Seed of Chucky Review
In the seventeen years (at the time of writing) this franchise has been making films this is the only one I've seen all the way through. Chucky the murderous doll, actually a serial killer that used voodoo to transfer his soul to the doll, is back for his fifth outing hoping to capitalise on the huge success of Bride of Chucky from 1998. Ten years previous Child's Play was released onto an unsuspecting audience, taking amongst others, a little known Twilight Zone story Living Doll as is inspiration and filmed as pure horror it was a reasonable success; so much so that two horror sequels were made from it. The third is probably the most remembered though not from the films success, rather the utter nonsense that surrounded its involvement with a certain child murder, never proven but always quoted. To reinvigorate, or to change direction due to public outcry, writer Mancini decided with Bride to used the Raimi route of Evil Dead 2 and combined horror and comedy; it worked and Bride became the most successful of the Chucky series so far, brining us up to date with this, the biggest budgeted Chucky ever.
Having successfully introduced Tiffany, Chucky's wife from Bride, the natural extension is to add a child to the mix, and this is the seed of the title. Their child is a genderless monstrosity, plagued by nightmares and scared by all around. After escaping captivity as a ventriloquists dummy in England and successfully reanimating his parents in L.A. (who by this time are making a fictitious film inspired by 'real life' murders) the child is given names, Glen or Glenda (in a nod to Ed Wood) depending on his parent's preference. At this moment, the 'family' becomes whole, complete with problems and all, associating murder as an addiction, the bringing up of the child with is gender problems and all the while hatching a plan to return to human form thus becoming real again. Such is the basic premise; add a few gory murders, unnecessary violence and some spoof comedy and you have a film that appeals to the teen market and does manage to capitalise on in the success of its prequels.
Writer Don Mancini takes the directors chair for the first time and does a pretty good job. He keeps the picture on track, never missing a beat, with enough action, pathos and empathy from all concerned to make one feel for the characters, dolls though they might be. Now this is not a serious attempt at family characterisation and should never be considered as such, yet there is enough tenderness with Glenda/Tiffany relationship to evoke a little emotion. For the most part, though, Mancini keeps us in pure cheese mode; utilising the much seen film within a film premise, and having Jennifer Tilly and Redman play exaggerated aspects of themselves add to this. John Waters plays an excellent paparazzi that comes to a sticky end and was given the part due to his admiration of the Chucky films. There are also scenes of decent suspense, but the horror/violence is pure 'Monty Python' throughout with exaggerated blood and gore that fits well into the films remit. Effects wise there is little to fault, the dolls are exceptionally well done, and the CGI is nicely left to the sidelines filling when necessary but never intrusive. On the whole an enjoyable little flick, first timers (like me) get enough from it without having to see the originals, and fans themselves should gain enough to keep the franchise going; just don't take it seriously and view as entertainment.