Monday, May 15, 2017

A Father/Daughter Horror Franchise, or Thoughts on Fiona Dourif in Curse of Chucky

It’s always nice to see the younger generation taking over the family business, especially if that family business involves wisecracking killer dolls from the 80’s (which is an excellent title for this post) and in Curse of Chucky (2013), Fiona Dourif, Brad’s daughter, portrays Nica Pierce, a wheelchair-bound psychology student who receives a mysterious, doll-sized package in the mail.  Nica lives with her mother in an atmospheric Victorian mansion complete with elevator, so you know the filmmakers are going to do an updated variation of Olivia De Haviland’s Lady in a Cage (1964) at some point.
Besides the clever casting, most of the Chucky movies since his debut in Child’s Play (1988) has been all about waiting for Chucky to do his thing.  Like Jason and Freddy, audiences have always been attracted to the supernatural killer who never gives up, and his victims and the families he breaks up become interchangeable.  This is the sixth Chucky film, and director Don Mancini has been associated with the franchise, either as a writer or a director since 1988.  At this point he arguably knows Chucky as well or even better than Brad Dourif.
Watch out for the Jennifer Tilly cameo as Tiffany, Chucky’s girlfriend, and Alex Vincent as Andy, Chucky’s first little buddy, all grown up now.
You may remember Fiona from her impressive performance as Bart Curlish, the holistic assassin from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  As Nica she is resourceful and not defined by her wheelchair, but to be honest I’m not certain I would have given this movie a watch without her starring in it.  Her father Brad Dourif made his big screen debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) before gaining steady and consistent film work in the past 40 years including appearances in Blue Velvet (1986) and Dune (1984) and creating memorable characters like Doc Cochrane from Deadwood, Ensign Lon Suder from Star Trek Voyager and especially Grima Wormtongue. 

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