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  Cult of Chucky Doll PartsBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Don Mancini
Stars: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Michael Therriault, Adam Hurtig, Alex Vincent, Jennifer Tilly, Zak Santiago, Grace Lynn Kung, Elisabeth Rosen, Ali Tataryn, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Summer H. Howell, Allison Dawn Doiron, Tom Aniko, Darren Wall, Christine Elise
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) is on a date, and the conversation has come around to gun ownership which his dinner partner is wary of; in fact, she's wary of everything about Andy, because she looked him up on the internet before going out, and there is a lot on there about the amount of violent death that followed him about when he was a boy. It appears she was simply curious to meet him, and is not interested in pursuing romance, so Andy sadly returns to his cabin in the countryside to mull over what has brought him to this place in his life. Well, that and bring out from his safe the head of the Chucky doll that was the cause of all his grief in the first place, which he proceeds to torture...

A man has to have a hobby, and considering Chucky is responsible for ruining Andy's past and future chances at a normal life, he may as well let off some steam by setting the blowtorch on his incapacitated, plastic visage, suggesting a troubled childhood genuinely does bear rotten fruit in adulthood. But that was not the whole story with Cult of Chucky, and the original incarnation of the killer was somewhat sidelined for he had created his own, as the title suggested, cult of underlings, all with his personality, to do his bidding, sort of like Davros commanding the Daleks to use an analogy with another long running series. These were movies, of course, and creator Don Mancini was back.

By this stage he was making the Child's Play sequels strictly for the fans who loved to watch the supposedly cute doll get away with all kinds of evildoing, the appeal in how subversive he was while at the same time being pretty ridiculous, meaning you had the choice of being scared or laughing your way through the films. Certainly some were more overtly humorous than others, and the previous instalment, Curse of Chucky, had been unexpectedly serious, but Cult sought to find a balance between those two poles, and to an extent it succeeded, not the best in the franchise but not the worst, either. That Mancini had managed a degree of quality for this duration was admirable in itself.

Chucky, as ever, is obsessed with transplanting his soul from the doll into the bodies of the living, being the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray and voiced by Brad Dourif once more, this having become his most recognisable role despite his face rarely appearing in any of the instalments. But the trick here was that thanks to a new set of voodoo chants, he has managed to franchise himself, creating a small army of Chuckys who have his personality and propensity for bloodshed. He puts these to "good" use by despatching them to an asylum for the criminally insane where Nica (Fiona Dourif), hapless heroine of the last entry, has been incarcerated when it was believed she murdered her entire family, something she is beginning to wonder if she was indeed responsible for as the killer doll explanation stretches credulity.

This was the theme, what would happen if a person deemed insane by the authorities was accurately describing what had happened to them, because it was all true? Since anyone watching this would believe Nica in her conviction that Chucky had landed her in this pickle, it wasn't perhaps the strongest theme Mancini could have concocted, but succeeded well enough for the narrative in play here, leading to lightly mindbending sequences where characters, not only Nica, would wonder if they could believe what they were seeing, from the corrupt psychiatrist (Michael Therriault) who is taking advantage of his position to the patients in the thrall of the Good Guy dolls he has brought in for therapy (one even breastfeeds the Chucky with her blood, illustrating how bizarre this could get). Jennifer Tilly was back too, not sure if she was herself, the actress, or Tiffany, Ray's old girlfriend, and fans would be heartened to see this paved the way for yet another sequel even if it did leave them hanging as plot resolutions in this went. No longer guaranteed cinema releases in many territories, Chucky ploughed ahead regardless; you respected his appalling disrespect. Music by Joseph LoDuca.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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