Skip to content

John’s Horror Corner: Child’s Play 2 (1990), an inferior evil doll sequel that still manages to entertain, especially with its melty finale.

October 19, 2019

MY CALL: While distinctly inferior to Child’s Play (1988), this sequel remains perfectly entertaining when not directly compared to its predecessor. It does a good job continuing the story of Chucky’s pursuit of Andy with a new angle, and it still manages to deliver a great opening and a quite gruesomely memorable ending. MOVIES LIKE Child’s Play 2: The other Chucky movies most worth watching are Child’s Play (1988), and then I might skip all the way to Curse of Chucky (2013) and Cult of Chucky (2017)—not that I didn’t enjoy them all to some degree. There is also the excellent remake of Child’s Play (2019). Other quality evil doll films include The Boy (2016), Annabelle: Creation (2017), Dolly Dearest (1991), Dolls (1987) and Puppet Master (1989).

We begin immediately after the events of Child’s Play (1988). Like an autopsy of our possessed-doll killer (Charles Lee Ray), we observe the charred and largely-melted remains of our favorite evil Good Guy doll as it is skinned, stripped, gutted, buffed and refitted with all new plastic limbs and skin and face. Even new overalls and fresh batteries. Good as new!

With his mother in a psychiatric facility (after the events of part 1), Andy (Alex Vincent; Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky, Child’s Play) is placed in a foster home in the care of Joanne (Jenny Agutter; An American Werewolf in London, Dark Tower) and Phil (Gerrit Graham; TerrorVision, CHUD II, It’s Alive III, Chopping Mall).

But in no time, Chucky (Brad Dourif; The Hazing, Child’s Play, Dune, Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky) finds Andy and is back to his old routine of trying to Voodoo-shunt his soul into the little boy. For as we learned in part 1, Chucky needs a human host or he’ll be trapped in his doll form forever.

Inexperienced but capable director John Lafia (Man’s Best Friend) and writer Don Mancini (Child’s Play and all sequels) team up to make a perfectly serviceable horror flick. I enjoyed it—because it was fun (for a mean horror flick). But if we’re being honest, all the magic and dread of part 1 felt completely missed in the execution of this popcorn horror movie. The death scenes felt more generic and impactfully flat. Even Brad Dourif gives a lighter performance. Where were the growling screams, where was all the desperate snarling yelling? His lines didn’t help, but the character felt subdued compared to his unfettered introduction in 1988. Everything felt like an impotent attempt to be even meaner than before—and it fails at every turn. But despite that, Chucky is back and more cruel than ever.

Watch out for Greg Germann (Quarantine) suffering a “just plain mean” plastic bag asphyxiation death scene in the car, and the factory “eye installation” death scene. Deliciously gruesome and mean. But the cost is that all of the tact and restraint in Chucky’s execution are out the window. We know what he is and there’s no mystery left.

What’s most redeeming about this film is its bookends. The opening was an excellent way to reignite the sequel. And the finale takes place in the same origin: the Good Guy doll factory. Chucky tearing off his own hand and self-installing his wrist blade (a la Ash) might be the best part of the movie.

And when Chucky gets gooily melted in the factory and his head explodes into gory chum… it’s truly a glorious finish. Reminds me of a lower caliber execution of the dog scene in The Thing (1982) crossed with Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and The Fly II (1989). Funny how both movies end with burning or melting the poor fella’.

While distinctly inferior to Child’s Play (1988), this sequel remains perfectly entertaining when not directly compared to its predecessor. It does a good job continuing the story of Chucky’s pursuit of Andy with a new angle, and it still manages to deliver a great opening and quite gruesomely memorable ending. Consider it a good popcorn horror flick as long as you enjoy meaner-spirited horror.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: