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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Don Mancini
Cast:
Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Alex Vincent
Writing Credits:
Don Mancini

Synopsis:
Chucky returns to terrorize his human victim, Nica.

MPAA:
Rated R/Not Rated

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 90 min. (Rated Version)
91 min. (Unrated Version)
Price: $22.98
Release Date: 10/3/2017

Bonus:
• Both Rated and Unrated Cuts of the Film
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Don Mancini and Head Puppeteer Tony Gardner
• “Inside the Insanity” Featurette
• “Good Guy Gone Bad” Featurette
• “The Dollhouse” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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RELATED REVIEWS


Cult Of Chucky [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 28, 2017)

Nearly 30 years after the original Child’s Play became a hit in 1988 – and four years after Curse of Chucky - the series’ seventh film arrives via 2017’s Cult of Chucky. In the last flick, teenager Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) got arrested for multiple murders actually caused by evil doll Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif).

Long held in a mental institution, Nica starts to believe she really did commit the slayings. However, when a series of deaths impacts the group right after the introduction of a “Good Guy” doll into therapy, Nica realizes she might be sane after all. With the help of Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) – Chucky’s “pal” from the first movie – she works to stop the wicked toy’s violent ways.

Through 2004’s Seed of Chucky, the Child’s Play sequels went with a more and more campy/over the top feel. This retreated with Curse, a tale that took on a darker and more restrained tone.

Restrained for a movie about a murderous doll, at least. This lower-key trend continues with Cult, an effort that comes across more like something in the Hitchcock vein than the earlier wild and wooly horror tales.

Not that this means Cult lacks gore, as it comes with some violent, bloody scenes. Nonetheless, it provides a more psychological slant than expected for the franchise, and I think this choice suits it.

I also like the attempts to tie together various chapters of the series. The more active use of Andy works well, and Nica proves more engaging and expressive here than during Curse.

In classic thriller tradition, Cult takes place almost entirely in one location, and that adds to its dark vibe. Despite many potential cliches, the film manages to work with its characters and circumstances in a fairly positive manner.

I don’t want to overstate the qualities of Cult, as I think it can drag at times and occasionally veers into silliness a bit too much for its own good. That said, it provides a surprisingly creative and engaging horror effort, especially for a franchise so long in the tooth.

Footnote: a tag scene appears after the conclusion of the end credits.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Curse of Chucky appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a satisfying presentation.

Sharpness worked well much of the time. A few interiors could seem a smidgen soft, but for the most part, the movie appeared accurate and well-defined. I saw no moiré effects or jaggies, and the film also lacked edge haloes or source flaws.

Cult went for a heavily desaturated palette that favored chilly blues. A few brighter tones occasionally appeared – mainly reds – but the hues largely remained cold. These suited the story and looked appropriate.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. The image came across well.

I also felt satisfied with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though it won’t win awards for ambition. The soundscape tended toward a feeling of creepy atmosphere, and this meant it opened up only occasionally. A few action/scare sequences made good use of the various speakers, but they remained sporadic.

Audio quality seemed fine. Music was lively and full, while effects came across as accurate and robust. Speech appeared concise and natural, with no issues connected to edginess. This was a more than acceptable mix.

As we move to the package’s extras, we find two different versions of the film. We get an R-Rated Cut (1:30:03) and an Unrated Cut (1:30:56). What do you get from the added 53 seconds? I have no idea, as I only watched the longer version. Still, I wanted to mention that both editions appear.

After this comes an audio commentary from writer/director Don Mancini and head puppeteer Tony Gardner. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, camerawork and visual design, sets and locations, influences, cast and performances, effects and bringing Chucky to life, music, and related areas.

Veterans of the format, Mancini and Gardner seem at ease during the commentary and they prove to be consistently chatty. They cover a nice array of topics and do so with verve in this enjoyable and informatuve piece.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 36 seconds. We find “Nurse Carlos Sells Photos of Nica” (2:34), “Madeleine’s Prescription” (1:27) and “Nurse Carlos Makes Amends” (1:35). These add to some supporting characters and offer mildly interesting material, but I can’t claim they’re especially engaging.

We can watch these scenes with or without commentary from Mancini and Gardner. They give us perspective about the cut footage and let us know why the segments got the boot. They add useful information.

Three featurettes follow. Inside the Insanity runs six minutes, 43 seconds and offers notes from Mancini, Gardner, director of photography Michael Marshall, and actors Alex Vincent, Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, and Michael Therriault.

“Insanity” discusses storyboards and puppet-related complications, cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, some kill scenes, and effects. “Insanity” throws out some interesting notes but it’s rather disjointed, which makes it less effective. It also delivers massive spoilers, so skip it until you’ve seen the movie.

Good Guy Gone Bad lasts five minutes, three seconds and features Mancini, Gardner, Dourif and puppeteer Peter Chevako. “Bad” views the design of the Chucky puppets and their execution. It becomes a fun glimpse of all the issues involved.

Finally, we move to The Dollhouse, a seven-minute, 37-second piece with Gardner, Mancini, Dourif, producer David Kirschner, and actor Brad Dourif. The show looks at the “family” aspect of the Child’s Play franchise and stresses on the participants. Created by Gardner’s daughter Kyra, “Dollhouse” offers some interesting moments, but it feels rushed and not especially coherent.

The disc opens with ads for Death Race: Beyond Anarchy, Dead Again in Tombstone and Atomic Blonde. No trailer for Cult appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Cult. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Seven films into the Child’s Play franchise, Cult of Chucky shows continued signs of life. The series opts for a dark, somber feel that suits it and makes this a largely winning thriller. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. Cult becomes an above average horror experience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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