February 3, 2011

Movie Review: Child's Play 3

In 1988 the world was introduced to one of cinema's most enduring killer dolls. Always destined to be more recognizable than Full Moon Picture's Puppet Master toys or those in Demonic Toys, although I would like to see Chucky take on Blade and his gang, Chucky returns for his third go around in 4 years. Is it possible that the little fella still has some terror hiding up his sleeve or does he wear his welcome thin?



Well, Child's Play 3 has its moments, I felt it was getting a little tired. Besides that, I cannot say I particularly cared for this outing. I did not like the setting and I did not feel like they got the Andy character right. Rather, the way I envisioned it on the heels of the first two films. I had fun with the move, the Chucky character is always fun, nothing like some death and wisecracks.

The problems start early on. So early that the opening credits sequence gets in on the fun. The opening is in the toy factory where part 2 ended, doll parts and dust litter the room and in the middle is the melted down Chucky right where he was left when 2 ended. There is a cleanup going on. As the cleanup is going on, it looks like the line is being started back up. Odd that they would be going on simultaneously. A small crane arm comes down from the ceiling and grabs Chucky's remains, which begin to bleed. He is picked up and moved across the screen where some blood falls in the vat of liquid plastic that is being prepared for a new round of Good Guy dolls. Guess what those blood drippings mean? That's right, a new Chucky is about to be made.

Never mind that the sequence makes no sense, that the factory did not likely close right after part 2, that melted Chucky never would have been left like that, and that the sequence of events would have occurred as shown. Besides all that, it is a nicely shot and effectively creepy opening.

Child's Play 3 picks up the story eight years after the second. The toy company, obviously, is giving the Good Guy doll line another shot while young Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin) is now a teenager and has been remanded to military school. The remolded Chucky finds his information and heads off for a reunion. Some new players get involved and everything builds to a climatic showdown between Andy and Chucky.

I don't know, the whole thing never came together. For a kid with the issues you would expect Andy to have, he seems remarkably well adjusted. It just plays out rather strangely. The dynamic between Andy and Chucky feels off and the mystery of the source of the killings is nowhere  be found. Everybody discovers Chucky rather quickly. Then there is that carnival in the middle of the woods.

I certainly can enjoy it on a B-level as just something to have fun with, but as a movie fan I cannot say I like it. There are too many opportunities to make it better that were not taken. Then there is the series continuity, this one kind of throws things for a loop, I am not sure what the time between parts 1 and 2 is, it would seem like two years, but could be much shorter. Part 3 indicates it is eight years later, but is that from part 1 or part 2? Then how does Bride of Chucky fit in? I guess I shouldn't think about that.

In the end, Child's Play 3 is not all that interesting to me. There is nothing all that surprising or even creepy or scary. Each successive film has gotten cornier with characters that take it over the top. Neither of these two sequels matches the genuine eerie creepiness or scares that the first one delivered.

Not Recommended.


Note: This title watched via Netflix DVD, but is not, obviously, a DVD review.

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