The Scariest Scene In Curse Of Chucky Really Bites Back

(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror with your tour guides, horror experts Matt Donato and Ariel Fisher. In this edition, Matt welcomes Chucky's shift into gothic horror while Ariel makes it clear that the Good Guy doll is never welcome in her house.)

My ironclad love for the "Child's Play" franchise won't allow me to say there's a "worst" entry because they're all special. Around the internet, echoed through horror conventions, naysayers will tell you "Seed Of Chucky" is that low point. Don Mancini followed "Bride of Chucky" with an even more comedy-centric slasher that included a rubber-tugging Chucky, and fans weren't thrilled. Some wondered how Mancini could continue with a franchise that once turned playtime into a nightmare — could "Child's Play" recover?

Since you're here with me now, you know that Brad Dourif will continue voicing Chucky in movies and on television with season two of "Chucky" currently in production.

After "Seed of Chucky," Universal's home video department gave Chucky a chance to prove that fans still wanted more entries in the franchise. "Curse of Chucky" followed "Seed" by abandoning meta Hollywood satires for a return to brutal basics, including a fresh new Chucky doll without Frankenstein scars. It was a reboot at first glance, with Mancini returning to the straightforward horror approach that started everything in 1988. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

The setup

It's 2013, almost a decade after the "Seed of Chucky" massacre. Mancini focuses on what appears to be a new Good Guy doll, given the lack of facial scars on account of Tiffany Valentine's revival work at the beginning of "Bride of Chucky." We meet a new family, new targets, and a new location. There's little connection to the rest of the franchise as "Curse of Chucky" begins, which we discover is a brilliant ruse plotted by Mancini to hide its sequel status from the world.

The story so far

A Good Guy doll appears on the doorstep of paraplegic Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif). Later that night, Nica's mother, Sarah (Chantal Quesnel) is found dead from a stab wound which is ruled a suicide. The tragedy brings visitors to Nica's home: Nica's sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti), her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), their daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell), their live-in nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell), and priest Father Frank (A Martinez). Alice becomes immediate friends with Chucky, the same way other children in the franchise become Chucky's cover. No one suspects the knee-high cuddle buddy.

First to die is Father Frank, who's decapitated while driving home after consuming chili with rat poison for dinner. Nica does some internet sleuthing after the incident and finds out about the murders tied to Good Guy dolls and Charles Lee Ray. While that's happening, Chucky electrocutes Jill and causes a blackout. Barb goes on the hunt for Alice, who is now missing, with Chucky in her arms, and eventually ends up in the attic, distracted by Sarah's old artwork. That's when she directs her attention back to Chucky, who's waiting patiently as a doll in hiding.

The scene

After gasping at a mouse and startle-stepping in front of Chucky now sitting on a shelf, Barb regains her composure. His face has a permanent grin, which eerily taunts Barb as she can only see using the handheld light in a pitch-black attic. That's when something catches her eye in the spotlight — loosened flaps of rubber skin on Chucky's face. The glossy and smooth surface of Chucky's chin, cheeks, and forehead now shows some masking adhesive. An added layer of some sort.

Curiosity gets the better of Barb as she starts tugging on the exposed flaps.

First, Barb peels down from Chucky's lip to reveal black stitches. Her eyes widen and her mouth slacks, shocked by the ugly damage. Barb removes more excess doll flesh around Chucky's left eye, revealing a long row of stitches holding the doll's head together. She raises the torn-away patch in horror, noticeably freaking the hell out for obvious reasons.

When the camera cuts back to Chucky, it's another closeup on his face but we can tell a different prop doll is being used. The prior views show a Chucky that's immobile; no need to puppeteer his movements or speech. Now he's more animatronic looking, with human features. This is the version Barb goes to inspect a third time.

She cautiously moves her fingers to Chucky's mouth again, slow as molasses. We know Chucky's ready to attack just by the switcheroo of dolls. Although, he still doesn't at first. He smiles back at a visibly frightened Barb, who continues — or attempts to continue — exposing more wounds on Alice's new favorite companion.

Just as Barb's fingers make their way almost into Chucky's mouth, he lunges forward to bite them like they're hors d'oeuvre sausages. The score's creeky strings and the tightly framed cinematography are proper scare setups that sustain an inescapably creepy mood. When Chucky chomps at Barb, we know it's coming but are still taken aback because it's just so aggressive — Chucky's jolt breaks the silence. He's finally the mini menace we remember, love, and fear.

The impact (Ariel's take)

Listen, I dig the "Child's Play" and "Chucky" movies, but Matt and I definitely differ in our ability to say there's a "worst" entry in the franchise, but this one sits somewhere in the middle for me. Then again, my unfettered adoration of both "Bride" and "Seed of Chucky" kind of make this a rigged competition. How can you compete?? Simple answer: you can't.

"Curse" really goes back to the roots of the franchise, while also maintaining the tongue-in-cheek flare we've come to associate with Mancini's work with the Good Guy doll. That said, I struggle through most of this one until the big twist. That's when s*** gets really fun, in my opinion!

This scene is the gateway to that, and it's a solid jump scare. Watching anyone stare at Chucky dead-on is scary enough without them pulling back his plastic concealer. And then she sticks her fingers in his mouth?? Nope. Hard pass.

Freddy is my favorite slasher villain, and "Scream" is probably my favorite slasher franchise, but ol' Chucky here has always scared the shit out of me. My husband and I have tons of horror paraphernalia — posters, collectibles, replicas, you name it — but a Good Guy doll is one of very few items I refuse to let into our house. For good reason.