61 Days of Halloween- Child’s Play 2

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Child’s Play

In stark contrast to the first installment of this series Child’s Play 2 gets off on the wrong foot and never really rights itself. It all starts very early on. How and why Chucky comes back to life is never confirmed. At the end of the first we assume that he was shot through the heart and hence he was dead. Granted he is becoming more human within the doll all the time but this concern is never addressed. If we want to suspend disbelief we must be left to assume the bullet just missed.

Whether it was a business decision or an aesthetic one all that happens is we are told that Miss Barclay, Andy’s mom, had a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized and never see her either get to that point or where she is. It is understandable to want Andy isolated in this tale so that he faces more adversity. However, we as an audience can be let in on it so it is to an extent a piece of the tale which could be very compelling is far too overlooked.

If the first two strikes against it weren’t enough well there’s more. The climactic fight takes things back to the toy factory where Chucky was cleaned up. This battle has the same issue the battle in the first film had. You have to kill Chucky, or believe you killed him, three times to really kill him and yes, revisionists, I’m aware that he’s not really dead but you catch my drift.

The dialogue for the most part in this film is just lazy with some gems like “Get lost microchip,” it’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t even have been funny in the 80s. A new director was at the helm and it was definitely noticeable. This film just doesn’t move as assuredly and a lot of the supporting performances are just off.

The one redeeming quality is that the character of Kyle (Christine Elise) who had the trappings of a typically snotty, annoyance of a character ends up being pretty cool and an ally of Andy’s and the only other good performance aside from Alex Vincent. The parents and Brad Dourif fell into the decent categories with occasional slips to lower stratifications.

It is a sluggish disappointment of a film. The first film set the framework up for how a tale of this nature could be made to work and it was completely ignored.

4/10

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61 Days of Halloween- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Danielle Harris in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (Universal)

This installment immediately starts off on the wrong foot with a pulled punch. We back track and see what Jamie really did do and it lightens the blow severely and nearly retroactively damages the previous film.

This film suffers from lulls. Michael is quite absent and when he appears he is all too visible. Many of the kills occur offscreen and corpses are discovered later.

The corpse shock scene, where our hero discovers Michael’s victims after their death, is a staple of this series but this installment goes to the well one too many times, at least.

This film is less of a slasher film than the others in the series and while that change is welcome and perhaps even necessary, the drama and traditional horror we are left with need to be equally as compelling and it is not.

Jamie’s symbiosis with Michael never fully gets addressed or explained yet in this installment it gets amplified. In a film like E.T. that sort of explanation isn’t necessary as we are dealing with extraterrestrial life. Here a theory or even a guess would’ve been welcome.

There are also several protracted bogus scares in this film which are a complete and utter waste of time and are not an adequate substitute for a lack of involvement by Michael himself in the film.

This film even goes so far as to include a car chase which is so far removed from what makes this series work that it’s not even funny. This just exemplifies some of the screenplay issues that this particular installment was faced with.

One thing this film does have going for it is that it isn’t replete with people you’d like to see die so there is a minimal investment in the film in that way but there are so many problems that you’re almost surprised they didn’t break Michael’s connection to Halloween and have him show up in mid-November instead.

Near the end he actually does shed the tears that he shouldn’t be able to. Part II handled it right with a bullet to the head forcing blood out his mask’s eyeholes.

To close it up the penultimate showdown between Michael and Jamie is in a laundry chute. It was as uncomfortable to watch as I’m sure it was to shoot and then of course you have the end.

The ending is a cop out where there is yet another explosion but that’s all. Again somewhat like Part II only nowhere near as effective. You see nothing. Just flames and we end. It’s no wonder that no one wanted to pick up and run with this series immediately following that point, it was not a high. Not at all.

1/10