Bride of Chucky was slightly self-aware and entertainingly bad; Seed is too self-aware and much less entertaining.
Chucky (voice of Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (voice of Jennifer Tilly) find themselves in a Hollywood feature based on their exploits, which of course include the original dolls “found at the scene of the unsolved murders.” That isn’t the only thing found at the scene all those years ago, and now something has traveled from afar looking for Chuck and Tiff: their abandoned son (voiced by Billy Boyd).
This fifth installment of the Child’s Play series, the story of a serial killer that possesses a “Good Guy” high-tech children’s doll and goes on a killing spree, is directed this time by the series writer Don Mancini. After Bride of Chucky, featuring John Ritter being wonderfully murdered twice (RIP), the series looked ready for a total revival; it hit the right combination of story, cheese, effects, and horror that reinvented itself for the better. An image change by the producing studio (complete with an apology!) almost sunk any chance for this sequel, but only the die-hard fan base is likely going to find anything to savor.
The most obvious problem with the film is in the editing in time with the story; everyone’s standing around, as if the characters are waiting to be fed their lines. Fast paced cuts are left hanging on the screen, stretching both the running time and the audience’s patience. Like too many films before it (including the proposed script for the next Halloween installment), movie-making meets mayhem with all the usual Tinseltown cliché (sleezy paparazzi, mousy personal assistants, clueless technicians, and actresses on “the casting couch”). The only thing missing was a cameo by Leslie Nielsen.
And what happened to the great kills? Chucky’s calling card has always been the opportunity to do something creatively sick (like shattering a mirror above an occupied waterbed), but the murders are tame and generic this time. Jennifer Tilly playing herself star-struck WITH herself is amusing for about sixty seconds before it gets old, and Redman takes way too long to die; the rest of the cast (save for the dolls) aren’t even interesting victims. The dolls, however, are top notch but spend too much time discussing family problems; haven’t they figured out yet that the family the slays together stays together?
Gags are hit-and-miss and those that do are run into the ground, but nothing in this films measures up to the sheer joy of the kill that Bride of Chucky brought to the screen. If this installment does conjure up enough box office receipts to keep going, here’s hoping the premise is better than this; even the fake movie they’re making IN the movie (“Chucky Goes Psycho”) sounded like it’d had more promise than this.
(a two skull recommendation out of four)