CHILD'S PLAY 2
Director: John Lafia
Year of release: 1990
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 81 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "Look out Jack...Chucky's back".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Not long after the events of the first film the toy company behind the Good Guy dolls retrieve the mangled and burnt remains of Chucky before cleaning and reassembling him. Before we can learn what plans the company may have for the reconstructed doll a bolt of lighting strikes and finds its way inside the building killing one of the workers. Any plans the company may have had for Chucky appear to be shelved in light of this incident.
Meanwhile we learn that Andy is now living in care with his Mother confined to psychiatric evaluation after her continued insistence that the doll was behind the murders seen last time out. Andy is fostered by a couple where he strikes up a friendship with new and older foster sister Kyle. The unfortunate Andy is soon tracked down by a vengeful Chucky, somehow now reanimated after the stray lightning bolt. Through trickery Chucky manages to find himself a place within the family himself where he quickly sets about resuming his task of trying to transfer his soul from the vessel of the doll to the young boy.
As bodies pile up of those that get in the way Andy and Kyle team up to fight back, a task which leads them to the Good Guy production factory.
Good points: Mild spoilers: For me the deaths seemed a bit better this time around than what was featured in part one. The murder that occurred in the classroom and then the kill towards the end with the factory worker and the eye machinery in particular stood out as being fun ones. Though not a proper death I also enjoyed the part where Chucky attacked the other doll near the beginning before burying him.
With Brad Dourif returning as the voice of Chucky and also the character of Andy once again taking one of the lead roles there is good continuity with the story threads from the original being picked up on with Chucky once again pursuing his task of taking over Andy’s body. It’s a shame Andy’s Mother didn’t return as well but in Kyle we have a solid substitute who helps fill the void and does a fine job in her role as a final girl of a sort. Andy himself also remains likeable and never becomes overly annoying or too bratty.
I liked two of the locations used for large parts of the movie starting with the foster home and its creepy basement. It’s a little similar to the basement later seen in Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers and makes for an ominous backdrop. The toy factory was also a good setting to house the final showdown. Though short lived the scenes in the school also appealed to me a lot and they actually left me a little disappointed that more of the film didn’t play out in this area.
Much like with the original everything relating to how Chucky moves about especially in fight sequences is well put together and doesn’t look at all ropey or fake. Considering it was made over twenty five years ago now it all still holds up visually which is a testament to the hard work that must have gone into it in terms of the robotics and puppetry.
Bad Points: I was slightly disappointed that no attempt was made to reveal what had happened to Detective Norris from the first film. He presumably would have backed up the claims that Chucky was responsible for the killings seen previously so should have at least been mentioned in passing even if he no longer was with the police but instead under psychiatric review as was Andy’s Mother. Though the continuity was largely good it could have done with a bit more detail about what happened in the immediate aftermath of the original relating directly to Andy as well. He was under suspicion from the police at one point in the first film of perhaps being involved in the murders in some way something which surely would only have grown stronger after he escaped from the medical building last time out and the death of the doctor. If the police don’t believe Chucky was involved then wouldn’t that mean they still suspect Andy? If so you would think he would be monitored in some sort of group care home instead of quickly being shipped out to a foster family.
Spoiler: I did enjoy the location of the factory for the climax of the film but I think the battle here between Andy and Chucky went on a little too long for its own good. Though I liked how Chucky came back seemingly from the dead two or three times at the end of the original this time when they kept doing a similar thing in the factory it came across to me as a bit overcooked and too overblown. The battle for me just took too long to play out. I didn’t understand what happened at one point either as Chucky got pulled up into some machinery that turned him into a big block of jumbled body parts that in now way resembled a doll shape yet shortly after he came back with seemingly only his legs damaged and everything above the torso completely intact. I wasn’t sure what was supposed to have happened there.
To finish with a very small nit-pick style gripe it was a little bit unrealistic maybe that the toy factory was even open and up and running as it was so late at night. You would think it would close in the late afternoon and if it did stay open for whatever reason they would likely need more than one member of staff to keep everything functioning.
Verdict: A very worthy sequel that for me at least managed to maintain the same quality as the original. I like the Andy character so I enjoyed seeing him once again in a key role to resume his battle with Chucky. I felt that this one came across with a more slasher type feel as well than it’s predecessor which endeared it to me with a more traditional female teen protagonist in Kyle as well as more elaborate kills and discovery of bodies. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily better than the original but probably equal to it which is pretty high praise.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Chucky doll restoration worker: Electrocuted by bolt of lightning and sent hurtling through a glass window.
2)Company Executive Mattson: Suffocated with plastic wrap in his car.
3)Mrs Kettlewell: Beaten to death with a large ruler/yardstick.
4)Phil Simpson: Neck broken after falling down basement steps.
5)Joanne Simpson: Killed off camera, found by sewing machine with her throat slit.
6)Grace: Stabbed in the chest several times. Falls into photocopier as she dies.
7)Factory worker: Killed by machine that inserts eyes into dolls.