I’ve got a new game, sport: It’s called ‘Hide the Soul’. And guess what? You’re it!
Full disclosure – prior to watching Child’s Play 2 last month, I’d never seen a Child’s Play movie.
My perspective on the film isn’t coloured by any feeling of nostalgia. I’d never had any interest in viewing one – even when I was young, the snippets and trailers I’d seen had led me to believe that the franchise was too cheesy for my taste. (Of course, this is coming from a woman who found Umberto Lenzi’s Ghosthouse immensely enjoyable, so take me with a generous helping of salt.)
In fact, the only reason I ended up watching Child’s Play 2 is that I wanted to write a Throwback Thursday review and it was the only horror film on Netflix that was released prior to 2007 or so.
So, I guess you could say I’m not exactly an expert in the lore of the series.
Child’s Play 2 was directed by John Lafia, who co-wrote the original film with Don Mancini. The sequel opens with a lengthy sequence detailing the resurrection and restoration of Chucky, the infamously evil Good Guy doll possessed by the soul of depraved killer Charles Lee Ray. The restorer really needs to moisturize their cuticles but the job is done quickly and competently despite the massive damage sustained to the doll’s physique. Clearly, he was defeated rather mightily at the close of the first installment. I can only assume that his takedown was orchestrated by Andy Barclay, the traumatized young hero of the first film who is now being absorbed into the foster care system. Some incredibly cheesy SFX lightning shooting into the doll’s body as its eyes are being replaced telegraph the return of the killer soul to the erstwhile Good Guy. This doesn’t bode well for Andy, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for the unfortunate technician who becomes the first victim of Chucky’s murderous tendencies. The head of the factory orders the destruction of the doll.
Of course, we can’t let such an expensive restoration job go to waste. Instead, factory lackey Greg Germann (love me some Greg Germann) tosses him into his car and takes him on a ride to his girlfriend’s house, to celebrate the 2-week-iversary of their relationship. When the lackey stops to pick up some vodka for his romantic interlude, Chucky uses his car phone (bless your heart, 1990) to track down the whereabouts of Andy Barclay – and the game is officially on.
As is usual in these types of films, it’s the kids v. the evil, as the adults remain oblivious. Throw in some domestic tension, teenage rebelliousness, and doll-on-doll violence, and you’ve got a decently entertaining sequel.
The pacing in this movie is really lively and not much screen time is wasted. The puppetry of Chucky holds up fantastically for the most part – I was genuinely delighted by a few of the scenes. I was also impressed by the casting of the film; it’s always a pleasure to see Grace Zabriskie on the screen. Andy’s foster sister Kyle is played by Christine Elise, known to most 90s kids as Emily Valentine on Beverly Hill 90210.
This isn’t a film that I would urge a general audience or even more horror fans to catch up with, but it’s a fun one to throw on when having some drinks with friends or if you want a silly bit of escapism.
Score: 6 out of 10 not-so-Good Guys.
“Get lost, microchip!” Andy says to the classroom bully – I’m going to borrow this insult
- The foster house is extremely 1980s – I’ve never seen that many pastels in one room
- As soon as the mom explains that the porcelain figure has been in the family for three generations, you know its days are numbered
- Kyle fits a lot of the Final Girl tropes as outlined by Carol Clover
- Mrs. Foster wears some very on-trend grunge flannel pajamas to bed
- Why is the Good Guys factory set up like a maze? This doesn’t seem the most efficient way to organize and stack products
Andy seems to be in shock throughout the third act – is it intentional? Either the actor isn’t that great or he is REALLY great. Either way, it works