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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Doll > Seed of Chucky – Unrated (HD-DVD)

Seed of Chucky – Unrated (HD-DVD)


Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: B     Film: C+



The 1980s were a strange time for the horror genre and the result of that were films like Joe Dante’s 1984 film Gremlin’s, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, and Tom Holland’s Child’s Play (1988).  Somehow the thought of a killer doll became popular, it even came in various cycles, like the following year when Puppetmaster was released.  Although Child’s Play became a bigger hit and has continued to spur on sequels, the film was followed by Childs Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, and the most recent 2004’s Seed of Chucky and remains a cornerstone in the modern horror genre despite being incredibly formulaic.  The biggest slant that the film developed in order to keep it fresh was getting Ronny Yu to direct Bride of Chucky, which brought more comedy and out-right over-the-top moments into the film making it more …sinister, yet funny. 


For this HD-DVD release Universal/Rogue Pictures decided to use the advantage with the HD storage capabilities and included the extended/unrated version of the film, plus a multitude of extras to keep the fans happy!  This time around Don Mancini takes the directorial reigns and steps out of the writing chair, which he occupied for the first four Child’s Play films.  It’s important to note that Mancini wrote and directed this film and for that fact this film works better than expected and much better than most films on their fourth sequel.  Much of this film is built around the momentum created by the previous film, but I wonder why they waited so long to try this go around?  I think most can guess the plot…yes Chucky and his ‘Bride’ give birth to the new terror and this new doll is just like it’s mother and father…a killer.  So guess what happens…killing! 


So what about this HD-DVD of the film, well 1080p 1.78 X 1 anamorphic picture looks stunning and yet different that most films of the genre and certainly looks different than the others in the series.  One thing that most people will find interesting is that for a horror film the lighting is never really that dark, rather it’s brighter and more colorful than what we typically see in most clichéd genre pieces.  It’s a bit refreshing to see something different here and the HD transfer looks wonderful with bright colorful depth and detail as well as deep blacks in appropriate places.  The whites tend to be a bit harsh at times, but this is minimal and there is an occasional amount of softness, which is unusual for a film that is rather recent. 


The sound is also stunning in Dolby Digital TrueHD and blows away most of the horror genre audio mixes to date with incredible fidelity and definition.  Hearing the audio track here only gets me excited to see how other titles will fair once they get this type of treatment.  Since this film is more hockey and whimsical in nature the soundtrack also reflects this and enables a more playful sound mix that doesn’t disappoint either. 


The extras are the same that were on the standard DVD release with 2 commentary tracks and are quite insightful, especially hearing writer/director Don Mancini.  The extras don’t just end there and this release truly takes advantage of the space available on the HD-DVD discs.  There is a pop-up trivia section plus a ton of little mini-featurettes that are mostly humorous in nature. 


In some respects this is probably one of the better films in the series, although some fans are still die hard on the first film, while others really loved “Bride”.  I am not necessarily partial to any of them, but found this one to certainly be more tolerable than originally expected as well as refreshing in some regards.  I can only think that the next best step would be to release Bride of Chucky in HD next!



-   Nate Goss


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