Review: “Seed of Chucky”

In the post-“Scream” environment of the late 90’s, self-referential sarcastic horror was all the rage for a few years until the likes of “The Ring” and “The Grudge” mutated it into churning out the more serious PG-13 spooky thrillers that are hot today. Back in the hey day though, the success of “Scream” had horror movie makers seeing money floating in front of their eyes and as a result, many of the old 80’s slasher franchises were dusted off and given a rejuvenation to try and cash in on the craze. The result saw two sequels in particular emerge that ended up being quite good – “Halloween: H20” and “Bride of Chucky”.

‘Bride’, a more comedic and glossy looking fourth entry of the lackluster “Child’s Play” series, proved that and old dog can learn new tricks. Whilst it was far from being a great movie, it was a darkly funny near spoof of the earlier films in the series and an effectively entertaining B-movie. Now, after a rights dispute that lasted years, along comes “Seed of Chucky” which sadly wasn’t worth the wait. ‘Seed’ to ‘Bride’ is the same as “Halloween: Resurrection” was to “Halloween: H20” – it directly follows the tone and events of the last film, but aside from a few inspired moments, it is just as bad as all the other pre-reinvention sequels that came before.

Lacking any real suspense or horror, “Seed” is essentially a high camp comedy with gore thrown in every now and then to satiate the masses. For every clever Hollywood in-joke or twisted moment of black humour there’s groan-inducingly bad broad slapstick or dialogue which sounds like a poor man’s version of “The Player”. The story is weak, the general concept stretched far too thin and the direction often quite off in terms of timing and pace. At one moment its trying to be something quite sinister, the next it seems to be trying to spoof “Mommie Dearest” and doing a bad job at it.

Jokes about puppet masturbation and parenting fall flat, though a running gag about the gender confusion of the new kid (a direct reference to Ed Wood’s infamous “Glen or Glenda”) yields a few laughs. Tilly isn’t afraid to make fun of herself and does so with gusto, earning her the appreciation of many a genre fan and this reviewer. At times the comedy schtick she pulls feels forced or flat, but she perseveres through it all and gets a few laughs in. Surprisingly the Romanian-location shoot quite effectively doubles for Los Angeles. All in all though, its just a mess of a film on many levels.