Film Corner: Child's Play 3

I finished Child's Play 1 & 2 earlier this week, I don't see why not continue the fun today! Today, we'll be #Kissmatewatches-ing Child's Play 3, directed by Jack Bender. This one takes place in a military school, cause nothing is scarier than authoritarian bureaucracy! "The tortured spirit of Chucky rises again to seek revenge on the boy who killed him eight years ago, the now teenaged Andy Barclay."

Our first look is the abandoned factory where Andy and Kyle killed Chucky last film. A crane pulls the bloody remains of Chucky over a vat of flesh-plastic, presumably contaminating it. A doll reforms slowly, like it was melting in reverse. Credits accompany. We get our recap via exec meeting. They're wondering if it's worth putting their Good Guy dolls back in the market again, or if there will be another Andy Barclay ready to put their stocks back in the toilet.

From a marketing perspective, why not make a Good Guy 2? Make it better, shinier, and less buggy? Still get some nostalgia sales while putting a new item out. Over-saturation is a thing! These dolls came out a decade ago! Time to move onward and upward! Alas, they agree to put the original dolls on the market again. The CEO is even gifted with the very first one hot off the factory floor! That's reassuring for his livelihood and health. The CEO's death is slow and teasing. So many pan-overs and brief glimpses of what's there or not there, it's good scene. And it has one of my favorite lines: "Don't Fuck With The Chuck."

Chucky finds out on CEO's CPU that Andy Barclay is now in Kent Military School. We didn't get the original child actor back (Alex Vincent), so instead we got the actor who hero'd in the Dungeons and Dragons movie, Justin Whalin. He looks more vanity than victim. The head of the school, Cochrane, gives Andy some advice: "Grow Up". He quotes the bible at Andy and then sends him to the barber.

Oh fuck, the barber... This character has to come with some warnings because he is creepy in a "bad touch" way.

- He keeps the hair of each boy he cuts on a wall.
- The tone of his voice is bordering on sensual.
- He pulls on Andy's hair "to make a point".

That was in one scene alone. While in the barber's chair, a commercial for the Good Guy dolls comes on and Andy almost has a panic attack. This poor kid needs therapy, not military school! Fortunately, he keeps his calm long enough for no one to notice. Andy's roommate, Whitehurst, is introduced via Geek-Tied-In-Closet/Locker trope. We learn there's a bullying hardass named Shelton. Sounds like he's going to be our next Phil (cruel unbeliever who hates Andy). During inspection, Shelton gives Andy and Whitehurst some hell, but a teenaged girl named De Silva likes to speak her mind about it.

De Silva: "You asshole."
Shelton: "What did you say?"
De Silva: "I said, 'You Asshole,' Sir!"

Afterwards, we follow a young Black kid named Tyler. All he's ever wanted was a toy to call his own, because having eight-year-olds in military school is just sad. When a large package to Andy turns out to be a Good Guy doll, Tyler can't help but keep it! Chucky spills a bit to Tyler about how he wants Andy, but then thinks about it. Why not use another DIFFERENT kid to play Hide the Soul? It doesn't HAVE to be Andy all the time! While that supposedly happens, we see Andy is terrible at shooting and De Silva can't wait to help him out. There's some chemistry between the two rebellious teens!

We look back to see Chucky about to finish the chant, when Cochrane and another adult walk in. Cochrane is not happy to see Tyler playing with "girl's dolls" and takes Chucky away. Toxic masculinity is such bullshit. We see that Andy was not taught the special words at school as he doesn't fall out when told to fall out. (You'd think a *school* would focus on the teaching?) He's shocked enough to drop his gun when he sees Cochrane with a Good Guy doll.

I swear this movie is a good advertisement for therapy. This poor kid sees a commercial and a doll (not knowing if either have anything to do with Charles Lee Ray) and has panic attacks each time. Therapy and Xanax would do wonders for Andy, not army-style punishment! Cochrane throws Chucky in the dumpster, which is immediately emptied into the garbage-crusher-machine-truck. A poor waste management worker is killed for daring to do his job. Why, I think Chucky might be an asshole!

