One of the most hated horror sequels ever made happened to be 2004’s Seed of Chucky. It took a once serious horror franchise and threw it into a satirical piece about Hollywood culture.
Fans were shocked and the negative reception nearly killed the franchise. It wouldn’t be until 2013 that another Chucky film would be produced – and even then, in a step down from its theatrical predecessors, it was released straight-to-video. But did Seed of Chucky really deserve the hate?
If you ignore the cheesy digital opening credits, some of the logical inconsistencies, and the budgetary restraints – there’s a rather interesting film to analyze.
The movie takes place several years after Bride of Chucky from 1998. We discover that Chucky and Tiffany’s child Glen, who made a quick appearance before the end credits of Bride, is now living in England as part of some freak show attraction. He eventually learns that a film inspired by the legend of killer dolls Chucky and Tiffany is being made. His next response is to travel to Hollywood in search of his parents.
Jennifer Tilly, who played Tiffany in Bride of Chucky and this sequel, also plays herself as the actress voicing Tiffany in the fictional Chucky movie being made. A strangely meta decision considering the films before were mostly all somewhat grounded in reality. But with Scream’s influence on the humor in Bride of Chucky, it was only a matter of time before they decided to take the self-awareness to the next level.
Truthfully, it’s not all that bad. It’s hard to swallow that Jennifer Tilly exists in this universe and thus so must actors like Brad Dourif, but it lends for some amusing satirical comedy. The movie constantly jokes about Jennifer Tilly, usually from Tiffany herself which adds an extra sense of self-awareness. But there’s also plenty of nods at the corruption of Hollywood filmmaking, such as the inclusion of Redman as a director who casts his films by sleeping with actresses.
We even get a few jokes pointed at the paparazzi and the lack of privacy for celebrities. The film uses this as an excuse for a John Waters cameo, where the exploitation filmmaker plays a photographer who had been spying on Tilly and Redman. It’s a sly nod at the type of raunchy humor and content the film attempts to portray, and I think it works.
Don’t get me wrong – the film isn’t for everyone, and it’s certainly not the best of its titular franchise. In fact, it probably would’ve done better as its own original story. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting film with nods to Ed Wood, John Waters, and the corruption of Hollywood with all the fun a Child’s Play movie can create.
For example, some of Chucky’s dialogue in this film is his best ever. People can say he was too over-the-top, but in a time when most slashers were being rebooted, it’s nice to see a horror villain take pride in his “career”.
One of my favorite moments is when Chucky takes a look at the situation he’s found himself in. There are babies crying, people tied up, dead bodies on the floor, a doll-child crying with split personalities, a screaming doll-wife, and a barrage of cops outside. It’s one of the most extreme moments for the entire franchise. And it’s so ridiculous that it even drives Chucky to just yell at everyone to shut up.
“Look around you, Tiff! This is nuts! And I have a very high tolerence for nuts. If this is what it takes to be human, I’d rather take my chances as a supernaturally possessed doll; it’s less complicated.”
This is one of the best parts of the movie. Chucky finally realizes how over-the-top his situation is and how much better off he is as a killer doll. Most slashers run themselves into the ground with films like Jason X and Freddy’s Dead, and while one could argue Seed of Chucky is an example of the same – I’d say Chucky is perfectly aware of his situation. He knows how stupid it is and he’s finally ready to put an end to it.
Maybe it’s my own tastes in exploitation cinema that make Seed of Chucky a watchable experience, but there’s plenty of films you could be watching instead that will bore you to death. Seed of Chucky is anything but boring.