REVIEW: Horror Channel’s Seed of Chucky takes franchise in fresh and hilarious new direction
You’d think the spawn of the infamous Chucky (Brad Dourif) and his creepy lover Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) would be nothing short of pure evil. However, when the two serial killer-possessed dolls give birth to their son Glen (Lord of the Rings‘ Billy Boyd), it turns out he doesn’t inherit their signature murderous streak. In fact, Glen is a tender and timid soul who is horrified by the stories he has heard about his parents, so much so that he is taunted with horrific and bloody nightmares.
Glen decides he needs to find out the truth about his parents’ past and the perfect opportunity arises when he hears news of a film being made about their murderous legacy. The young doll makes his way to Hollywood, where he is able to bring Chucky and Tiffany back to life. However, the newly resurrected Chucky is keen to get straight back into his beloved killing sprees and he wants his son to follow his footsteps…
Directed by Don Mancini, Seed of Chucky succeeds in reinventing what had become a rather ‘unscary’ franchise amongst the growing high standard of contemporary horror films. Considering the slasher-film style was no longer quite hitting the mark, the previous film Bride of Chucky had already taken a new direction as a black comedy. However, in this fifth instalment Mancini is unembarrassed in his total commitment to bizarre, absurdist humour, thus creating a sequel that is quite superior.
Admittedly, the movie assuredly moves further towards the comedy genre, but don’t let this put all you horror fans off. The extreme levels of gore are sure to keep you satisfied. Although the violent scenes are filmed in a way that is often hilariously funny, the killings remain delightfully grotesque. The film is full of slashed throats and spurting blood, people getting set on fire, and even a particularly gross disembowelment. What more could you ask for?
Writer-director Mancini offers a fresh take on the Chucky series, yet still draws on common horror film tropes to lend the film a certain nostalgic feel. Satirising the genre’s biggest clichés, there are clear references to horror classics, including a nod to Psycho in the film’s opening moments in which a woman is stabbed to death in the shower.
It is fantastic to hear Dourif voice the demonic anti-hero Chucky once again and Boyd does an excellent job of depicting the sexually ambiguous Glen (or Glenda). The highlight, however, is Tilly. She essentially plays an exaggerated version of herself with the Hollywood actress role and we have to give her major props for committing to the parody in such a funny and daring way, and for certainly not being afraid to be the butt of the joke.
Network premiere of Seed of Chucky airs Friday (May 26) at 9:00pm on Horror Channel.