Andy Barclay has been placed in a foster home after the tragic events of the first film, since his mother was committed. In an attempt to save their reputation, the manufacturers of Chucky reconstruct the killer doll, to prove to the public that nothing was wrong with it in the first place. In doing so, they also bring the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray back to life. As Chucky tries to locate Andy, the body count rises. Will Andy be able to escape, or will Chucky succeed in possessing his body?Written by
When Andy's foster parents are talking about Chucky and the camera slides from their room to Andy's, the camera is reflected in a few pictures on the wall. See more »
I wanna play Red Light.
No, Sammy. I don't wanna play Red Light. Now, I want you to go to bed right now.
But, I'm scared.
There's nothing to be scared of, it's just a storm.
[picks up ringing telephone]
Yes, I'm trying to reach Andy Barclay.
Andy no longer lives with us. Who is this?
This is his Uncle Charles.
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The bootleg workprint contained graphic shots of the teacher being killed. See more »
Oddly artistic, "Child's Play 2" has an almost grandiose, mythical feel to it's tone and style. Though it doesn't quite hit home with the same quality as the original.
There's something to marvel at while watching "Child's Play 2." From a grandiose score courtesy of the wonderful Graeme Revell. To some really fascinating set-design. To quirky, stylized direction from John Lafia. And even a few key scenes that have a timeless, mythical feel. It seems that the creative team behind "Child's Play 2" sought to not only create an effective sequel, but also build the character of Chucky into the sort of thing that legends are made of. This is a big, bombastic, wild ride of a film, constrained within the guise of being a standard slasher-sequel.
But, there's something important to think about. A key question. Does it work?
And the answer to that question: Sort of, I guess.
Following a wild opening in which Chucky (voiced by the fantastic Brad Dourif) is re-constructed in a way that I actually found quite intriguing, he escapes and sets off to find his old target- young Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), who is in the process of being placed into a new foster home. With his new body, Chucky hopes to finally be able to transfer his tormented spirit into a human host once and for all. And so a sort-of deadly game begins, as Chucky infiltrates Andy's new home, and toys with him, causing him distress and picking off the people around him, leading up to a final confrontation that I can only describe as epic in scope and quite satisfying.
Returning screenwriter Don Mancini seems more at home this time around (after some apparent drama with the first film going into rewrites), and relishes in the chaos of the storyline. You can feel a writer just having fun with the material when you watch this film. Everything is bigger. Stakes rise to new heights. Set-pieces are more encompassing and wild. And there are new ideas being explored left and right.
John Lafia's guidance as director is quite good. While the original film was slick and grounded, Lafia here goes for stylized visuals that lend a unique quality to the film, making it feel more akin to a fairy-tale. And I really enjoyed that aspect of the production. Although at times it does take you out of the movie, because things are a little TOO stylish. (A scene where a character has to run around a maze of boxes, while suspenseful, will probably make you chuckle and exclaim "Who stacks boxes like that?!")
I found the performances admirable. Alex Vincent grows quite a bit as a young performer. Though I didn't mention it in my review of the first film, I never found his acting organic or believable. He was just a little too young and a little too cute for you to believe the emotions he was trying to convey. But here, he knocks it out of the park. He's a bit older, as had more experience acting, and is able to give a really remarkable, compelling performance for a child-actor. Supporting roles by the likes of Christine Elise and Jenny Agutter are also quite good. Particularly Elise as "Kyle", Andy's older "Foster Sister", who becomes the person he connects with most in the story. She has a lot of heart in her performance, and comes off well on- screen, and along with Andy, is the one person you really care for.
And of course there is Brad Dourif. He IS Chucky. His role is a perfect blend of different elements, combining to create a near-ideal slasher-movie villain. Dourif's voice is commanding and threatening, yet also oddly endearing and amusing when it needs to be. His delivery is spot-on in every scene. And he is able to take charge of every scene he's in.
All of this being said, I do think there are a lot of fundamental issues with the film. And I do believe that despite rampant strengths, it just doesn't quite "gel together" as it did in the first movie.
Despite the more grandiose scale and qualities of the film, I thought it didn't do quite as good a job at forging human connections. With so much chaotic content, the smaller moments just seemed to become lost in translation, which is a pretty big issue. This is a film of style over substance.
I also felt that the film lost me at a few times. Some of the performers aren't up to snuff (despite the main cast being great), some of the deaths are bizarre and weak, and some moments just seemed silly, or went on for far too long.
If the film could have gone through just a little bit more trimming and re-editing, I think it could easily have matched the quality of the original.
But still, as it stands, "Child's Play 2" is highly enjoyable, albeit flawed. And I think that in the grand scheme of things, it's definitely worth checking out for all fans of horror. If the story doesn't win you over, the crazy, mythical style just might.
I give it an average 6 out of 10.
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