Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Child's Play 2: Chucky's Back - 1990

No, I haven't "gone main stream" or anything like that.  Hey I have firmly established, I review whatever the fuck I want.  However, yes you are right if you are saying that I've had a small series of well known movies lately, that Friday the 13th movie, etc.  But I only reviewed that cause it was 1986, and as I stated I'm marathon-ing 1986 movies.  I'm not going to go out and watch all the Friday the 13th movies or anything.

I somehow convinced my wife to watch Child's Play with me like a week ago.  We have had two themes going in our movie watchings:  "late 90's early 2000's action movies" and "1980's classics".  Those are two awesome themes by the way, I highly recommend them.  Both are ripe with awful dialogue, awful clothes and styles, and the early 2000's action movies especially are super cheesy with their CGI attempts.  So we Googled 80's movie classics and Child's Play came up, and she'd seen it but only once, remembered it being "weird" and that was enough reason to rent it!

Seeing Child's Play again was great.  I reference it a lot on here, because I like killer doll movies, and it's not an overdone genre.  Chucky is "the" killer doll.  If you say killer doll, no matter what, people will think of him.  Puppet Master, though it has more films, became too horrible too fast, whereas Chucky at least had 3-4 decent enough movies before they turned awful.  And of course, see my reviews of Pinocchio's Revenge and Dolly Dearest.

Andy Barclay is back, the character from the first movie who surprised us all with a reminder of how good child actors can be.  In this he is asked to do a little bit more, and there are parts where it's not perfect and seems a little wooden, but overall he's very good in the film.  Now he is an orphan, his mom being in a mental hospital (!) and he's being sent to live with a new family.  Meanwhile, the toy company rebuilds Chucky for some unknown reason, and Chucky immediately comes alive again. Chucky resumes his hunt for Andy so that he can transfer his soul into Andy, and leaves a trail of bodies in his wake.

This is the classic approach of "take the original, erase the suspense, and replace it with blood and other over-the-top qualities".  It's not that I don't like the approach.  Think about it, you have basically only a few options.  You could have Andy be forgotten, the doll rebuilt, and given to another child....but we the audience already know the doll is evil and the suspense will be gone when we see it.  Or, you could have the doll rebuilt, given to Andy, and have him be all "unsure" if the doll is evil again...except it's the same problem, no suspension of disbelief for the audience.

Andy is trying his best to be a good kid, and living with the new family is tough.  Especially cause in the toy chest is another one of those Good Guys dolls, and seeing that goes about as well as you'd expect.  Andy teams up with another adoptee, Kyle, and they form a bond.  Andy will need it, because next thing you know, the doll in the toy chest isn't friendly little Tommy...

For what it is, this is a pretty decent follow up.  It's definitely not as good as the first one, and it tended to be a little bit more embarrassing too.  Watching it with my wife I felt a little dumb for recommending it.  It's not aged especially well.  But worse than that is the absence of black humor and the bizarre/weird factor that was in the first one.  The first one walked this line where it wasn't a direct horror movie, it was almost a mystery film, and then it suddenly took an extreme turn with the doll.  It's not that we as the audience were wondering if the doll was indeed alive, it's more just that it seems so extreme, over the top, and it's quite surprising to see just how alive the doll truly is.  It was near impossible to one up that in any sequel, but they do try, and that's what is hard to watch.

The best part about this movie is the end.  That was the most memorable part, and it will probably always stick with me.  I love it.  It's nearly a half hour long insane hunt through a doll factory.  It's over the top and ridiculous, and the effects are fucking over the top with how great they are.  The doll factory looks fucking awesome, and I won't spoil it if I say that Chucky's death scene(s) = goddamn entertaining.  So that gets it a full star.  Which I guess gives it a 3.5 star rating.


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