Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Andy Barclay (the charming Alex Vincent) is once again stalked by the possessed “good-guy” doll Chucky. Time is running out for Chucky, who must transfer his soul into Andy’s body very soon, else he will be trapped in the doll’s body forever….
“Child’s Play 2” suffers from one big problem – the brooding suspense which made the original 1988 horror-thriller so exciting is all gone. By the sequel, we know the doll is actually alive (it’s not all in Andy’s head; if only they had listened to the kid!) and we know why Chucky needs Andy’s body….
Nevertheless, the film works on a number of levels, although plot-wise this is simply a re-run of the first movie.
Firstly, I suppose it is this film which transforms Chucky from the rather creepy ‘haunted’ doll of the original into the wise-cracking anti-hero of the later films. Chucky has more dialogue in this movie and Brad Dourif’s voiceover work really comes to the fore with some gloriously funny one-liners. It’s all very entertaining stuff but it does detract a little from the ‘fright factor’ – you can’t be afraid of a villain you find so amusing. A similar problem emerges in the latter entries in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise.
Secondly, there are a couple of well-executed set-piece sequences. The most impressive of these is probably the film’s grim finale in the Toy factory – where the machines used in the manufacturing process provide a bizarre array of weapons for our anti-hero to use against his set of hapless victims. The another sequence I really like involves the ‘swing’, as this is one of the only parts of the movie which attempts to generate any real anticipation of an impending shock amongst the audience (something the original movie did so well).
There is a higher gore-content in this movie which will please some horror fans although it’s nothing compared to the more recent proliferation of torture-porn type movies such as “Saw” and “Hostel”.
My last thought is that “Child’s Play 2” could have really done with stronger leads – there are no characters similar to Chris Sarandon’s ‘sceptical detective’ or Catherine Hicks’s ’emotional mother’ from the first movie. All we have are basically faceless b-movie actors, but you can’t expect much more.
All-in-all, an enjoyable romp of a killer-doll movie with an edgy script – it’ll make you laugh but you aren’t likely to hide behind the sofa at any point.
If you enjoy this, there are plenty of other killer-doll films out there. The best of the bunch being “Puppet Master” (1989) and Stuart Gordon’s frankly magnificent dark-fairytale of a movie – “Dolls” (1987). Of course, there’s “Child’s Play 3” (1991) and the other sequels too.
hotdog rating: 6/10