead and check this one out, if you haven’t already. If you aren’t, just skip it. Cult of Chucky (2017) isn’t going to be the one that wins you over.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Cult of Chucky (2017) one grave out of five graves.
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