Picks and Pans Review: Child's Play 2

updated 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Chucky, Alex Vincent

At least here's one doll you can safely eliminate from your Christmas shopping list. The homicidal Chucky is back after the soul of young Vincent and is bumping off everyone who gets in his way, including foster parents Jennie Agutter and Gerrit Graham. The boy's natural mother was put under psychiatric observation—and understandably so—after the first film. His only protector now is a plucky orphan, Christine Elise, who turns in a nicely modulated performance.

The trick is to make what appears to be an 18-inch, half-pound plastic doll with Brad Dourif's voice seem menacing instead of silly. It is a trick that director John (The Blue Iguana) Lafia achieves through smart camera placement. But the only rationale for willingly subjecting yourself to this distressingly meanspirited and foul-mouthed movie is the presumed pleasures in finding something to make your pulse pound. Long before the overkill finish, you'll realize that it has managed to do that only moderately well. (R)

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