Fair warning: If you haven’t seen Cult of Chucky, retreat immediately.
Nothing breeds seamless impersonation quite like familiarity. Countless hordes can conjure spot-on mimics when asked to get into the character of a boss or a friend, or even a celebrity that they’ve seen in countless films or interviews.
Few, though have the luxury of unfettered, lifetime access quite like a child has with a parent.
And over the final thirteen minutes of Cult of Chucky, it was abundantly clear that the apple did not fall far from the tree.
Through Curse of Chucky and nearly the entirety of Cult, Fiona Dourif portrayed Nica Pierce with perfect pitch. Vulnerable yet strong, withdrawn yet personable; the pain she felt in the aftermath of what had transpired a film before was palpable with every gesture, every breath, and every word.
Then, for the first time, Chucky’s chant worked.
To film aficionados, Brad Dourif is a legend, but to his daughter, he’s just dad.
The moment Ms. Dourif rose from Nica’s wheelchair, she was her father, the man who has voiced the very same demonic Good Guys doll we’ve adored for nearly three decades.
Resemblance and hair style aside, we are not allowed to ignore that Dourif’s facial expressions, voice inflection or mannerisms of her father as Charles Lee Ray were flawless. Truth be told, we should be awed by them.
Right down to that delightful cackle.
Not only is Fiona familiar with her father’s work as an actor, she has intimate knowledge of his identity away from the set. The way he walks and talks, how he conducts himself when he’s feeling confident, or his body language when telling a joke, dropping sarcasm or laughing with an old friend.
Tools that were indispensable when the moment of Nica’s possession arrived.
Some may have issue with the way Cult came to a close, but this writer is smitten with this new direction. Simply stated, Chucky as doll is the catalyst for the Child’s Play series, so there’s only so long said direction will work, but for thirteen glorious minutes, it was just that – sublime.
Dourif was not only an actress at the top of her game, but clearly savoring every moment in yet another body, wearing a smirk that viewers couldn’t help but share. This was not just a performer charged with replicating the persona of another, but an heir to the throne. It was as if we were allowed to peek behind the curtain and made aware of an inside joke, a passing of the torch, so to speak.
No one could have pulled it off quite like Ms. Dourif, because she is more than a cog in the franchise or part of an extended family, she is a member of the inner circle.
And it was blissful. Fiona Dourif as extension of Chucky and Charles Lee Ray and her father, was blissful.
Feature image: Bloody-Disgusting.