When I first went through this, I got a little excited and boosted it up to be an immediate "favourite". I can still say it's certainly one of my favourites in the franchise, but I cannot deny that it wasn't perfectly done, either. There are a few gaping plot holes to this, indeed. Having said that, though, what keeps this film in a favoured position within the franchise has everything to do with the film going back to Chucky's roots and cranking up the "creep factor" instead of giving us Chucky as we know him so quickly and easily.
To begin with, what made 'Child's Play' such a good horror movie is that it was subtle throughout a good chunk of it. There's this whole space for the audience to wonder if it is all in Andy's head, and that uncertainty is terrifying no matter where it lands. Either you're looking at a child with terrible mental health issues, potentially able to kill... or the doll is actually alive and killing people, which, let's face it, is just a super creepy concept altogether. However, as the films went on, Chucky became too much of an icon to keep subtle at all - particularly in 'Bride' and 'Seed'! But thankfully, this one keeps the subtle creepiness up for most of the film. As far as suspenseful Chucky movies go, this one still comes out on top!
This chapter introduces us to a new cast of characters, starting with paraplegic, Nica Pierce (Fiona Douriff - Brad's daughter) and her mother (Chantal Quesnelle). They receive a mysterious package in the mail, and upon opening it, Chucky (Brad Douriff) is revealed, and given to little Alice (Summer Howell), the daughter of Nica's sister, Barb (Danielle Bisutti) and husband, Ian (Brennan Elliott) who come by to stay for a little while, after Nica suffers through a major tragedy. Things start happening around the house, and it goes back to the old "Chucky did it" or "Chucky said it" ways of the first film - which, again, was part of what made things creepy, to begin with.
The overall plot of things, I suppose, is at a point of what's to be expected. However, this time, the whole "finding a human body" thing takes a real back seat to the mystery horror that involves Chucky going around this mansion, murdering people, and again, taking the mental health of Alice into consideration as well as Nica's. I further admire that by making Nica paraplegic, it adds to this idea of being helpless against a little doll. Logically, the viewer's mind just says to give him a good solid kick to the face with a steel-toed boot. But if you're not able to do that and are confined to a wheelchair, that victim vulnerability just makes more sense.
Another thing to admire about this chapter was the cinematography. There was something about the way this was filmed, using lighting to its advantage, as well as certain perspectives that just added to the horror aspect of everything. It's a true breath of fresh air from the horror comedies were 'Bride' and 'Seed'. Those were okay for a time when horror was becoming self-aware and silly, but eventually, that got old, and things needed to get eerie again. 'Curse of Chucky' delivers things very nicely as a bit more of a haunted house film than a straight-up slasher flick, which is nice because it brings back that psychological factor we've been missing for a while.
When it comes to Chucky, himself, there's something more sinister feeling about this particular incarnation. He has a range of faces, going from the innocent Chucky Doll who "likes to be hugged" to the sadistic-looking Charles Lee Ray persona who possesses the doll. But going beyond that, here, we catch Chucky in between poses and his face gets an EXTRA creepy look to it. I think this is the only movie he ever does that, but the look he gives is nightmare fuel. His kills are another thing to be admired (in a way). The movie does a great job with the fake-out kill. You assume someone's gonna get offed one way, but it ends up being completely different. Unpredictability, especially in horror, is always something to be admired.
Heck, this chapter even has creepier music added to it. Director Don Mancini REALLY stepped up for this one after the overall disappointment that was 'Seed'. He does a good job with bringing things together as well, connecting this a little bit more to the original trilogy than the newer "Chucky" stuff - although it should be clear that by the end of the film it ALL sort of comes together. The film, as a whole, is a pretty great smorgasbord for fans of the franchise. It refers back to the previous films, there's plenty of fan service, and nostalgia, and it's a great balance of fun and scary. But it does it without becoming a horror comedy. It's just my humble opinion, but I'd say it's easily one of the best in the series.