Bride of Chucky (Ronny Yu, 1998, USA/Canada)

A still from Ronny Yu's Bride of Chucky (1998)

While not a masterpiece by any stretch, Bride of Chucky is perhaps the most fun film in the Child's Play franchise thus far. After 1991's Child's Play 3 showed some diminishing returns and a lack of inspiration, Don Mancini and David Kirschner took a 7-year hiatus from the series. In the intervening years, Scream was released and launched a trend for self-aware horror films. Bride very much falls in line with the self-referential trends that were going on in horror films of the late 1990s, although it manages to stay fresh. This is mainly due to Chucky and his girlfriend Tiffany Valentine (first in human form as Jennifer Tilly, then in puppet form) taking up the majority of the screentime. The resulting film is less suspenseful than its predecessors, and seems to take more inspiration from Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers

Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany Valentine is a welcome breath of fresh air to the franchise. She plays Chucky's original lover who stitches him back together and attempts to resurrect him. After a fight, Chucky ends up killing her and placing her in a doll's body. The logic and consistency of the narrative's universe is not great, but somehow it works. The film then becomes a road trip, with Chucky and Tiffany using Tiffany's friend to bring them to Chucky's grave to get an amulet that will turn them human again. Katherine Heigl makes an early appearance as the girlfriend of Chucky's friend. 

Director Ronny Yu, who was most known for films he made in his native Hong Kong prior to this film, keeps things entertaining. The film also has an excellent soundtrack that is pure 1998. The opening musical cue of Rob Zombie's "Living Dead Girl" is perfect, and other staples of late 1990s industrial rock and nu metal make appearances. 


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