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It’s only toward the film’s finale that Cult of Chucky starts to become fun and even then it is for the most part entertainment of the cheaply done so-bad-it’s-good fan service kind.

For those with only a passing knowledge of the Child's Play mythology Cult of Chucky will start out confusing and after that the movie never gives you a chance to get up to speed. Hell, even for me, who has seen all the movies in the fanchise, Cult of Chucky felt like a narrative too busy with tying up loose strands to be enjoyable as a stand-alone horror flick.

The action takes place a few years after Curse of Chucky, with that film's protagonist - the wheelchair-bound Nica Pierce - being sequestered in a remote asylum for the criminally insane. Obviously visions of the murdering doll still haunt her, and before you know it Chucky rises from the grave once more to terrorise her and the other inmates.

The promise of the asylum setting doesn't lead to a lot of tangible tension or shlocky fun unfortunately, at least not in the picture's first hour. The squeaky clean set design, a predictable build-up and badly acted supporting characters all drag down Cult of Chucky into tedium.

Things do pick up once the third act kicks in with a flurry of gorey deaths, but here too the convoluted ways in which series creator Don Mancini weaves together the separate plot strans leaves a lot to be desired.

At least the final minutes deliver a satisfying conclusion to the entire Child's Play mythology, even if once assumes another chapter will always be just around the corner.

release: 2017

director: Don Mancini

starring: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent


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