Kids usually aren't into scary horror movies, but in the case of Child's Play, we made an exception. Based on the then-popular 'My Buddy' dolls, we finally had a killer we could relate to in Chucky. Compared to the other contemporary slasher flicks that found success in the two decades prior to this one, it certainly held its own. Legitimately frightening at points, the series of Child's Play films did get goofier as they went on, but never lost sight of the primary goal: scare people, but in a weird 'happy' sort of way.
Though the first film was the best in terms of straight horror, and Bride of Chucky the best for shock value, I've always been partial to the second installment. Child's Play 2 gave Chucky an attitude, but didn't stray too far into the goofball realm as the final two films. I've seen it countless times and still haven't grown bored with it, so if you're new to Chucky's charm and don't know which movie to start with, I'd strongly suggest this one. While the first flick handles all the necessary background story, it drags a lot. The third and fourth films are good for comedy, but not much else. Child's Play 2 had the best mix of schlock and slasher, and if that's not enough for you, Chucky vandalizes school papers by writing 'FUCK YOU BITCH' on them with a red crayon. If you're still not sold on it yet, here's my review...
At the end of the first film, Chucky was burnt to a crisp and dismantled. The doll was possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, and after a handful of vicious murders, the heroes threw him into a fireplace and chopped his head off. So in the opening scene of Child's Play 2, we find the very same doll being reconstructed. The fine craftsmen of the 'Good Guys' toy conglomerate painstakingly recreate Chucky from scratch, though we've really got no idea why they'd be doing this. Actually, Chucky is revived in the third film similarly, only proving that the Child's Play series adheres to the strict horror movie honor code which clearly states that all victim characters must be complete dolts.
When finished, Chucky is as good as new. We still haven't seen any signs that he's possessed or anything, but it's a safe bet.
Turns out that the president of the Good Guys company wants to prove to his stockholders that the whole scandal about one of their dolls being possessed was merely a falsified tabloid story. We find out that the mother heroine from the first film is now in a mental asylum, refusing to go against her son's story that the 'doll was alive.'
Nobody believes the truth, but despite that, it doesn't take long for Chucky to make his first killing. As the toymakers prepare to make the final adjustments, a machine attached to the doll suddenly electrocutes one of the workers, knocking him clear across the room and through a nearby window. The murder was more subversive than Chucky's usual fare, so nobody quite puts two and two together yet - as far as they're concerned, this was just a freak accident. The big boss orders one of his guys to get rid of the doll, and if there was ever a quote that'd cement a film's stature on top of the mountain, we get it right here. The executive asks the boss what he should do with the doll, and gets this response: 'shove it up your ass.' Only he doesn't really say 'ass' - it's more like 'aya-ayssss.' There is some serious untapped comedy potential in mispronouncing the word 'ass.' I hope a few directors took notice.
Meanwhile, Little Andy is being taken care of at an orphanage for troubled kids. If you haven't seen the movies, Andy is the kid Chucky's always coming after. In the great laws of voodoo, Chucky must perform a ritual on Andy to take control of his body, otherwise he'll be stuck in doll-form for the rest of eternity. Considering the material, the kid is actually doing a decent acting job.
He's handed off into the temporary care of a couple who often takes kids into their home until more a more permanent arrangement can be made. For people who indulge in such charitable gestures, the dad doesn't seem to like kids all that much. On the other hand, Andy's new mother makes it a point to pet him at every given opportunity. I'm not sure if there's more to that story than we see, but it's pretty creepy. She also utilizes an accent that seems to change from scene to scene, like Troi from the first season of Star Trek: TNG.
The surrogate father expresses many doubts to his wife about their ability to care for such a little psycho, but they take him home anyway. The father kinda looks like Jeffrey Jones if you beat his face in with a brick.
Elsewhere in the house, it's Christine Elise! You might remember her from her 90210 stint, where she did lots of drugs and sometimes tried to set herself on fire. She's become something of a cult icon, which isn't that impressive since it only means that she's likable despite starring exclusively in really bad movies and on even worse television shows. It's a shame that her career didn't go very far - she was way more talented than most of her peers at the time. Then again, when's the last time you saw Jennie Garth? On that Lifetime Intimate Portrait where she swears that she 'really didn't like fame all that much?' At least Christine got to beat up a killer doll and change her hair color a few times before fading into obscurity.
The fake parents took Christine in as well, but she's a much tougher cookie than Andy. This is evidenced by her penchant for SMOKING CIGARETTES (!!!!) and her donning of the EVIL BLACK SATAN FRENCH PAINTER'S CAP. (!!!!!!!!) She's a bad seed. Christine, of course, has a made-up name for her role here, but I refuse to call her anything else. Somehow I doubt anyone cares.
Chucky hitches a ride with that dumb executive, and thanks him by shoving a plastic bag over his head and suffocating him to death. Chucky's murders were never pedestrian - he always went the extra mile to give us something different. The animatronics and stop-motion filming were way more advanced in the sequel than the first film, affording us the chance to actually see the doll wandering around. In the first film, whenever Chucky was on the run, it was obviously a midget stuffed into a Good Guys outfit. Unfortunately, the bulk of this new technology only goes to shots of Chucky snarling, or doubled over in laughter after he chops someone's head off.
After finding out Andy's location, Chucky rushes to the house. He only has a limited amount of time to do that voodoo ritual before becoming trapped in doll-form forever. Of course, living inside an eight-year-old's body isn't all that much better, but at least he'll have a dick again.
