Like all great horror villains, Chucky would have his fair share of sequels to follow his debut, starting with 'Child's Play 2' in 1990. It's relatively standard as far as horror sequels go - the villain miraculously comes back to life for revenge, and the lead comes back to be placed in some sort of special care scenario (i.e. 'Dream Warriors', 'Revenge of Michael Myers', 'The New Blood'), and several "nobody" characters are taken out by the killer in an ultimate mission of revenge (or copycatting).
But despite this film being released right around the time slasher horror was at a tipping point, it still managed to hold its own. Chucky the murderous doll provided something fairly new for audiences, and we could tell right away that he had the potential to be the next big thing in slasher horror. We were right about him for the most part, but he also burned fast and hot, leading to comedic additions to his movies for them to be worth a damn. Luckily though, with 'Child's Play 2', things are still pretty decent and frightening for kids (if they could get away with watching this stuff - I know a LOT who did!), and parents trying to protect kids alike. Though ultimately weaker than the first, this is still a solid watch for the series.
This time around, we are reunited with now 8-year-old Andy (Alex Vincent), about two years after the first film's events. He has since been placed in foster care while his mother has been placed under special care for her "delusions" about her boy's murderous doll, Chucky (Brad Douriff). Because of Andy and his mother's ravings about Chucky, the PlayPals toy company finds and rebuilds the doll in an effort to prove to the public that he's actually safe, and the Good Guy toy line isn't faulty. Once the eyes are put in, Chucky returns to life, and he continues pursuing Andy in order to get his soul into Andy's body. Otherwise, he becomes trapped in that doll body of his and becomes mortal and much more vulnerable.
Andy meets and befriends a teen troublemaker (using the term loosely) named Kyle (Christine Elise). Here, she plays the role of caretaker to Andy just a bit more than the actual Foster parents. In many ways, she could be seen as an addition to include the "survivor girl" for this, even though Andy is the actual lead for this series. With that said though, we like Kyle quite a lot. She's the only one who seems to care about Andy in this (at least eventually) and is willing to help him in ways that the foster family can't (or won't). She makes for a good second in this and even offers the perspective of a teenager, which the first movie almost surprisingly didn't have (since teens are such a massive element in most slasher horror).
Andy, however, is the one we really want to route for in this in that he's just a kid facing this little terror, once again combining the physical fears of the living doll coming to kill him as well as the idea that no one will listen to what he has to say about the situation. The whole "authority-figure-won't-believe-me" thing is kind of a big part of most horror movies like this, but there's something of another level here in that he's only a kid, and therefore much more vulnerable. But while the first included the fears of what your kids may be going through and thoughts of protecting them from the world, this one plays more with the fears Andy is facing, which include Chucky, being away from his real mother, and ultimately feeling alone.
Depending on what one's looking for, this almost parallels the first film in quality. The first is much more creepy and subtle with its execution and is likely the scarier of the two. But there's more of a slasher aspect to this that fits the stereotypes of the time, which can either be seen as lots of fun (like I tend to see it) or old news (as many critics go with). I also like the look of Chucky here a bit better. He's still got that otherworldly animation to him, but he also looks and sounds so much more sinister in this one. Personally, I find that he comes across as more of a sinister movie monster here than he did last time, where he still came across as a bit of a gangster-like criminal.
For my money, 'Child's Play 2' is a more than worthy sequel to its predecessor. It might not quite be as creepy as the original, but it still does a good job of developing Andy, making Chucky a little more vicious than he was before, and showing some creative kills. Although Chucky's not exactly my favourite horror villain, this is probably where I've enjoyed him the most aside maybe from 'Curse' (review coming soon). All in all, my favourite in the series lies somewhere between this one and the original. It's mostly based on the idea that Andy is still a vulnerable kid between those two films, and it adds that frightening layer of helplessness. But does that mean the reviews are gonna take a downhill turn now? Not necessarily, but time will tell!