A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens will want to watch this movie because of its affiliation with a long-running horror franchise. The film is filled with over-the-top violence and gore and is permeated with sexual innuendo. Characters curse, runaway from home, dress scantily, practice voodoo, have sex, and kill one another. Additionally, one character is coded as gay in a very stereotypical way.
What's the story?
The first Child's Play told the story of a doll possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray. In BRIDE OF CHUCKY, Chucky's former girlfriend, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) resurrects the plasticized love of her life using Voodoo for Dummies. When she finds out that Chucky (Brad Dourif) had never intended to marry her, Tiff locks up the pint-sized psychopath and buys him a bride doll as a joke. Of course, Chucky escapes and transfers Tiff's spirit into a wedding-gown clad doll. The pair set off to try to transfer their spirits into full-sized bodies, leaving a trail of carnage.
Is it any good?
In movies like this one, viewers see the horror genre begin to implode, and it is definitely fun to watch. Horror film franchises, much like the supernatural killers they focus on, often just won't die; Bride of Chucky is the fourth installation in the Child's Play series, and it will not be the last. Nonetheless, not all sequels are bad, and this one successfully takes the low road to self-parody. Self-referential to an extreme, the movie pokes fun at itself and the entire horror genre.
As Tiffany, Jennifer Tilly demonstrates her ability to play a campy role to the hilt – obsessing about marriage and Martha Stewart while committing acts of unspeakable violence. The film's over-the-top plotline is echoed by a visual aesthetic that often seems to borrow from John Waters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the film's place within the horror genre and the stereotyping of gender and sexuality. The film is self-referential and often campy, with gore being taken to a cartoonish extreme. How does an excess of blood and gore serve to undermine the horror? How does the film make the characters' bad behavior humorous? What makes Chucky change his mind and decide to marry Tiffany? Why is Tiffany so fixated on marriage?
- In theaters: October 16, 1998
- On DVD or streaming: March 23, 1999
- Cast: Jennifer Tilly, John Ritter, Katherine Heigl
- Director: Ronny Yu
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong horror violence and gore, language, some sexual content and brief drug use
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