61 Days of Halloween: Seed of Chucky (2004)


For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, as well as a list of previously featured titles, please go here.

Seed of Chucky (2004)

With Seed of Chucky I went in expecting next to nothing based on what occurred the last time around. What I got in it was surprising, if not redemptive. The film series that in Chucky’s first not-targeting-a-kid film felt a bit unbalanced. Here, albeit further out on a cliff, with still some head-scratchers and eye-rollers (it really wastes some time at the beginning) the film goes into a full-on-meta rendition, after it hinted at a world wherein Chucky (as well as Jason and Michael Myers) were real.

Jennifer Tilly’s involvement here makes much more sense because it gives her plenty more to do (being both onscreen and working voice) and is an appropriately self-deprecating, yet oddly reverential work for her. Also, striking mostly correct and humorous notes are the participation of Redman and John Waters, two men whom I never believed I would put in the same sentence together.

While the Glen or Glenda homage here is subtler and more clever than the Bride of Frankenstein in the previous installment, it may have been the only thing subtle about the entire thing. It does become more and more outlandish as it goes but a lot of the jokes and kills work to great effect.

While there is a descent into an unfortunate cacophony of events and screaming there is a some of actual self-exploration by these villains-turned-protagonists. As hard as it is to believe, there is some internal and external conflict in the film about their natures and trying to fulfill their pyrrhic mission of returning to human form.

However, not only do the blunders that hold it back come out far too often, but a lot of the good that’s done towards the middle of the film is undone by the grinding to a halt nature of the climactic sequences as well as what happens in the tag. I grant that to get any enjoyment out of this film at all, you do have to be prepared for any and all kinds of sophomoric, silly content that doesn’t further things too much.

It’s a sequel wherein I didn’t mind the direction it chose to go in at all, it just didn’t get there as well as it could have. It’s also a film in a bit of a catch-22. The prior film of the series crossed a point of no return: the girlfriend was brought into the fold so the direction of the series was altered. This film went further afield so to continue down that road would’ve been foolhardy. It was definitely time for the reset button to be hit after this one if it was to continue at all.

Said direct sequel that, based on reports, goes back to its roots is due out on video on October 8th

61 Days of Halloween: Bride of Chucky (1998)


For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, and a list of previously featured films, please go here.

Bride of Chucky (1998)

This is the point wherein the Child’s Play series takes a departure from its original course. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. In general, horror sequels can be repetitive enough as it is without having the same antagonist/protagonist paradigm every time out. However, what happens here, after a halfway-decent setup, in which Chucky’s ex-girlfriend finally hunts him down in doll form and resurrects him; is that this installment wanders too far into the realm of self-parody.

As I previously noted, comedy was always a part of the equation in the initial run of these films, as there is a reboot in the offing. However, far too much of this one is comedy. Furthermore, it falls into the trap of late-series horror films of making the antagonist the star. While the films were always referred to commonly as “Chucky movies” his name never made it into the title until this installment.

The antagonist becoming the lead late is not inherently a bad thing, but what matters is who they’re up against, how present they are and what they hope to achieve. Far too much of the film is spent with Chucky and his newly-formed doll-bride sitting and waiting, listening as a troubled girlfriend and boyfriend are eloping, and then running from the law because of what the demon dolls did.

Not only are this couple annoying but the girl is portrayed by Katherine Heigl so it’s essentially doomed from the start. The Frankenstein myth-lending is fine but the spiral this film goes down, and ends up being even more ridiculous, less humorous and interesting than I had anticipated. Mind you this is following a first act that was slightly better than expected. However, at the end I was left wondering not only what Jennifer Tilly was doing in this film, but everyone involved.