Uploaded to MoviePilot July 20th, 2017
In 1988 a little horror movie called Child’s Play was unleashed upon the world. It starred a Cabbage Patch doll wannabe running about and murdering people and it was goddamn amazing. I can still remember my first time seeing it and being terrified by this little killer doll that was relentless as hell. The series recently got a revival with the surprisingly amazing Curse Of Chucky that came out in 2013 and the upcoming Cult Of Chucky is looking to be similarly dark in it’s tone. However, there is one movie in the franchise that always gets pointed to as the lowest point in the series, that being the fifth movie of the franchise Seed Of Chucky.
Eye can see you
Personally, I have nothing but good memories regarding this movie. I think it’s one of the funniest sequels that a horror franchise has ever come up with and one of the best self-referential films in recent years. Yet every time I see an article online about the series there is, inevitably, a reference to Seed and how it almost ruined the franchise. I disagree with that idea and I want to try and explain why it’s a valid sequel that we shouldn’t just discount. For starters, let’s dispel a rumour
Seed Of Chucky Didn’t Ruin The Franchise
A lot of people act as though Seed is why we didn’t get a movie between 2004 and 2013. Somehow they seem to forget that the movie before Seed was Bride Of Chucky which was a huge hit, second highest grossing in the franchise, but was in 1998. six years between Bride and Seed, then nine years between Seed and Curse. That’s just how the cycle works with these movies now. The gap between Child’s Play 3 and Bride was seven years because no one wanted the series anymore. Child’s Play 3 is, officially, the lowest earning film in the franchise before adjusting for inflation. If you adjust for inflation it’s the second lowest, only barely beating Seed (It has about a decade or two worth of added inflation, obviously it’s going to be bigger). Seed isn’t where the franchise went downhill, that started with the third movie. Bride just happened to appear during the horror resurgence of the late 90s.
It can never be said enough, this film saved the horror genre
Seed honestly was just was really unlucky in its timing. Not only did it get made during the early 2000’s when we were saturated with horror movies, it appeared in cinemas two weeks after Saw. If Scream revived the horror genre, Saw changed it. No longer did we want movies that knew all the tropes of horror movies, we weren’t looking for high concept slasher films that didn’t take themselves seriously. We wanted something shocking, something intense. We wanted pure raw terror… you weren’t getting that with Seed. If Seed had come out a year before while we were still in the meta-horror period then it might’ve done better at the box office but it absolutely wasn’t what ruined the franchise, it was just moving with what was popular at the time and didn’t see the surprise that was Saw.
Bride Of Chucky: Part 2
One thing that I respect about the Child’s Play movies is that they don’t ignore previous movies in their franchise, they retain everything as canon no matter what. Series like Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th and even Halloween all have this habit of starting the new movie while forgetting major elements of the previous one. Watch all of those movies in order sometime and tell me that they didn’t pretend key elements of previous films weren’t there (I’m looking at you Halloween 5 and your pretending the last five minutes of Halloween 4 didn’t matter).
Seed uses the ending of Bride of Chucky as it’s entire foundation (Chucky’s child being the focus of Seed’s plotline). Bride ends with a burnt Tiffany giving birth to the demonic spawn that would end up becoming Glen. It’s a genuinely effective scene and could’ve just been written off as a pointless jump scare but Seed takes the ball and runs with it by showing what happened to that child within the first few minutes.
Spoilers: He’s not getting any respect
We spend the best part of the opening exploring this new character who we saw for a few seconds at the end of Bride, and then he becomes the one to bring Chucky and Tiffany back. It brings back the mystical necklace that was a major plot point in Bride so that Glen has the ability to revive his parent’s. It even has Chucky and Tiffany’s life story being made into a movie which is a natural follow up to their murder filled road trip back in the 90s. It doesn’t discount what happened before, it just expands on it.
Also, the tone is very consistent between Bride and Seed, both movies had a very meta approach to their dialogue and both were a lot more comedic than previous incarnations. The comedy that goes throughout Seed is something that really fit into this new sort of Chucky movie. The creators were blunt by just saying “It’s a doll” when they were making this, finally admitting the inherent comedic value of the premise. Chucky was no longer this scary demonic doll everyone was afraid of, we’d been making jokes about him for the better part of 20 years so it makes sense to just embrace the natural silliness of the concept. Speaking of silly concepts…
This Cast Is Bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S.
Who would have thought that a movie could have a rapper, a cult film maker, a former member of S Club 7 and a hobbit in its cast and somehow work? No one, and yet it absolutely does. This is, in my opinion, an absolutely fascinating group of people to put in a movie. We already have the amazing Brad Dourif (Who is, as usual, flawless as Chucky) and Jennifer Tilly (Who we will be talking about more in a minute) but the side cast is just incredible.
