Director – Jack Bender
Cast – Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves, Jeremy Sylvers, Travis Fine, Dean Jacobson, Brad Dourif, Peter Haskell, Dakin Matthews, Andrew Robinson, Burke Byrnes, Matthew Walker, Donna Eskra
Release Year – 1991
Reviewed by John of the Dead
As a big fan of the “Child’s Play” franchise, and of Chucky in general, I found this film flawed but still entertaining. There is just something about a killer doll that always gets me intrigued, and subsequently freaked out. While this film does have a somewhat silly plot it is a film of it’s own compared to the rest in the series and takes the franchise to a new atmosphere.
This installment takes place 8 years after the events of “Child’s Play 2”. Andy(Justin Whalin) is now a teenager and has been enrolled in a military school, most likely due to him being dropped from foster home after foster home. The money-grabbing executives of the Play Pals Toy Company has decided to re-release their best selling item, the Good Guy doll. Re-using old materials has caused the spirit of strangler Charles Lee Ray(the always awesome Brad Dourif) to once again inhabit the body of a Good Guy doll, meaning Andy’s new beginning will return to his old nightmare. When Chucky learns of Andy’s current whereabouts he makes his way to the school only to discover a younger kid named Tyler who has taken a liking to Chucky. Chucky realizes that this child may be his key to leaving his current plastic body, and shifts his focus to Tyler. Because Andy is the only person at the school who knows Chucky’s horrible intentions, it is up to him to save Tyler and rid his life of Chucky once again.
Definitely the worst of the original “Child’s Play” trilogy, this is still not a bad watch. Sure Chucky invades a…military boarding school, but hell, writer Don Mancini was pressured to begin this film’s script before “Child’s Play 2” was even released. Basically, the guy was out of ideas and threw together what he could in such a short amount of time. Personally, I found whatever joy I could find out of the film’s setting change and saw it as a break from the usual plot of Andy’s guardians, his mother or his foster parents, not believing him and allowing Chucky to run free and torture him. It’s not great, but it works. Story wise there were some silly elements thrown in, especially the use of the female lead named Kristen(Perrey Reeves). Once again a horror film throws in a person of the opposite sex to form some sort of love interest with the lead protagonist for the audience to marvel over, but the element comes up short handed. Why short handed? Well, it seems she was only added to the film to make it SEEM there was a love interest, because we never got much of that from either character. Don Mancini must have been in a pretty big rush to leave out some development in that area.
Director Jack Bender did a mediocre job with this film, and it shows with some silly scares and some pacing issues. The film is not really slow by any means, it is just uninteresting in some areas and it forced me to lose focus at times. Thankfully, I have seen this film numerous times so I did not miss anything during my lapses. We get some decent gore from him, so his directing job is at the least not a sour one. Quite honestly, I must say that the direction during the opening credits lead me to believe that this film’s opening is one of the coolest I’ve seen in the horror genre. I was very impressed, and considered it to be not as great, but up there with one of my favorite opening credit sequences EVER, that from David Fincher‘s “Se7en”. Yup, it really is awesome. Too bad, that is about as awesome as Bender’s direction gets.
Overall, this is a OK film that is sure to only possibly please fans of Chucky and the “Child’s Play” franchise. Those not interested in this iconic killer doll should probably stay away from this and leave it to the fans to spend their time on. We get a fair amount of gore, some cool Chucky action, but unfortunately mediocre direction and writing keep this one from being a truly positive watch.