Child's Play 3

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Child's Play 3
Childsplay3.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Jack Bender
Produced by David Kirschner (Executive producer)
Robert Latham Brown
Written by Don Mancini
Based on Characters by
Don Mancini
David Kirschner (Chucky Doll)
Starring Justin Whalin
Perrey Reeves
Jeremy Sylvers
Brad Dourif
Music by Cory Lerios
John D'Andrea
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Edited by Scott Wallace
Edward Warschilka
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates August 30, 1991 (1991-08-30)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13 million
Box office $20,560,255

Child's Play 3 is a 1991 horror film. It is the third installment in the Child's Play series with Brad Dourif returning as the voice of Chucky. The film became notorious in the United Kingdom when it was suggested it might have inspired the real-life murder of British child James Bulger, a suggestion rejected by officers investigating the case.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Eight years after the events of the second film, Play Pals (Good Guys) has recovered from bad publicity arising from Chucky's murder spree. The company releases a new line of Good Guy dolls and recycles Chucky's remains. However, the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray still inhabits the remains, and Chucky is soon revived in a new doll body. At a company meeting, one of the members of the board questions whether releasing the Good Guy dolls in stores might cause problems for children; however, Mr. Sullivan tells them that Andy was merely a disturbed child. Chucky is unwittingly given to Play Pals' CEO Mr. Sullivan, whom Chucky tortures and kills using various instruments. Chucky then uses computer records to locate Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin).

Still troubled by his past encounters with Chucky, 16-year-old Andy has been sent to Kent Military School. Colonel Cochran (Dakin Matthews), the school's commandant, begrudgingly enrolls Andy, but advises him to forget his "fantasies" about the doll. Inside the school, Andy befriends cadets Harold Aubrey Whitehurst (Dean Jacobson), Ronald Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers), and Kristin DeSilva (Perrey Reeves), for whom he develops romantic feelings. He also meets Brett C. Shelton (Travis Fine), the leader of the cadet corps who routinely bullies subordinates.

When Tyler is tasked with delivering a package to Andy, he accidentally drops the package and tears the wrapping, revealing its contents as a Good Guy doll. Excited, the young cadet takes the new toy to the cellar and unwraps it. Once freed, Chucky scolds Tyler for opening the package he was supposed to give to Andy, but realizing he has a new body, he decides that Tyler will be his vessel of possession instead. Just as Chucky is about to possess him, they are interrupted by Cochran, who confiscates the doll from Tyler. Cochran throws Chucky into a garbage truck, but Chucky escapes by yelling for help, luring the driver into the truck's compactor and crushing him. The garbage man's murder upsets Andy, who senses it may be the work of Charles Lee Ray. That night, Chucky attacks Andy in his room and reveals his plot to possess Tyler. Andy tries to retaliate, but Shelton comes in and takes the doll from him. Andy tries to get the doll back by sneaking into Shelton's room, but Shelton catches him in the act. Upon realizing the doll has vanished, Shelton suspects it stolen and forces all the cadets to do exercises in the courtyard as punishment.

Andy attempts to warn Tyler about Chucky, but is initially unheeded. At one point, Chucky lures Tyler into playing hide-and-seek in Cochran's office, where he attempts to possess the boy again. However, they are interrupted by DeSilva, who snuck into Cochran's office to find Andy's dossier, and, moments later, Cochran himself. Cochran is startled by a knife-wielding Chucky, who attempts to scare him off. The resulting shock causes Cochran to suffer a fatal heart attack.

The next morning, Andy tries to warn Tyler about Chucky but he still refuses to believe him. After breakfast, Chucky murders Sgt. Botnick, the military Barber with a barber blade and Whitehurst witnesses Chucky alive. Despite Cochran's death, Shelton declares that the school's annual war games will proceed as planned. However, Chucky secretly replaces the paint bullets of the red team with live ammunition. When the simulation begins, Chucky accosts Tyler, then threatens the boy when he refuses to take part in the possession ritual. Tyler stabs Chucky with a pocket knife and flees, trying to find Andy. Chucky then attacks DeSilva and holds her hostage, attempting to lure the teams into fighting each other to save her. Chucky forces Andy to exchange DeSilva for Tyler.

Suddenly, the red team descends upon the area and obliviously opens fire with their live rounds. Shelton is killed in the crossfire. Amidst the chaos, Tyler makes a quick getaway, but before giving chase, Chucky tosses a live grenade at the quarreling cadets. Recognizing the danger, Whitehurst bravely smothers the grenade with his body and sacrifices himself to save the others. With no time to mourn his friend, Andy heads off in pursuit of Chucky, with DeSilva close behind.