Andy is unpacking in his room while Chucky sneaks around. Chucky attacks him and tells Andy EVERYTHING ABOUT HIS PLAN. You say you don't want him to spoil it, but now he knows who to protect and what from! Shelton interrupts the face-off and takes Chucky away because... he's an ass? Andy waits until everyone's asleep to go to Shelton's room to finish Chucky off. Unfortunately, Chucky and a knife are both missing. Shelton wakes up to see Barclay in his room, and is hella mad.

While the boys all march outside in the cold wet outside as Shelton's revenge, Chucky goes to visit Tyler. Tyler was feeling playful tonight, so he left Chucky a note saying to come and find him. He hides in Cochrane's office while Chucky calls out to him. Meanwhile: Another two students are up to no good as De Silva and a friend of hers go snooping through Barclay's file because De Silva has a crush on him and wants to know more about him. They find Chucky and Tyler, then proceed to give Chucky lipstick because.... girls just do that? IDK.

Cochrane was coming, so everyone split, leaving Chucky behind. Cochrane enters his office and sees Chucky. He tosses him in the trash. The sight of the doll coming to life and brandishing a knife threateningly is enough to send him into a lethal cardiac arrest. The next day, some people are broken up about Cochrane's death, but since he ran a "tight ship", they go forward with everything as normal because he'd also say fuck grieving over lives. I say good riddance to bad trash.

The barber is going around during breakfast and telling the kids when they're due for their haircuts. He does so by grabbing their hair and yanking their head back. He looks disgustedly at the girls as De Silva flaunts her long hair. Can he die please? Andy tries to warn Tyler about Chucky, but Tyler won't hear it. "His name is Charles. You're jealous he's my best friend now and not yours." This kid breaks my heart. Tyler wants a friend so bad that he refuses to see Chucky as anything but a rascal to play with.

As the barber is cleaning up after Whitehurst, he stumbles across Chucky. "That haircut ain't regulation, soldier." He puts the doll on the chair and starts to do his usual job on it. However, Chucky had a better idea for a new look. After Chucky gives the barber's jugular a close shave, Whitehurst comes back to retrieve his forgotten gear. He see Chucky the doll holding a razor and laughing at a dead body. Think he'll believe Andy now?

It's time for War Games! We learn the whole of the school is split in two and sent to play paint-ball capture the flag. What they don't know is Chucky swaps all the red teams paint ammo with live ammo. Most of our heroes are on blue team. Crap. At night camp, Andy walks away from the ghost stories. De Silva follows him and has a romantic moment. Afterwards, though, he's all talk of helping Tyler (who's in red team).

The big problem of helping out someone in another team is you look like a traitor or a glory hog. Shelton, upon learning of his map's and Andy's disappearance, decides to go with the traitor card. Maybe because that's what a trouble-maker would do??? The one problem I have is following Shelton's logic. He's either so one-dimensional a bully that he just accuses Andy of the worst thing he can think of, or his mind works so different from mine that I can't put myself in his shoes.  

Tyler and Chucky manage to separate from the rest of the camps. When Tyler says Charles' name again, Chucky brandishes a knife. "Don't call me that!" And that is why I feel that Chucky would have feelings about trans people wanting their proper names being used. Tyler stabs Chucky to protect himself and runs to find Andy. Andy gets found by Blue Team and treated like a criminal. Tyler is found and clings to Andy, telling him he was right. "Charles IS bad!"

The way Tyler hyperfocuses onto the proper names of people and avoid using nicknames tells me that the military school or his military father nearly beat it into his head that you call people by their Rank and Name, not what they prefer, which is really sad. While we're on the subject, everyone here kind of has that mark of what this abusive life has molded them into becoming. This military school is definitely not portrayed as healthy. Like:  

- De Silva became a trouble-making rule-breaker that has a lot of skills, but hates to be told what to do. She'll go with the flow just long enough to pass, but she'll pick a battle and fight it just to get out some steam.

