Well folks, it’s finally here. The SEVENTH installment of the Child’s Play franchise is available to purchase on Blu-ray and stream on Netflix. It’s been four years since the last installment surprised horror fans with its above-average quality, and now director Don Mancini has outdone himself again with Cult of Chucky.
Without dipping into spoiler territory, Cult of Chucky follows Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, reprising her role from 2013’s Curse), who has been institutionalized for murdering her family. Therapy has since convinced Nica that she, not Chucky, actually committed those crimes, and the thought torments her daily. Upon being moved to a medium security institution, Nica’s doctor begins using a Good Guy doll in group therapy sessions, and the patients of the facility begin to suffer particularly brutal deaths soon after.
Though not without its flaws, I can say with certainty that fans of this series will have an absolute blast with the seventh entry. Mancini has crafted a film that honors the rest of the series in plot, referential dialogue, and even cameo appearances- effectively turning Cult of Chucky into the most enjoyable film, and my personal favorite, of the long series. Mancini’s script is genius, toying with the horror roots of the franchise without sacrificing the comedy or meta approach applied to recent installments. His direction, too, has never been better. There are several great, visionary sequences here that will linger in your mind long after the credits roll, which is more than anyone could have expected from a Child’s Play film.
The performances, too, are on par with Mancini’s ambition. Fiona Dourif carries the film on her shoulders, much like she did in Curse, and she commands the screen with the intense eyes of her father and a charisma all her own. Though Brad continues to shine as the iconic voice of Chucky, getting some of his best-ever dialogue here, there’s no denying that the franchise reins have been handed to his daughter- and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
The supporting cast fills out nicely as well, with Adam Hurtig, Elisabeth Rosen, and Grace Lynn Hung bringing a vast amount of entertainment as the standout patients of the mental institution. Equally great are Michael Therriault, who walks a tightrope between caring and creepy (eventually veering directly into the creepy), and a returning actor that I’ll leave unnamed just in case you’re going in blind.
As for the flaws, Cult of Chucky sometimes relies so heavily on comedy that it detracts from some of the greater horror elements, and minor aspects of the meta aesthetic feel a bit forced. Other than these minuscule gripes, however, I found this to be a great horror flick. The pacing is tight, never once dragging, the story is interesting and entertaining as hell, the dialogue is hilarious, and the kills are more clever and graphic than they’ve ever been. If you’re a fan of the Child’s Play franchise, there’s not the slightest chance that you’ll dislike this film. It’s one of the best.