September is a big month for me. My 30th birthday, the Batman 66 reunion at Monster Mania in Maryland, and something very important to all of us who love horror: The return of Chucky. That's right! Everyone's favorite killer doll hits OnDemand! On his 25th birthday too! That's right, after years and years of talking about a new installment/remake/reboot/something, we finally get it.
This straight to dvd release(coming in October, after a brief OnDemand release in September) could essentially clean up the mess left from the last 3 Chucky movies. And that's a lot of mess to clean up. Since 1998, Chucky's reputation has been royally screwed up. And the blame is 100% on those horrible "Chucky Makes A Family" sequels. Although, even before that, the third movie was terribly awful but the third movie could be considered Empire Strikes Back compared to the crap that followed. But I guess in the words of Steve Miller "You got to go through hell, before you get to Heaven" and Chucky has definitely been through hell in the past 15 years.
So, the trailer hit the web today and I gotta say I am very impressed and very excited. It seems Chucky is being taken a little bit more seriously and it looks like he's headed back to basics. And that's what's been needed for a long time. Despite the sexiness of Jennifer Tilly's voice, awesome cameo of John Ritter(who could do no wrong anyway), and the director that would go on to give us the awesome Freddy vs. Jason, nothing good came out of the sequels. In fact, more than anything he's become the poster child for Spencer Gifts. For a long time, I saw more Chucky merchandise in Spencers than anything. And anytime you can walk into a store and see a horror film star hung up next a bunch of sex toys and darklight posters of the ICP, you know your hopes of being taken seriously have been flushed down the toilet. But at least those cool funny gag poops can accompany them from the rack above it.
For the most part, the trailer gets down to business. The Chucky with the ugly scars and all the damage is gone. Now, the slate has been wiped clean. The old Chucky is back and it looks like he's ready to take on a whole new franchise. And it's about time. In order for Chucky to be taken seriously, I really feel this could be the best move. Brad Douriff, voice of Chucky since day one, is also returning. Which is great. In a world of voice actors who are paid to do spot-on impersonations, no one can really touch Brad Douriff as the voice. And since Chucky couldn't be physically imposing, there was a lot of emphasis on his voice. And they chose the right person. Brad added that perfect touch to giving Chucky a haunting voice and killer edge that you would most likely crap your pants if you heard coming out of that tiny doll. Brad was essentially the spirit of Chucky and made the character his own. He IS Chucky just like Anthony Perkins IS Norman Bates.
The other important part that seems to be happening here is Chucky's face seems to rely heavily on CGI. I can't really say I'm upset by this or even offended, but some reviewers seem to take issue with it. i don't know why because in this world of CGI, it would be smarter to have Chucky rendered with computers than it would be to have a midget in a doll suit again. As great as the movies were when they were at their best, the image of a tiny person running around is rather silly. It was ok for thirty years ago, but not now. And while I'm not one way or the other on the CGI issue, I do have to say Chucky looks a little bit more serious and could be taken more seriously in this one. And that's my hope, is for a new franchise and for the new franchise to be looked at in the same class as a Freddy, Jason, or even Jigsaw.
|Chucky's Killer New Look|
And creating new opponents for Chucky to battle is also important. Whether or not we'll see Andy Barclay appear in a cameo or a plot point has yet to be seen. But Brad Douriff's daughter, Fiona seems to have taken the role of the older antagonist for Chucky to take on. And I'm sure that will be rather different to see after all the years he spent chasing after Andy.
Now, I'm of age to remember begging my dad to let me watch Child's Play on HBO and being shot down quickly and very excited when I got to sneak a viewing of Child's Play 2. And I'm getting that feeling of anticipation all over again. All in all, this movie has positives written all over it so far. And I for one, can't wait. Looks good, seems like a good plot, and simply put, just can't wait to get my hands on what could be a brand new chapter in the Child's Play/Chucky story. And more importantly, I hope it wipes the memories of the last three out of the public's minds...