Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Director credits Winnipeg shoot for giving sixth Chucky movie fresh face

  • Print
default video player to use on WFP

When one hears about a made-in-Winnipeg film winning an award at a major North American festival, one tends to think of Guy Maddin, and not a direct-to-DVD horror sequel.

But it was the latter that won the audience award at the Fantasia Film Festival in August. The movie was Curse of Chucky, the sixth in a horror series that began 25 years ago with Child's Play in 1988 and continued with Child's Play 2 and 3, Bride of Chucky, with the penultimate instalment, Seed of Chucky, arriving in 2004.

Curse was shot in Winnipeg in September and October of 2012 on a budget of $5 million. It demonstrates a shift back to pure horror in contrast to the darkly comic sensibility of the previous two films.

Director Don Mancini wrote the screenplays for all the films and directed the last two. On the phone from Los Angeles, Mancini says that despite the direct-to-DVD status of the film, it represented a fresh start to the franchise and he was gratified to see enthusiastic response to the film at genre festivals in both Montreal and London.

"People are really liking it," he says. "A lot of things went right and I think one of them was that we ended up shooting in Winnipeg.

"The crew in Winnipeg was amazing, some of the most talented people I've ever worked with in 25 years of doing this."

That sentiment is evidently sincere. On the Blu-ray extras, a documentary titled Playing with Dolls: The Making of Curse of Chucky highlights the gory handiwork (including an eye-popping, a decapitation and a throat-slitting) of makeup ace Doug Morrow, the excellent old-dark-house production design of Craig Sandells, and the stunt co-ordination of Rick Skene, as well as the chilling cinematography of Michael Marshall, locals all.

"We're really proud of the fact that the reviews are stating the movie looks like a theatrical-quality release, and I think a lot of that has to do with the Winnipeg crew," Mancini says. "They are all extremely talented and are all just a bunch of like-minded movie geeks, really.

"It was just so much fun to come to work on this endeavour that we saw eye-to-eye on. We would all cite the same movies and make the same references, and it was a fantastic experience. I would really like to come up there and make another movie."

"The production design and the photography are really amazing in the film," he says, citing Sandell's design of the rambling Victorian abode in which the action takes place. "The house in this movie was just incredible. It was not possible to find an uninteresting angle on this place. It was so much fun to shoot in."

In the film, the innocent-seeming Chucky doll, possessed by the malevolent spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is delivered to the home of a wheelchair-bound young woman (Dourif's daughter, Fiona Dourif) and proceeds to play homicidal havoc with the members of her family.

The film's tone is closer to the original Child's Play than it is Seed of Chucky and Bride of Chucky, in which the franchise veered into self-parody. Curse is a deliberate throwback in the face of Hollywood's abundant remakes of horror franchises of the '70s and '80s -- including reboots of Halloween, Nightmare of Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Mancini says he and producing partner David Kirschner explored the possibility of a Child's Play remake.

"But it just became too difficult," he says. "We did the first movie at MGM and, subsequently, the sequels were done by Universal. The rights to Child's Play were owned jointly by MGM and Universal and it just becomes a nightmare of lawyers and phone calls.

"So after trying to deal with that for a couple of years, we thought: Well, we could grow old and die waiting for this to happen. So let's just move on and make a sequel," Mancini says.

"David and I are also horror fans and we'd seen all those movies and we came to the conclusion that what horror fans really want to see is not a remake of an overly familiar story, but rather the character that they know and love -- or love to hate -- in a brand-new adventure. So that's what we tried to give them."

Curse of Chucky is available on video on demand and DVD as of today. See Thursday's Uptown section for a review.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 8, 2013 D1


Updated on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:33 AM CDT: replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Andrew Ladd talks about his injury

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google