Hey guys, another October day, another October post about horror movies ha ha haa yeah nice and fuckin wholesome that’s how we do it. Anyway, I’m exhausted. I just directed a short little tiny horror movie for my directing class. It’s the largest crew I’ve ever worked with, and the first time that I, as director, did not operate the camera. Super weird for me. Oh by the way, if anyone’s interested, you can find some of my shitty shorts on my Youtube and my Vimeo. The one I did today will go up there eventually I don’t know. By the end of the month.
So today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite horror franchises of all-time: The Chucky series. If any of you remember waaaaaaaaaayyyy back in cheery old 2014, I wrote a retrospective on my first time watching the series. Now that Cult of Chucky (2017, dir. Don Mancini) is on Netflix, how could I post this blog without talking about it?
Long story short: I loved it. For me, it ranks alongside Child’s Play 2 and Curse of Chucky as one of the top 3 in the series.
CHUCKY FRANCHISE SPOILERS. BUT NO REAL SPOILERS FOR CULT BESIDES WHAT THE DANG THING’S ABOUT.
So Cult of Chucky picks up a little ways after Curse, with Nica now in a mental hospital for allegedly killing everyone Chucky killed in Curse. Obviously. And there’s a colorful cast of characters in this hospital: Michael, a man with multiple personalities; Claire, an angry, bitter, untrusting woman who takes care of Angela; Angela, an agin schizophrenic who thinks she’s a ghost; Madeleine, a woman who killed her baby; and Dr. Foley.
Mancini’s script makes this colorful cast feel alive, like real characters with real lives, which may sound run-of-the-mill, but the average horror franchise’s 7th entry generally only has the laziest of cut and paste characters, so this movie is a testament to Mancini’s skill.
With the exception of the animatronics going into Chucky himself, which I will admit are lackluster compared to previous entries, I will say that this is probably the most technically stunning Chucky movie. The production design has this sense of sleekness and modernity that really makes it feel cold and sterile, but like, in a good way? I guess? The production design and art direction combined with the excellent cinematography and the inventive, fun editing really five you the feeling that you’re there with the patients. And it all comes to a head when Chucky starts killing.
I won’t spoil it, but I’ll say that Cult features not only one of my favorite Chucky kills of all-time, but one of the most beautiful, affective horror kills I’ve seen in a horror film post-1990. And it’s gory, yeah. Sure. But if you can look past the gore, or even embrace it, it’s just such an amazing sequence. I really felt floored. I was not expecting such a creatively Chucky movie.
So, as I said, aside from some lackluster animatronic effects and the sequel-bait-y ending, Cult of Chucky is a high point for the franchise, and I’m thrilled it’s so readily available. I’ll definitely be picking up the blu ray. God. Chucky movies just make me so happy. Even the worst ones are just pure entertainment.