Bride Of Chucky
Rating -

Horror (US); 1998; Rated R; 89 Minutes

Cast
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

Review Uploaded
11/18/98

Written by DAVID KEYES

Someone 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?

I 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.

The 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.

Itís 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.

Most 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 rubber!

Ho, 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 movie.

Did 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.

So 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.

Donít 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. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
 
 
           
     
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