A Sequel Lacking Flair To Pull Off Its Original Premise
There’s no denying that Cult Of Chucky is full of original ideas and a willingness to push the franchise forward. The trouble is everything around that revels in B movie mediocrity and lacks the flair and cohesiveness needed to pull off its promising premise. The cursing, murderous doll Chucky returns once again, voiced by the excellent Brad Dourif, but the unresolved plot and underdeveloped characters make this a disappointing showing, even if the film does settle into a good rhythm late on and has fun through the latter periods of its run time.
Cult Of Chucky picks up where it left off at the end of the previous film. Following the horror Nica (Fiona Dourif)experienced thanks to Chucky’s murderous rampage, she finds herself institutionalised, struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Returning protagonist Andy Barclay is left contemplating his future too, mocked by the severed head of what’s left of the original Chucky doll he killed at the end of Curse Of Chucky. What follows is a plot that stumbles over its own premise whilst trying to inject some originality in a franchise that feels like its run its course.
Despite the originality shown to present more than one Chucky doll and push the franchise in bold, unexplored directions, the motive behind doing this is never really explained. Its certainly interesting enough to warrant the film’s existence but structurally, there’s some real issues with Cult Of Chucky. The wild, climactic action comes far too late in the film with a first half bogged down by meaningless dialogue that neither moves the plot forward or explains how and why Chucky has managed to inhabit more than one body. Instead, the film introduces a host of new characters with little characterisation before devolving into showing spatters of blood and gruesome deaths to disguise the lack of motivation around the numerous doll possessions.
For all of its problems, Cult Of Chucky’s presentation is really nicely done. There’s some slick camera work and effects throughout and although it’s disappointing to see Chucky animated in full CGI again, the vocal talents of Brad Dourif grace the doll with his trademark cursing and maniacal laugh, helping to look past this. With more than one doll and some hilarious interactions between them, the final third of the film is when Cult Of Chucky really comes into its own but its cut disappointingly short by a cliffhanger ending that leaves the plot unresolved.
Hardcore fans will love this sequel as it delivers the same humour and blood-spattered gore the Chucky films have become known for but for everyone else, this is a lacklustre showing. Even if Cult Of Chucky does have some willingness to push the franchise in new directions, structurally the film has some real issues. Newcomers to the franchise will be completely out of their depth as well with a story that’s barely coherent on its own unless you’ve seen every film before it. Its not all bad though; Brad Dourif is excellent as the returning Chucky Doll and his performance really helps to elevate the film. Those looking for a return to form for the murderous doll are sure to be left disappointed.