In the field of horror, there are a wide array of things that have scared people, but few things have gone quite as far as Chucky from the Child’s Play series. As a demented, overly animated doll that is the very incarnation of that common childhood fear that your toys will come to life – and massacre everyone in your household. Next to Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street or Jason from Friday the 13th, Chucky is probably one of the most well recognized icons of horror, pint sized tho he be.
In this film, from 1998, Chucky gets lucky, according to the tagline. How lucky you feel he gets will be in direct proportion to how attractive you find Jennifer Tilly to be. The official title of this film is Child’s Play 4: Bride of Chucky, but Tilly’s entry to the series as the character Tiffany marks a definite shift for this movie into a more comedic direction. You won’t find the movie too grim because it’s too busy making fun of itself to bother trying for many scares. If anything you can expect to snicker, but not much more than that. There are a whole lot of horror ‘in jokes’ strewn throughout the movie so if you’re a fan of the genre they are definitely pitching to your crowd.
The basic story is dead simple: Chucky’s remains are revived by his girlfriend, he kills her to put her soul in a doll, too, and bedlam ensues. Because of Chucky’s pre-doll life as a serial killer, he needs an amulet to transfer his soul from his present doll form back into a human body. Together, Tiffany and Chucky make up a doll version of Bonnie and Clyde type inclinations. While the story doesn’t veer too far off the Child’s Play track, it does diverge in some significant ways in terms of tone and style. As long as you’re alright with the self-mocking style, you may find this movie enjoyable. In this reviewer’s opinion it’s a lot better if you go into it expecting a comedy because while it has plenty of traditional horror elements, it’s much more about the laughs than the body count.
There are plenty of times when solid horror is what we’re looking for in a film and perhaps some fans of Child’s Play won’t like Bride of Chucky, but it really is difficult not to get a laugh out of a film that is this pointedly over the top. A pair of wisecracking dolls that probably inspired the Living Dead Dolls that are so popular these days. It’s a fun romp down the Chucky path for those who appreciate the villain and it’s certainly going to give you a decent soundtrack. Judas Priest, Coal Chamber, Type O Negative, Monster Magnet and Slayer are only a few of the more well known bands featured. As much as the film spends significant time making fun of Chucky as “so 80s”, in itself it’s a celebration of what this character meant to those who were children themselves during that decade.
In the end, Bride of Chucky is fun way to branch this series in a playful direction that’s a truly enjoyable to watch even if you don’t end up keeping an eye on your sister’s doll collection for the next 2 weeks.