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Child's Play 3 (DVD)
Member Name: Charliewhippet
Child's Play 3 (DVD)
Date: 22/11/11, updated on 04/06/12 (108 review reads)
Advantages: Well, it's got Chucky in it.
Disadvantages: Dreary, uninspired sequel with plot holes galore.
May contain spoilers if you're not familiar with the first two movies....
In case you're unfamiliar with the Child's play films, they centre upon a killer (Charles Lee Ray, or "Chucky" as he's known to his friends) who has used voodoo to inhabit the body of a creepy, child-sized sized doll. Despite the fact that Chucky completely melted into a plasticky goo at the end of the 2nd film, the money-grabbing sequel machine demands that he must be resurrected....
Seeing as the final showdown of the second film took place in the doll factory itself, I suppose it's not so crazy that his blood could run, unnoticed, into the new doll moulds. (No stranger than him having blood in the first place - it seems the longer you live in a doll's body, the more human you get.) Slightly sillier (even by Child's play standards) is the idea that all that random blood could give life to just one doll. (Surely the magical properties would have dripped into more dolls, creating an army of Chuckys? Now, that WOULD be scary.)
It's said that the screenwriter (Don Mancini) was put under great pressure by Universal to produce another sequel even as Child's Play 2 was being filmed. As a result, this is the weakest film in the franchise so far, as he admits he was short on ideas at this point.
Bizarrely, (seeing as this film was released only 9 months after Child's play 2) we have now jumped ahead 8 years, and Andy has joined a military school. We have no clue as to what the authorities may have made of the murders of his foster parents. Or why Chucky is still pursuing Andy, even though he learned in the last film that the voodoo won't work and he cannot inhabit Andy's body. (Presumably old habits die hard - maybe he even felt sort of fond of Andy, after 2 killings. Or maybe he is just irritated at being stuck in a doll's body, and when Chucky is irritated... people die.)
If you recall, the shaky logic of the voodoo was that Chucky could take over the body of the first person he revealed himself too. Now he has been re-moulded, in theory he gets another chance - although he ruins this idea when, strictly speaking, the "first person he reveals himself to" is the CEO of the toy company.
Chucky manages to wrap himself up into a box and get himself posted to Andy at the academy. (www.imdb.com points out that this isn't impossible - he could have left a note to the CEO's staff to mail out the new doll. But why leave us wondering? I'm not in favour of spoon-feeding the audience superfluous information, but would a 30 second scene explaining the apparent goof be so out of order?)
He also makes a new friend; Enter Tyler, a junior cadet at the military school; he is apparently not fazed at all by a living doll. Police involvement is conspicuous by its absence as Chucky throws caution to the wind and starts exposing his secret and killing people willy nilly. The military school seems like a last ditch attempt to shake up the Chucky storyline; unfortunately it's kind of boring. Is it bad that I found myself wishing Chucky would get more screentime? I know he's evil, but he is also by far the most charismatic and entertaining character in the film. And by this time the emphasis is on Chucky as wisecracking comedy character rather than just a psychopath.
The film builds to a "war games" climax, with a second teenage girl companion for Andy (we never again hear of Kyle or why her testimony against Chucky was never exposed - another giant plot hole.)
Chucky has developed the abilities of a ninja despite being a small person who cannot run without being seen. (He seems to have given up on trying to keep his identity a secret, perhaps relying on stories of "mass hallucinations" to explain the impossible.) A ghost train and a haunted house make a clever backdrop to the final climax.
This film is, as far as I know, never shown on British TV, since being linked with horrific real life events. (If you were unaware, back in 1993, two 10 year old boys killed James Bulger, a toddler they abducted from a shopping centre.)
Journalists claimed the film had influenced the two young boys, although there is some debate on whether they actually watched it - their parents claim they didn't, although I'm sure many ten years olds have managed to watch video nasties without adults' knowledge.)
For what it's worth, now that I have actually seen the film for myself, I am positive that it had nothing to do with this case. The blue paint which became so famous a part of the media frenzy barely registers in this film, what with all the breaking glass and attacking remote control toys. A train track does feature, but as Police Inspector Ray Simpson was quoted as saying "If you are going to link this murder to a film, you might as well link it to The Railway Children".
By today's standards the Child's play films don't seem particularly gruesome, but I have no doubt that a constant diet of movie violence DOES "normalise" brutality. However, media panics are never helpful and only provide a convenient excuse for horrific behaviour. (Oliver Stone was even sued by the family of a murder victim; they felt that watching "Natural born killers" was enough to incite the evildoers.) To be honest, I read news stories every day which are more disturbing than any horror film I've ever seen - most people don't seem to need any lessons from the movies in how to treat people callously.
So, will we see Chucky again? We know the answer is yes, but I can't wait to see how they manage to put him back together this time...
Summary: For devoted fans only