- Whitehurst is a broken kid who has been bullied and picked at and pushed and beaten until there's just a sad boy wanting to fade into the normalcy of life... or maybe worse and just fade out.

- Tyler is a forgotten child, abandoned by his very busy father. He was raised by the system his father left him in. It's a cold, black-hearted system that's not meant for innocent bright-eyed children. Yet here he is, alone.

- Shelton? He has power. The one with power isn't afraid. Mix some toxic masculinity "fear of weakness" with some "army strong" propaganda, and we just might have what Shelton is. But again, he's trickier for me to pin down. This is just a guess.

Back to the plot! De Silva got separated from the group, and Chucky tied her up. He uses De Silva's radio and says to Andy/BlueTeam that he'll trade her for Tyler. But right after his deal, he radios to Red Team that Blue Team is spotted at his location. This is a hell of a set up. We have a team with LIVE ammo (and don't know it) heading to another team that has all our heroes. Chucky has a grenade, live ammo gun, and a knife or two. "Now sit back and watch the sparks fly." Indeed.

The trade happens so Tyler is with Chucky and De Silva with Andy. Blue Team runs in expecting a Red Team army. When Shelton sees Chucky the doll, he smiles and says "Fuck Me" in the coolest of tones. Then Red Team shows and immediately shoots him in the heart. OOPS. In the gunfight, Tyler manages to sneak away from Chucky. After a few minutes, the Reds realize something Is Wrong and cease fire. Shelton is pronounced dead and not breathing. One of Shelton's lackeys flips out on Andy, saying this is all somehow his fault. Chucky thinks this is the perfect time to throw a grenade and book it. The only one who really saw the 'nade toss was Whitehurst.

[TW: self-sacrifice] Whitehurst, after a whole movie believing he was worth nothing, throws himself on top of the grenade before it blows, saving everyone else's life at the cost of his own. [/TW]

While panic is ensuing, Tyler, Chucky, Andy, and De Silva all run down to the carnival/fair that we saw from far away during the romantic moment earlier. "A place where people can have fun." Tyler runs into the fair and immediately goes to the security officer's tent. When asked for his name, he gives a salute and offers his rank too. The guard tries to calm him down and offers a doll to calm him down. A Good Guy Doll. With blue paint spatters.

The movie gives us a 2 second look into a family who's just playing games and riding the rides at the fair. You know, a normal family. Like what Andy and Tyler and De Silva could be doing. But no. They had to be in military school with a killer doll! Andy and De Silva go into the Security tent to ask if someone had seen him, but all we find is a dead guard. De Silva takes the guard's gun and goes with Andy for another look around for Tyler.

Fortunately, they all get the smart idea of going into the scary "Devil's Lair" ride. Tyler manages to evade Chucky long enough for De Silva to take a shot at him. She get shot too, but non-fatally in the leg. She pushes Andy to save Tyler without her. Chucky catches up to a stuck Tyler, but a scythe (kept razor sharp?) slices off half his face, stunning him long enough for Tyler to get away on top of a "mountain". Something hits him up there and makes Tyler passes out. Chucky begins chanting!

Andy climbs up and shoots Chucky's arm and then his chest, stopping the chant in time (BARELY). Chucky is of course pissed and tries to fight back, but Andy (through some struggles) shoves him into an industrial fan, turning him into Chunky Chucky. Or should we call him a Goo Guy? Cause he's all- you know, the first one is fine. De Silva gets taken by the ambulance. Tyler... I mean, he's safe and alive. And Andy is taken away by the police. He tells De Silva that he'll be fine. He's done it before. He gets in the back of the car and we fade to black as they drive away. The End.

Definitely a different kind of Chucky movie! This focused a bit more of the kids he was chasing after and less of the victims that were to die. It also gave Chucky a different target than Andy, and Andy a different role (from victim to protector). I would definitely recommend this to fans of the original two! It finishes up a nice little "young Andy" trilogy. 8/10, but wouldn't play War Games without checking my ammo a few dozen times.


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