The foster mother had stuffed the house with all sorts of toys for the numerous orphans who came through, and conveniently, one of the toys is a Good Guy doll. Chucky quickly bashes it to death, buries it in the backyard, and takes the doll's place. What's worse - he uses one of the adult's antiques to break the doll. So not only is Chucky in the house, but the world is saddened by one less 18th century Hagarith ballerina statue!
Andy and Christine chat away. He's a little concerned that the adults are gonna ship him off, so Christine suggests that he stops acting like a lunatic. Nobody wants a kid who keeps talking about possessed dolls and murder sprees. After hearing his new dad suggest that they 'send him back,' Andy hatches a plan. Since they're concerned that he's too freaked out about his past and those darn Good Guys dolls, the only way he'll be able to convince them that he's sane is by playing with the very same kind of toy that once tried to eat his brains. The plan was brilliant, but it came a little too late. By the time Andy starts trotting around with the Good Guys doll, it's actually Chucky wearing his best poker face.
I don't think I'm really doing the film justice with this review, because its true glory lies in the Chucky's quotes and facial expressions. If anyone else in the world says the word 'fuck,' it just flies in one ear and out the other. When Chucky says 'fuck,' you'll stand up and applaud like someone made a realist joke about toilet paper. Now with Chucky in the house, the action really starts heating up...
He fails at his first attempt to possess Andy when Christine entered the room midway, but it's not a total loss since he just goes limp whenever anyone else is around. In this case, Andy just looks like a psychopath who tied himself to the bed and shoved a sock in his mouth. Oh come on, we've all tried it. Nobody believes that the doll is actually alive. Chucky swears to take Andy's soul at the next chance he gets, so the following day, he manages to walk to Andy's new school unnoticed.
Just because he's a sick bastard, Chucky vandalizes Andy's homework assignment with a cute personalized message to the teacher. It turns out to be a magnificent plan, as Andy gets detention and is thus forced to stay in the classroom alone with Chucky. It's not quite the perfect crime though, since the teacher throws Chucky in a locked closet so Andy wouldn't have anything to play with. Of course, Andy's more concerned with staying alive than having tea with a doll, so as soon as the teacher leaves the room, he hops out the window and runs home.
Thinking Andy's still in the room, Chucky knocks wildly at the door while screaming. When the teacher comes back, she thinks Andy's just playing around like a little kid asshole who needs discipline. But when she opens the closet door, Andy's nowhere to be found. Just a few basketballs, jackets, jump ropes, and a killer doll with a giant ruler.
Every Child's Play movie seems to have its own trademark death scene. This would be one of them - Chucky knocks the teacher over, and beats her to death with a ruler. Oh well. She was a bitch anyway. They never really explain how Chucky gets around the world so well, but in movies about Cabbage Patch Kids possessed by the souls of murderous voodoo priests, we tend to overlook minor plot oversights like that.
Moving right along, Chucky kills off Andy's foster parents next. They're not very creative murders - he just trips the dad down a flight of stairs, and slices the mother's throat. After holding a knife to Christine, she's forced to take him to the orphanage. (the mother shipped Andy back there, thinking that he killed her husband) Some more shenanigans go down, and as we approach the final scenes of the film, Chucky makes Andy take him to the Good Guys toy factory. That's another plot oversight in of itself, as the movie seems to suggest that Andy's orphanage, foster house, school, and the Good Guys toy factory are all within a few blocks of each other. I guess this could've been one of those experimental condominium communities, but I didn't see one racquetball court or indoor pool.
Chucky performs the voodoo possession ceremony in full, which was cool to see because he's been trying to do that for the duration of two full motion pictures now. Though successful in saying the chant without interruption, he finds out that it's too late - he's been in the doll's body too long, and now he's stuck there. What's worse, the doll gradually transforms into a human, meaning Chucky is no longer impervious to pain. After noticing blood trickling from his plastic nose, Chucky lets out the longest 'NOOOOOOO!' in film history. Seriously, it's easily a two-minute 'no.' They probably had to slice the 'no' down by 60% to fit television time constraints during WPIX's old Shocktoberfests.
Now with nothing to lose, Chucky has just one thing left to do: kill Andy. You know the old saying. If ya can't possess their soul, break their spine in half.
Christine tries to save the day, but Chucky adopts a new weapon after being forced to rip his own hand off. Sticking a knife into his bloodied limb, Chucky's now a walking miniature war machine bent on revenge. Still, he's gotten the shit kicked out of him like ten times in the past twenty minutes, so he's a little more groggy than usual. This lets the heroes do all sorts of zany things to him, like putting him through a machine that rearranges all his body parts, and spraying huge amounts of acid all over him. Now just a pile of melted yellow plastic, Chucky makes one last ditch attempt to gain some measure of revenge...
So they stick an air pump in his mouth, causing his head to inflate and ultimately explode. It's a happy ending. Christine and Andy leave the toy factory not knowing where they'll end up, but at least they don't have to worry about being stabbed by toys anymore.
Overall: It's probable that most Child's Play fans liked the third film the best. That one featured a lot more murdering, and plenty of really annoying characters you'd want to see killed. Still, I've always preferred this one for some reason. It's likely the least-seen of the Chucky movies, having flown in and out of the theaters faster than Waterworld. However, it's this installment where Chucky finds his niche and personality, and if you're a fan of stupid horror movies, you won't be disappointed. 8 out of 10.