When I first saw “Childs Play” as a kid I remember many sleepless nights and a lot of my toys being locked and barricaded in the closet around bedtime.
One of the great things about “Childs Play” was that no matter how scared I was (as a kid) I kept asking my parents if I could watch it again. Same went for the sequels
Don Mancini managed to create a horror icon that can stand alongside Freddy, Jason and Micheal Myers and is just as memorable even if he is a little bit vertically challenged.
Mancini’s sixth and latest installment in the “Chucky” franchise is “Curse of Chucky.”
After the delivery of a good guy doll to an isolated house in the country side, there is a mysterious death that leaves Nica (Fiona Dourif ) a handicapped girl all alone.
When her family comes to her to seek options on what to do with the estate Chucky starts doing what Chucky does best and the house is thrown into bloody chaos.
“Curse of Chucky” is as good or better than the first “Childs Play.” Mancini goes with a stylistic approach that separates it from the rest of the “Chucky” films. It plays out in a unique way that centers all the tension based on isolation and the inability to get help.
I had the chance to ask Director Mancini a few questions about the film and what Chucky has plans for in the future.
iHorror: What were some of the influences in the style of this one? I noticed some Hitchcockesque shots.
Mancini: “Definetly I think particularly the scene with the poison dinner. I tried to shoot it in a very Hitchcockian and De Palma way with the crane shot rising up from the table.”
iHorror: That was a great shot by the way; it reminded me of Russian Roulette with each guest being a chamber at the table.
Mancini: That is exactly what it is meant to be, we know that one in six bowls is poisoned. And one of these six people is gonna drop dead and we don’t know who. It was dilbertatly a circular table with these six circular bowls knowing that would resemble a roulette wheel spinning.
iHorror: The house was great, was that a set or on location?
Mancini: The exterior of the house is an actual house it was actually a bed and breakfast that we found in Winnipeg, but the interior is all a set built on sound stage.
The actual house in Winnipeg is perfectly preserved and spiffy, so we had to bring in leaves and brush and it’s amazing what you can do and to make things look dilapidated and isolated. We have an early shot in the movie where the house is surrounded by forest, and it was important to the story that you realize they are in the middle of nowhere and help is not readily available.
iHorror: The story like that house is filled with total isolation, what was the reason for going with that?
Mancini: Well in the story you have to create a reason why people just can’t run next door for help or run anywhere really. Its just creates more tension when they are isolated. You need to create a reason the characters are cut off from any potential help.
iHorror: Brad Dourif’s daughter (voice of Chucky) the beautiful Fiona Dourif is the star in this one, did they ever actually get to work together onset being that he is the voice of Chucky.
Mancini: They didn’t share any scenes together per say, other than her scene with the doll where she is acting with her fathers voice but brad came up to Winnipeg to shoot his scenes in the flashback and that was at the top of the shooting schedule. But he ended up sticking around for another week or two. Brad was just really proud, he was the proud papa.
iHorror: Who’s casting decision was that?
Mancini: I had known Brad for many years and I had met Fiona a couple of times mostly as she was a kid, but I knew she was working as an actress and Brad mentioned to me when we were in pre-production that she had just done “The Master.” So, I said lets have her come in and read for something. Originally she read for the part of the bitchy sister. And she was good but I was watching her and thinking she would make a great Neeka (the lead character) and she absolutely blew us away she was fantastic. Really Fiona got the role herself she got it the old fashioned way by auditioning and being the best. She reminded of Amy Irving qualities from “Carrie” and the fury, those De Palma movies from the 70s.
iHorror: If Annabelle (the doll from “The Conjuring”) and Chucky were to throw down and battle each other who would come out victorious?
Mancini: Chucky would have Annabelle eating out of the palm of his hand within 30 seconds. I think Annabelle would be helpless in the face of Chucky’s charms.
iHorror: Fans are going to be excited to see the post the great post credit sequence, was that linear to the rest of the film and if not how does it fit in?
Mancini: I don’t want to say too much. It’s meant to bring up questions, which I intend to answer in the next movie. It was definitely designed to be a cliffhanger; I want those questions to stay with people until we get to “Chucky 7.” There is definitely a cool way that it gets explained.