Friday, January 17, 2014

Child's Play 2 - Stand Tall

Chucky, Chucky, Chucky. For friends of mine who aren’t horror fans, I find Chucky to be one of their most terrifying visages they've come across. Since they’ve never seen the movies, they only have their memories of VHS boxes from the video store to go off of. The slightly menacing but blank stare doesn’t reflect the overall goofy nature of the films. While the original does try to up the menacing factor it simply can’t get around that it’s a doll that’s about a foot tall wreaking havoc on these poor people, when a good kick would probably suffice in doing him in. I’d heard andread that Child’s Play 2 was the thinking person’s Child’s Play movie. But mainly I left the series alone. I caught Bride of Chucky because I adore Jennifer Tilley and I believe I caught part of Seed of Chucky on TV. With the Curse of Chucky getting solid reviews and ending up on a lot of Best of 2013 lists, I felt like I should check it out, but before I did I needed to see the sequel. 

Child’s Play 2 is a delight. It’s weird, it’s wacky, it’s well shot with some great performances and all these elements are matched by genuine energy that permeates the screen and makes everything a lot more fun and cohesive than the original. The pacing is tight and to the point so you can’t deal on Chucky’s stature for too long and the deaths, while over the top, are pretty freaky and elicited more than a few shudders from this blogger. The Chucky puppet is well animated and the filmmakers do a great job of cutting around any inconsistencies in the to allow the audience to fully immerse themselves in the movie. This shows that the filmmakers KNEW what kind of film they were making, from its strengths to its weaknesses they knew how to work with them.

The story picks up pretty quickly from where the first left off with the Good Guy Corp retrieving the cursed doll from the final crime scene of the first film and with Andy being put into foster care while his mother undergoes psychiatric evaluation. The Good Guy Corp manages to re-animate Chucky who needs Andy to transfer his soul to. Andy’s new foster family are kind yet weary of any kid who claims a doll did it repeatedly. The film works more as a dark satire than a straight forward horror film, tackling corporate America who are more concerned with profits than with human suffering and the imploding family unit. It’s really fun to see Jenny Agutter (from An American Werewolf in London) play Andy’s loving but long-suffering foster mom and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky is the most iconic voice performances in horror. And Alex Vincent as Andy gives a really great performance and is so cute I want to eat his face.

One of the fun things about growing up with horror (or ANY genre that you have an affinity for) is the opportunity to go back, revisit and revise previously held notions. There’s no fun in assuming that your twelve year old self was right about everything (except for drinking Coke a Cola through red licorice, I was right about that). Thankfully through sites like Dread Central and other fans we create a constant dialogue that opens up new viewpoints and opportunities if you’re open to it.