All in the Family

Over time, Curse of Chucky worked better than it did upon its initial release. Some of ire originally came from the lower budget, loose (and sometimes forced) connections to previous Chucky sequels, and the first time use of a CG killer doll rather than animatronic.

While not easily ignored, and while nowhere near as distinctive as Seed of Chucky (whether that’s better or worse is personal), the traditional “old dark house” aesthetic serves the budget and characters well. Low on his distinctive eccentricities, writer/director Don Mancini still finds a place for his exaggerated style.

The limited budget confines Curse of Chucky, limiting story potential

It’s mostly Barb (Danielle Bisutti), playing the role of an impossible, manipulative sister to Nica (Fiona Dourif), carrying this outlandish slasher entry. Barb becomes the perfect horror villain, but not a ditzy college girl as in so many others. Rather, this is an adult with a steep narcissistic bend, artificially empathetic with the right amount of sleazy, controlling behavior in her tone. If the family is broken, it’s entirely because of Barb.

This doesn’t negate Fiona Dourif, acting against her father’s voice work (from Chucky). In a wheelchair, Nica gives Curse of Chucky an additional tension to utilize, making its heroine often helpless, doubly so as she tries convincing others of Chucky’s existence. Mancini finds a way to create a distinctive sequel, on top of reverting the tone back to the straight horror origins.

Curse of Chucky flounders often though, straining itself in forced flashbacks to make connections, creating continuity errors, and ignoring other elements introduced in Seed of Chucky. That was needed in order to revert to horror – Bride and Seed drifted toward self-aware parody; Curse of Chucky utilizes dark corners, limited light, and surprise kills to build credibility. It works, generally.

The limited budget confines Curse of Chucky, limiting story potential and even the murders themselves. At its most creative, Chucky electrocutes a target. Another is poisoned, but dies in a brutally graphic way. This isn’t Chucky/Charles Lee Ray’s best work, but it’s worth watching considering this is the sixth entry, and better than duds like Child’s Play 3.


Dolby Vision pairs perfectly to this cinematography style, favoring hard lines of intense contrast against pure black shadows. The depth looks absolutely remarkable when at its peak, and Curse of Chucky does improve a little – even as a movie – with this UHD. Every black level hits perfect black, and the blindingly bright, even clipping contrast keeps the visual energy high.

Curse of Chucky’s 4K presentation includes the unrated cut only. Shout/Scream notes a new 4K master, and that’s hard to argue otherwise. The sharpness appears impeccable, and the textural nuances show in every frame. Facial definition soars in this digital source, and exterior shots reveal the home’s infinite design touches and wear.

Purposefully muted, the color palette veers toward deep blues and grays. Most primaries stay in this duller zone, but Curse of Chucky knows exactly how to render flesh tones; they’re perfect. Blood nails a deep red, and Chucky’s outfit sports his traditional red/blue spark.


Copied from the Blu-ray, the DTS-HD track goes unchanged, splitting stereo channels wide and ignoring the presence of surrounds. There are no instances of Chucky creeping up on people from behind with his walking, and jump scares strictly face forward. House ambiance is almost nill, voices echoing with slight evidence of surround assistance, negligibly though. Thunder does creep into the rears, if sparingly.

Saving graces lie in the midst of the subwoofer, tracking a hearty heartbeat as it thumps to build tension on multiple occasions. Music throbs in the low-end. A late flashback sequence dupes an explosion from the first Child’s Play with effectiveness, the sonic highlight of this quaint mix.


Writer/director Don Mancini joins animatronic design Tony Gardner and star Fiomna Dourif on a commentary track, on both the UHD and Blu-ray. A few generic featurettes from the original Blu-ray release, a gag reel, deleted scenes, storyboards, and trailers bring Curse of Chucky to a close.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Curse of Chucky
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Curse of Chucky has aged better than expected, but it’s still just an average direct-to-video slasher sequel.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 39 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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