Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Starring: Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Christine Elise, voice of Brad Dourif
“Why fight it, Andy? We’re going to be very close. In fact, we’re gonna be fucking inseparable. ” (Chucky, Child’s Play 2)
You just can’t keep a bad doll down. Even though it seemed fairly clear Chucky was dead at the end of the original Child’s Play, it turns out while the body was weak the spirit was still willing. So when the company responsible for Good Guy dolls gets hold of Chucky’s remains and sets about cleaning the doll up as a publicity stunt to show it wasn’t cursed, Chucky’s soul awakens again and shit goes down. He then sets about finding Andy, the kid from the first film (who’s now staying with a foster family after his mum was deemed… well, a bit mental), to finally take over his body.
In a way, Child’s Play 2 is faced with the same dilemma as Jaws 2 – when you know who the killer is and you’ve already had a good look at them at the end of the previous film you can’t spend another 50 minutes playing it all mysterious. Half the original Child’s Play was spent trying to guess if Andy’s doll really was the one doing the killings, or whether it was just Andy using the doll as an excuse. Now we all know it’s Chucky, that whodunit angle goes right out the window for the sequel, which is why this time Chucky springs into life and starts the bodycount before your arse has even started to warm the seat.
Andy’s foster home provides a refreshing change of scenery while still keeping the story grounded in reality a little – his foster parents understandably think all the events from the first film were in Andy’s head and so they aren’t having any of it when Chucky finally tracks him down and he tries to convince them to kill it. Instead they think it’s Tommy, a different Good Guy doll they bought which, unknown to them, Chucky has already buried in the back garden. Having Andy trapped in an unfamiliar house with his would-be killer with no way of convincing anyone to help him creates an interesting tension which at least brings back the whodunit angle in some form, even though we’re all in on it this time.
A few unconvincing kills later (it’s hard to imagine a small doll can effectively beat someone to death with a ruler or be strong enough to suffocate someone with a plastic bag) the film finds itself in its final location, a huge toy factory where the Good Guys are manufactured. It’s a fun setting for the typical fifteen minutes of “killer stalking the heroes” shenanigans you’d expect from an early ‘90s slasher, with loads of conveyor belts and dangerous equipment lying around to keep things lively.
It all has to end eventually though, and Chucky’s demise this time is even more decisive than it was in the first movie, leaving absolutely no chance that they could put him together for a third film… or could they?
Although its predecessor was a stronger film when it was first released, now we all know Chucky is the killer these days Child’s Play 2 is the more entertaining movie. It’s got more action, more tension and more Chucky quips. It’s still not exactly a classic, but if you’re looking for one Chucky film to watch from the pre-comedy trilogy this is the one to go for.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
Brits can get the UK DVD version here fairly cheap. Americans, meanwhile, can get either the the US DVD here or get it as part of the Chucky Killer DVD Collection, which contains Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky.