Cult of Chucky is a 2018 slasher film and the seventh film in the “Child’s Play” horror franchise. Series co-creator Don Mancini returns to write and direct the movie.
Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) keeps Chucky’s disembodied head in a safe and frequently tortures him as revenge for harming his family. Chucky taunts him that he cannot have a normal life. Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif), having been framed for Chucky’s crimes against her family, is locked in a mental institution and undergoes shock therapy. Her creepy therapist Dr. Foley (Michael Therriault) transfers her to a smaller institution, thinking she is getting better. She meets Malcolm (Adam Hurtig), a patient with multiple personalities, who helps her get to know the other patients, all of who are suspicious of her. She is visited by Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) who informs her that her niece has died, but left her Chucky (Brad Dourif). Nica spirals after this, especially when a second doll appears and people start dying.
It was announced that soon after this movie, there would be a television series based on the franchise. That should come as no surprise as this feature is clearly designed to set it up instead of progressing Nica and Andy’s story arc. Sure, they throw you a few bones and make references to the original films, but that was about it.
That was a shame, too. The immediate predecessor tried to course correct this horror franchise back to its frightening roots and they could have built on this. Instead, we get a somewhat vague sequel that takes the characters backward, not forwards. I was sorely disappointed in this film because it provided some genuine chills, but it just could not set up a good ending.
Chucky, who was always frightening as something so familiar, now has superpowers. Of course, they use his background in voodoo as another plot device to grant him those abilities. It would have been better if they had kept him as a scary copy of a harmless child’s toy.
Essentially, this movie serves as little more than a backdoor pilot for the television series (which did not even air until 2021). They should have buckled down and either closed the Chucky plot or given us a reason to get excited. That did not happen and the series suffers for it.
Bottom line, Cult of Chucky has some genuine frights, but it fails to build on the return to form. Chucky deserved a better ending.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sexual content, Strong foul language, Bloody violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: A true classic never goes out of style.
Check out the trailer below:
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