A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Curse of Chucky is a 2013 horror movie that is the sixth movie in the Chucky series. As in the others, the Chucky doll brings a lot of blood and gore as he kills those around him with knives, axes, and rat poison. There's also death by electrocution. One of the deaths is made to look like a suicide. Profanity is heard, including "f--k" and variations. Some of the religious imagery might be problematic for faith-based viewers. A nanny has an affair with an older woman (they kiss passionately), and there's some sexual innuendo. One of the lead characters is disabled and is presented as a functioning and capable adult; her sister's condescending remarks serve to highlight how independent she actually is, especially as Chucky starts to kill and she takes him on.
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What's the story?
In CURSE OF CHUCKY, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is a young paraplegic woman living with her mother, Sarah (Chantal Quesnel), when a mysterious package arrives. The package, with no return address, contains a Chucky doll (voiced by Brad Dourif). That night, Nica finds Sarah dead, and her death is ruled a suicide. Nica's condescending older sister Barb, her husband Ian, their young daughter Alice, and their nanny Jill arrive for the funeral and to help put affairs in order. Alice immediately takes a liking to the Chucky doll, and Nica allows her to keep him. But things immediately take a dark turn. Chucky seems to be moving. Alice tells her mother that Chucky has told her that life is meaningless and that we're all going to die. While speaking with the parcel delivery company to find out who sent the Chucky doll, Nica's cell reception becomes staticky, but she thinks she hears the words "evidence depository." A search on the internet reveals the shocking and deadly history of the murder sprees conducted by Chucky over the years, and the serial killer who possessed the doll. As Nica tries to alert Barb and her family to the evils of Chucky, she realizes that it's up to her to stop him, and to find out why Chucky was sent to her house in the first place.
Is it any good?
The sixth movie in any movie franchise is rarely good, and this is no exception. Curse of Chucky is chock-full of heavy-handed moves like rain storms, fake-outs (characters tapping other characters on the shoulder accompanied by bursts of horror background music, for instance), and gratuitous blood and gore. The attempts to tie everything up into a neat bow at the end feel jarring, abrupt, and rushed. It more or less follows the typical horror movie formula of making the characters just human enough to care one way or the other if they're brutally murdered and ratcheting up the novelty in each new death.
And yet, it's not without merit, especially for the sixth movie of a franchise. The dinner scene in which Chucky has poured rat poison in one of the six dinners on the verge of being eaten is genuinely suspenseful, and one of the rare times in which the movie's tendency to go way overboard with the exaggerated tension and suspense is fun in a "whodunit" (whoeatsit?) kind of way. And the character of Nica shows a disabled woman who is, unlike so many portrayals of disabled people, three-dimensional, independent, and capable of being a lead character who can take on the horror movie monster rather than being just another victim.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about horror movies. How does Curse of Chucky compare to other scary movies you've seen? What's the appeal of horror movies?
One of the lead characters is disabled. How is she portrayed in the movie? How does this compare to the way other movies depict people with disabilities?
There have been seven movies centered on Chucky, with a remake of the original 1988 Child's Play movie in the works. Why do you think these movies have remained popular?