Eventually the chase leads the group into a haunted house at a nearby carnival. Tyler runs to the security guard for help, but Chucky appears and kills the guard. In the ensuing melee, Chucky shoots DeSilva in the leg, leaving Andy to fight Chucky alone, but not before he applies a tourniquet to DeSilva. When Tyler is inadvertently knocked out, Chucky seizes the opportunity to possess him, but Andy intervenes, shooting him several times. Enraged, Chucky attempts to strangle Andy, but Andy uses Tyler's knife to cut off Chucky's hand, dropping him into a giant fan which slices him to pieces.

Afterwards, Andy is taken away by the police for questioning, but assures DeSilva that he will be okay, as he's "dealt with them before". As the police car drives away, DeSilva is taken to the nearby hospital and Tyler's fate is never revealed. At the end of the movie, a janitor walks around the park cleaning up the place while all the rides are shutting down. He then walks towards the haunted house, where Chucky was killed.

Cast[edit]

Novelization[edit]

A tie-in novel was later written by Matthew J. Costello. Just like Child's Play 2, this novel had some of the author's own parts. In the beginning, (unlike the film's) in the Play Pals factory, a rat scours for food and chews on Chucky`s remains. Blood then leaks out of the remains and somehow leaks into another doll. And also, Chucky`s death in this book is different.

Reception[edit]

Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking received negative reviews and the film was a box-office disappointment, grossing $20.5 million worldwide.[3] Some critics felt the film's tone itself was darker, despite some scenes of Chucky's humour. Critics and fans criticized the story for taking place at a military academy. Mainstream critics gave the film negative reviews, and horror fans often regard it as the worst of the series alongside Seed of Chucky (which was released over 13 years later).[4][5][6] Series creator Don Mancini said that this was his least favorite entry in the series, adding that he ran out of ideas after the second film. Although Brad Dourif was again praised for his voice-acting of Chucky and Justin Whalin's portrayal of Andy Barclay achieved praise from some fans of the series, the film holds a "rotten" rating of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Due to the negative feedback, Don Mancini would not make another entry in the Child's Play series until seven years later, with Bride of Chucky.

Despite this film's poor reception, it was nominated for two Saturn Awards and had a ride based off the film's climax called "Chucky's Fun House" at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in 2009.[7]

Home Video Release[edit]

Child's Play 3 was originally released on home video in North America on March 12, 1992.

James Bulger controversy[edit]

The film also has become controversial because it has been indirectly linked to the brutal murder of James Bulger. The killers, who were 10 years old at the time, were said to have imitated a scene in which one of Chucky's victims is splashed with blue paint. Although these allegations against the film have never been proven, the case has led to some new legislation for video films.[8] Psychologist Guy Cumberbatch has stated, "The link with a video was that the father of one of the boys – Jon Venables – had rented Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking some months earlier."[9] However, the police officer who directed the investigation, Albert Kirby, found that the son, Jon, was not living with his father at the time and was unlikely to have seen the film. Moreover, the boy disliked horror films—a point later confirmed by psychiatric reports. Thus the police investigation, which had specifically looked for a video link, concluded there was none.[10]

Halloween Horror Nights[edit]

In 2009, the climax of Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking received its own maze at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, entitled Chucky's Fun House.

This is not the first time Chucky has been featured in Halloween Horror Nights. Curse of Chucky has been slated to receive its own scarezone in the 2013 lineup.[11] Since 1992, Chucky has starred in his own shows, Chucky's In-Your-Face Insults and Chucky's Insult Emporium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No conclusive link between videos and violence". BBC. 1998-01-07. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  2. ^ Kirby, Terry; Foster, Jonathan (1993-11-26). "Video link to Bulger murder disputed". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  3. ^ Fox, David J. (1991-09-04). "Weekend Box Office : 'Dead' Enlivens Labor Day Business". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  4. ^ "Child's Play 3". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  5. ^ James, Caryn (1991-08-30). "Child's Play 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Child's Play 3". Variety. 1990-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103956/awards
  8. ^ Morrison, Blake (2003-02-06). "Life after James". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  9. ^ Faux, Ronald; Frost, Bill (1993-11-25). "Boys guilty of Bulger murder". Times (London). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  10. ^ Bracchi, Paul (2010-03-13). "The police were sure James Bulger's ten-year-old killers were simply wicked. But should their parents have been in the dock?". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  11. ^ http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/universal-studios-halloween-horror-nights-introduces-chucky-and-purge-scarezones

External links[edit]