Blu-ray Review Cult of Chucky

'Cult of Chucky' Blu-ray Review: One flew over the killer cuckoo's nest

October 9, 2017Ben MK

It's easy to be disappointed with franchise horror films, as the filmmakers behind these movies often end up losing sight of what made the originals great to begin with, and long-running series end up feeling like hollow imitations of the cult classics that inspired them. Cult of Chucky, the seventh installment in the series that began with 1981's Child's Play, however, is a solid example of how to make franchise horror great again.

Written and directed once again by series veteran Don Mancini, the film follows Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, daughter of the voice of Chucky himself, Brad Dourif), who survived Chucky massacring several members of her family in 2013's Curse of Chucky, only to be convicted of the crime herself. Now, after spending the last four years enduring electroshock therapy at a high-security mental institution, she's being transferred to the medium-security Harrogate Psychiatric Hospital, where she finds herself once again targeted by the killer doll.

Needless to say, it doesn't take long for the institution's patients and staff to start dropping like flies, and fans of blood and gore will be pleased to know that Cult of Chucky doesn't pull any punches when it comes to its depictions of the various gruesome and inventive ways in which the diminutive psychopath dispatches with his victims. At the same time, however, the film also maintains the same tongue-in-cheek sense of dark humor the franchise is known for, making for a crowd-pleasing combination that will certainly play well to a theater full of Chucky fans.

In fact, at the time of this writing, Cult of Chucky is scheduled to make its big screen Canadian debut at the 12th annual Toronto After Dark film festival. And while it may seem counterintuitive to premiere a movie theatrically after it has been released on Blu-ray, the roundabout logic actually works in the film's favor. With ample fan service, including a small role for Child's Play actor Alex Vincent, Cult of Chucky is one of the franchise's best entries, and it's definitely one to be experienced in the company of as many like-minded individuals as possible.

Cult of Chucky boasts a visual aesthetic that looks fantastic on Blu-ray, thanks to the way the film's sterile setting contrasts with the many crimson splashes of blood and guts, not to mention the red, green and blue stripes of Chucky's trademark outfit, all of which this 1080p transfer renders with razor-sharp perfection. Paired with a robust DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix that channels the film's dialogue and creepy-sounding score with crystal clarity, to say nothing of the crackles of lightning and rumbles of thunder, terrified screams and maniacal cackling that pepper the movie, and there's no doubt that this is the next best thing to a full theatrical experience.

Universal's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes two cuts of the movie (a Rated Version and an Unrated Version), an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (5:36) - Three scenes, playable with or without commentary by director/writer/executive producer Don Mancini ("Nurse Carlos Sells Photos of Nica," "Madeleine's Prescription" and "Nurse Carlos Makes Amends").
  • Inside the Insanity of Cult of Chucky (6:43) - A look at the lasting appeal of Chucky, the familiar faces in the cast, the film's asylum setting, the memorable kills, the practical special effects, and where the franchise could go from here.
  • Good Guy Gone Bad: The Incarnations of Chucky (5:03) - Head Puppeteer/Associate Producer Tony Gardner gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that goes into bringing Chucky to life onscreen, from the team of puppeteers who control his every movement to the many different customized components and animatronics used for various scenes.
  • The Dollhouse (7:37) - Kyra Gardner, daughter of Tony Gardner, interviews the cast and crew about their experiences making the Chucky films and how they've all grown together as a family.
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Writer/Executive Producer Don Mancini and Head Puppeteer/Associate Producer Tony Gardner - The pair talk about filming in Winnipeg, the cast and the actors who have appeared in previous installments, the production design, the blood and gore of the series, the movie's aesthetic, the homages to the previous films, and more.

Cult of Chucky is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of October 3rd, 2017. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and Spanish and French DTS 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 30 min. (Rated Version) and 1 hr. 34 min. (Unrated Version)

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