In the Army Now

After an inspired credits sequence that sees Chucky “bleeding” to life, Child’s Play 3 doesn’t have any further ideas worth exploring.

Chucky springs back to life after his blood mixes with a new batch of plastic, probably the most creative thing in the script. That’s capitalism at work, the Play Pals corporation behind the Good Guys doll moving forward with the line despite the controversy that their produces kill people. The best line in Child’s Play 3 comes during a board meeting, the CEO defending his choice, referring to kids as, “consumer trainees.” That’s self-awareness as the Child’s Play series began to court younger demographics, R-rating or not.

Child’s Play 3 doesn’t have any further ideas worth exploring

Any thematic commentary then shifts to the army afterward, Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin) now a teenager, sent to military school after foster care fails him. There, masculinity takes over, Barclay ill-suited to the alpha male attitudes after a lifetime of fear. Their egos usually lead to their deaths, the less aggressive Barclay hanging on by not following their lead.

People die. That’s expected. A few kills offer splatter-y fun, moments worth mentioning in an otherwise lousy movie. Like the slasher genre in general, Child’s Play gassed out as it pushed into the early ‘90s, having nothing left other than stabbings and shootings. It took comedy to reinvigorate Chucky, as with additional horror icons. Thank Scream for allowing that tonal change by playing to the “smart” fan.

Child's Play 3 4K UHD screen shot

Video

This isn’t the best encode from the trilogy, beginning messy, struggling to resolve the thick grain structure. Child’s Play 3 looks sloppy, and the compression can only do so much to keep hold. Bold color looks promising, if leading to these problems, which become quite prominent in flesh tones or brighter primaries. The darker Child’s Play 3 gets (and it’s a notably darker sequel), the more intense artifacts grow. Note though in brighter situations, clarity shines as grain reduces.

Past that, it’s marvelous. A fresh 4K scan reveals exceptional definition. Facial texture can make Child’s Play 3 look almost new. Sharpness stays at an early peak, consistent throughout. Resolution gains are notable in every frame.

Superb black levels crush slightly, but blame the source material’s tone. Dolby Vision sparks contrast, bright and rich, if controlled and respectful to the material.

Audio

Boosted into the modern era via Atmos, Child’s Play 3 features a wide and aggressive soundstage. It’s appropriate in places (listen to the train overhead during the opening kill), but unnaturally loud elsewhere. Surrounds factor in prominently, especially during a brief shoot-out near the finale. Stock bullet sounds echo throughout the soundstage. Low-end rarely finds use worth mentioning.

Dialog strains in the center, flatter than expected given it’s the “newest” of the first three Child’s Play movies.

Extras

Shout/Scream doesn’t hold back on this second sequel. On the UHD, they include a new commentary from director Jack Bender, and an older one from producer Robert Latham Brown. Everything else is on the Blu-ray, and that includes a bevy of interviews, all of them new (if often short). Writer Don Mancini (who is blatantly honest about Child’s Play 3), actress Perry Reeves, producer David Kirschner, producer Robert Latham Brown, actor Michael Chieffo, makeup artist Craig Reardon, and production designer Richard Sawyer all sit down to discuss their parts. Finally, additional scenes from the TV edit provide the closing chapter.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Child's Play 3
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

A lousy, hastily conceived sequel, Child’s Play 3 is a meandering dud even at its best.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 34 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: