1998; Rated R; 89 Minutes
Alexis Arquette: Damien
Brad Dourif: Chucky
Katherine Heigl: Jade
John Ritter: Warren
Nick Stabile: Jesse
Produced by Paul
Gertz, Grace Gilroy, David Kirschner, Don Mancini, Laura
Moskowitz and Corey Sienga; Directed by Ronny Yu;
Screenwritten by Don Mancini
by DAVID KEYES
once told me that "when youíre watching a movie in a theater
opening weekend, you can judge how it will perform financially
and critically by the initial audience reaction." I normally
trust my own instincts instead of someone elseís at the
movies, but that line stayed in my mind for quite some time
last year. What exactly did he mean, anyway? Did he mean
that if audiences enjoyed it, it would perform well? Or
did he mean that if they reacted negatively, it would flop?
Did he mean that if audiences enjoyed it or hated it, critics
would react a completely different way? Or did he mean that
critics and audiences might react in the same way?
could never quite grasp the notion that he was trying to
clue me in on, but now that I have made a career out of
my love for the movies, I see what he meant. The truth is,
yes, you can judge a filmís turnout and critical success
by its audience reaction, but not often in the same way.
Some audiences may either love it or hate it, but critics
could completely disagree or agree. In their reaction, films
could either succeed or fail commercially, but that, of
course, depends on what audiences truly think of the movie,
despite what critics might necessarily think.
possibilities are endless, really. Weíve all seen really
bad movies that somehow succeed at the box office, while
weíve also seen some really good ones fail. Itís not up
to critics to really decide how successful the movie is,
but it helps, sometimes.
clear that everyone attending Bride Of Chucky on
its opening day had the same reaction. Audiences hated it.
They loathed and detested it. They chewed it up and spit
it out. And to a certain extent, so did critics, as did
I. Iím not ashamed to admit it, either; I participated in
the booing and laughter that was brought on by the clumsiness
of the movie. This, of course, could have been a good thing
for some people, since it did bring humor to the picture,
but itís not the type youíd expect. Itís the type where
you sit there and laugh at the people who made it, because
theyíve obviously exercised their limited mind span so much
that their show-size IQ may have decreased a little. Some
people tried to succeed in making a decent follow-up to
the Childís Play trilogy, but they failed miserably.
And judging from how well the movie did in its first couple
of weeks at the box office, they donít care anymore, just
as long as they make their money.
people know that the Childís Play franchise is based
strictly on the basis of horror. Well, not anymore, sort
of. Bride Of Chucky, the fourth of the franchise,
plays like an unfunny and corny parody of the first three
films, where a doll infamously known as Chucky is revived
by an attractive woman named Tiffany from police headquarters
where the dollís remains were held. Little do we know that
this is actually the surviving girlfriend to the spirit
who inhabits the Chucky doll, named Charles Lee Ray, a viscous
killer was put to death years ago. Upon his return, he transforms
Tiffany into a doll as well, and with two rubber murdering
psychos on the loose, thus begins the voyage into the messed
up world of Bride Of Chucky. Thereís still that typical
slicing of victims Chucky is so famous for, but aside from
that, the chemistry between both dolls is supposed to offer
humor on the side as well. In one scene, where Chucky attempts
to engage in sexual activity with Tiffany, he stops at one
moment and exclaims, "I need a rubber." But why? They are
ho. In case you didnít laugh or get the joke, that "they
are rubber" line above was supposed to be the punch line
of this little joke. And of course, like the other jokes
of the movie, theyíre really dumb. Really, really dumb--almost
too dumb for words. And this is a shame, sort of, because
Iíve at least been able to tolerate the whole Childís
Play series, up to this point. How did things go wrong?
Well, reasons could be too numerous to calculate, but its
very obvious that the script was thrown together in a hurry
to get the film released before Thanksgiving. A good movie
takes time to develop, so that writers and directors put
all of their effort into their projects. The only thing
of quality in Bride Of Chucky, however, is the title.
That could have been a great title for an equally great
I mention the violence? Itís the most violent of the four
movies, a bloody and grotesque demonstration of dolls outwitting
humans who have the intelligence of tarter sauce. Especially
in the last half hour, we are confronted with blood and
body parts galore as Chucky and Tiffany murder people just
as Chucky did before, only more gruesomely. I couldnít stand
it. Not that I have anything against stuff like this (hey,
I could stand Saving Private Ryan, couldnít I?),
but there are limits for certain movies. Stories that can
be related to actual events, like the Holocaust and WWII,
are powerful, not disgusting. Pictures where dolls chop
up human beings is nasty; plain and simple. At least with
the original Childís Play films, they werenít overdone.
how does this movie get judged? Definitely by audience reaction,
aside from its initial content. People hated it, as did
I. And for that, itís enough to fall out of plain sight
instantly, just like the other Childís Play films
did. You watch.
believe me? Then think of this: ten years have passed since
you originally saw the first movie. The question is, do
you still care?
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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