Bride of Chucky is a 1998 comedy/horror movie and is the fourth film in the Child’s Play series. It stars Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Katherine Heigl and John Ritter.
Since Bride of Chucky was released in 1998, this review will NOT be spoiler free.
A Hockey Mask, a Razor Glove and a Doll!?
Child’s Play was released in 1988 and was applauded for its original concept. The 1980’s were dominated by slasher films, and by 1988 the general public was pretty burnt out on them. Child’s Play was a fresh take on the slasher idea. It didn’t give us an average to large sized man running around gutting horny teens. It told the story of a possessed doll trying to take over the body of a child and mowing down anyone that got in his way. The movie was such a hit it quickly spawned two sequels, Child’s Play 2 (1990) and Child’s Play 3 (1991). Child’s Play 3 underperformed at the box office and is generally pushed aside by fans (for good reason). This ultimately lead people to believe we had seen the last of Chucky.
In 1998, 7 years after the last film, series creator and writer Don Mancini gave us Bride of Chucky. In my opinion he did exactly what he should have done. He embraced the series for what it was and went all in. Let’s be honest. The idea of a voodoo loving, small-time criminal running around in the body of a doll is completely absurd. It worked in the first one, but that’s not a premise that can sustain being scary. Bride of Chucky picks up where Child’s Play 3 left off story wise, but that’s where the similarities end. Bride of Chucky introduces us to Charles Lee Ray’s ex-girlfriend, Tiffany (the lovely Jennifer Tilly). She was heartbroken over his death and manages to get her hands on the chopped up doll body of Chucky. Through some voodoo she is able to resurrect him and be reunited with her former lover. Naturally, they have a spat as lovers do and by means of a quick murder and ritual, Tiffany also ends up in a dolls body. Hilarity ensues.
Self Aware and Completely Absurd
Bride of Chucky fully embraces the absurdity of a murderous doll and puts Chucky in a familiar situation to the viewers, that of a man in a relationship. From beginning to end Bride of Chucky is filled with laughs, blood and murderous dolls. Bride of Chucky represents not only the best of the series, but ranks up there in the best of all horror/comedy movies. Watching Chucky and Tiffany travel across the country with hostages leaves very few, if any, dull points. Even when Chucky and Tiffany meet their eventual demise, Tiffany gives birth to their evil baby doll child before she goes. This sets up the entertaining sequel, Seed of Chucky, which should also be viewed.
Bride of Chucky is a perfect example of making a joke instead of becoming a joke. Far too many horror franchises don’t realize that they’re just becoming parodies of themselves and keep churning out the same, recycled garbage they did in prior installments. Don Mancini has the vision to steer the Child’s Play franchise in a direction that would be successful (it was the most successful sequel in the series) by embracing its absurd nature and making us laugh with it and not at it.
Keep it creepy.