Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.
There seems to be a similar pattern going around that affects the latest sequels to the most popular slasher series of the 80's. These 90's sequels tend to try out something pretty different from its predecessors, to the point of even negating parts of the series. Such films include Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, New Nightmare, and H2O, of which the former two managed to instill new energy back into their respective series again. In this case, Bride of Chucky is going all-out for laughs, and it's quite successful at doing so, making it easily the best film in this not-so-good series.
The movie's first scenes already let us know just how tongue-in-cheek all of this is. A cop enters an evidence room, which includes such items as Michael Myers' and Jason Voorhees' masks, Freddy Krueger's glove, and Leatherface's chainsaw. The cop picks up one specific object we can't see, though it's obvious it's Chucky, the serial-killer possessed doll. Eventually, the doll gets to the hands of Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), who actually turns out to be the killer's (when he was a human) former girlfriend. Using the help of a voodoo book, she revives Chucky, and ends up imprisoning him because she's still angry at him for never marrying her.
Chucky escapes, kills Tiffany, and puts her soul into another doll. Naturally, she freaks out when she sees what's happened to her, but Chucky informs her they can still be human again. The only way for them to do that is to use the amulet that was on the human Chucky's body when he died. Thus, they have to get to that specific cemetary in Hackensack, New Jersey, so they enlist the aid of Jessie (Nick Stabile) and Jade (Katherine Heigl) via phone to deliver some dolls with the promise of big cash. The two young lovers agree and decide to get hitched. All seems well for the two, until murders start popping up around them and they begin to suspect each other, all the meantime never noticing that the dolls are the real culprits.
Bride of Chucky is, simply put, a dark comedy that only has the concern of making its viewers laugh. And boy, some of these jokes are absolutely hilarious. My favorite part is probably the scene where Chucky is crawling back to his van when some stoned pothead sees him. Chucky proceeds to give him the finger, resulting in the pothead's hilarious deadpan response, "Rude f***ing doll!" Another one of my favorite lines must be when Jessie asks Chucky how he got to be this way, and he responds by saying, "It's a long story. In fact, if they made a movie, it'd take 3 or 4 sequels to do it justice." If that doesn't get you laughing, then I wouldn't recommend this movie to you.
But for all those who enjoy tongue-in-cheek horror, this is a treat. The scene-stealers are Chucky and Tiffany, spouting a lot of memorable lines without ever getting into the "hip" style that has annoyingly permeated virtually every other slasher film in recent memory. Brad Dourif, of course, voices Chucky and he hasn't lost that same sense of fun over the years the series was in hiatus. Jennifer Tilly is equally as fun as Tiffany, making for an effective foil to Chucky, and is all the more hilarious because of their love/hate relationship that's positively psychotic.
The special effects are among the movie's highlights; the dolls look mostly flawlessly rendered and amazingly lifelike. But how could any review of Bride of Chucky go by without mentioning the doll sex scene. It's probably the reason it got half the money it did at the box office. Let me just say this, you probably won't believe it, but this sex scene is the most tasteful part of the entire movie! That should give you some idea of what to expect from the rest of the film.
The movie's also got the requisite blood and gore, with particularly memorable death scenes. Despite all the violence, this isn't a movie for die-hard horror fans looking for a scary or suspenseful gorefest. The movie doesn't actually kick into thrill ride mode until the last 10 minutes in the cemetary. Even then, you have to ask yourself just how exciting it is to see dolls and humans duking it out.
Now, even as an intentionally goofy horror/comedy, the movie still has some big flaws. There are no rooting interests at all. The dolls, while obviously funny, are pretty damn crazy. As for the humans, they're either annoying or simply display nothing approaching charisma or good acting.
The movie also takes too long to get going, and considering the movie's only 89 minutes, that's certainly a problem. It's not until the half-hour or so mark that Chucky comes to life again and the road trip to Hackensack doesn't begin until the movie's a little over halfway through. This is a flaw that's made forgivable because once the movie gets going, the pace is unflagging.
I enjoyed Ronny Yu's high-energy direction, which is an approach that closely follows all the other most recent slasher sequels (it actually only worked well in Jason Goes to Hell, but New Nightmare was decent in this respect). After the pedestrian work of the other installments, it's nice to see some sturdy direction. This film's final scenes sets itself up for another sequel, and considering it's box office success, I don't see any reason why it won't happen. Bride of Chucky is goofy and certainly lacking in intelligence, but it's got a hell of a lot of entertainment value, and that's all you could really ask for out of it.
- Oct 9, 2001