He’s Up Again
I never really liked the old Child’s Play movies, those campy but offbeat little slasher flicks from the ’80s featuring an evil possessed doll on a killing spree. They always seemed like sorry rip-offs of Devil Doll and the climax from Dead of Night. However, I liked this latter-day sequel quite a lot.
Jennifer Tilly wiggles her way through the role of Chucky’s old girl friend from before his timely death. She still loves him – even though his soul is stuck in a Toys R Us clearance special – and hatches a plan to get her hands on the doll (again voiced by Brad Dourif) and ressurrect her honey, no matter how many people get killed in the process. Where can I find a girl like that?
Unfortunately, there’s trouble in paradise once Chucky makes his return (seems Chuck wasn’t really intent on getting hitched), and it’s not long before the old lovers are at each others throats again. While Chucky’s finishing off his old flame he manages to get her stuck inside a doll, too, which isn’t the brightest of ideas if you ask me.
The pair takes to the road in an attempt to regain human bodies, hitching a ride with a pair of star-crossed lovers, and pinning their misdeeds on the unlucky youngsters while they’re at it.
This fourth entry in the series beats the odds by coming out better than the previous three combined. Screenwriter Don Mancini has always had his tongue in his cheek since he wrote the first movie. With this one he decided to go all out for comedy, much of it aimed subtly at the institution of marriage. The gags score consistently and I was often LOL. The unpredictable plot also helps – I always appreciate a movie when I can’t ever tell what’s coming next.
And you can’t beat a movie in which both John Ritter and Alexis Arquette play creeps – and both get killed in interesting ways.