Hi, I’m Glen, and I like warm hugs
Billy Boyd taking on the role of Glen and it’s genuinely an amazing performance. He gives the character a vulnerability that comes through in every line and every emotion portrayed by the puppet is perfectly done by the special effects team who took what Billy did and ran with it. On top of it all, he has to handle not just Glen, but also Glenda. Glenda is the more wicked side of the character, willing and able to kill at a moments notice. By the way, yes the names are a reference to the Ed Wood film Glen Or Glenda because this film is not taking itself seriously, why should you? It’s having fun and this character is genuinely fascinating, I hope he turns up in future instalments because he’s just so special.
Shockingly, Redman does not have a good time in this scene
Redman has the task of playing the director of the fictional movie that Jennifer Tilly is auditioning for and he does it well. He gives off the air of someone who wants to make a good directorial debut but also is able to play up the seduction between him and Tilly. It’s a fun character and he sells it, being cool as hell the entire time he’s alive.
There ain’t no party like an S Club party
Hannah Spearritt tackled the role of Joan who is Jennifer’s assistant who is constantly putting up with the diva antics of the movie’s real star. She also get’s easily the best death in the movie which is saying a lot because there are some genuinely great ones in this film. Considering this is one of her first roles outside of S Club 7, she does spectacularly at being the straight man to Jennifer’s insanity.
This is the weirdest photo John’s looked at. which is saying a lot
The best side character in the entire movie though is easily John Waters character of Pete Peters, a paparazzi who is desperate to get any photo of Jennifer Tilly he can use to sell newspapers and he is the funniest thing in the movie. He has a few great scenes and a pretty awesome death but the highlight comes when he is sneaking about outside Jennifer’s house and spots Chucky upstairs pleasuring himself, leading to the amazingly delivered line “God bless the little people”. He is genuinely the best thing about this movie that isn’t…
Jennifer Tilly Deserves An Oscar
Two Tilly’s for the price of one
Objectively the best part of this movie is Jennifer Tilly. This is easily her greatest performance, and she’s an Oscar-nominated actress so that’s a pretty high bar. While the character she’s playing is ‘Jennifer Tilly’, what she’s doing is a heightened version of the perception people have of her. She plays up the ditzy slut angle when she’s herself and does it with gusto.
She also plays her original role of Tiffany the doll and it’s through Tiffany that the most amazing lines happen because Tiffany goes from idolizing Jennifer to hating her, literally calling her an “enormous slut” at one point after dragging Jennifer across the floor of her home while mumbling “Fuck she’s fat”. She also has a hilarious phone call scene where Jennifer calls her assistant and Tiffany get’s on the other line. It has some of the best lines like “I heard you scream… I can still hear you screaming” and another line involving Bound that I’m certain I’m not allowed to type here (Edit: I CAN NOW!), but I can post the clip so you can hear Jennifer saying it.
She is the best sport, making jokes about being a slut or her weight and even her career. She does things that no other actress would have the nerve to do and it’s amazing, she’s hilarious and should’ve gotten an award of some kind just for this part. She’s the main reason that this movie works so well. Her fearlessness is commendable and makes this movie a joy to watch.
Other Great Moments
This film is so chock full of hilarious and awesome moments that I have to just make a general list of them
- They kill Britney Spears. They run her off the road and she explodes, it is hilarious with the perfect one liner from Chucky… “Oops, I did it again”
- Jennifer Tilly makes out with a severed head. It’s another part of the “Jennifer is fearless” section of the movie but she just makes out with a severed head thinking it’s fake.
- The reveal of Glenda is iconic, hilarious and perfectly done by everyone.
- The opening ‘movie’ that they’re making with Chucky involves Chucky killing Santa. That’s how this film opens and it’s incredible.
- “But violence is bad” “Not violence… violins”
- There’s a The Shining reference that is genuinely perfect. I know some people got upset because Chucky didn’t come up with a great joke, but him saying “I can’t think of a thing to say” is the perfect way to reference that scene.
- The end credits show everyone at their worst moments, replays all the death scenes or in Tilly’s case just shows her being put through the wringer. All while “One Way Or Another” plays. It’s the ultimate way that the movie makes it clear how much fun everyone was having and it’s just perfect, you need to watch this. This one set of clips will give you the highlight reel for this movie and you’ll know the exact kind of film they were always aiming for.
Worth A Watch
When viewed in the context of the time it was made, the movie makes sense. It was made at the tail end of the meta period in horror when we expected films to take place in a world where horror films were a thing. Movies where the cast of a horror movie would run into the villains of a horror movie were appreciated when this was conceived. Comedy horror films were picking up steam. In general, everything would have worked for this film if it didn’t have the issue of opening two weeks after the genre changed forever with the release of Saw. If you go into this movie expecting a fun meta movie, you’ll enjoy it a lot more. This film is a natural progression from Bride Of Chucky and it a lot of fun if you don’t take it so seriously.
What Child’s Play Film Do You Think Is Underappreciated? Leave Your Answer In The Comments.