Child’s Play 2 – 4K UHD Blu-ray Review
Amazon Commissions Earned
Film Title: Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Release Date: 2022
Runtime: 84 minutes
Region Coding: Region Free
Studio: Scream Factory
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD MA 2.0
High Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Version Reviewed: 4K UHD Blu-ray
Amazon Commissions Earned
Release Date: 8/16/22
Director: John Lafia
Cast: Alex Vincent, Christine Elise, Brad Dourif, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, Grace Zabriskie, Beth Grant, Greg Germann, Peter Haskell
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Movie | Video | Audio | Bonus | Closing | Screenshots
Full 4K Tech Specs found at the bottom
“Child’s Play 2” was a horror film sequel, from 1990, directed by John Lafia, known for co-writing the first film as well as for writing & directing films “The Blue Iguana” (1988) and “Man’s Best Friend” (1993). The screenplay for this sequel was written by Don Mancini, who also co-wrote the first film’s screenplay. Mancini is technically the creator of the characters and franchise as well has gone on to direct three of the latter sequels to this film, and most recently served as an executive producer for the “Chucky” (2021) TV series.
So, I’m writing this with the assumption you have seen the first film [“Child’s Play” from 1988] and if anything might come across as a “spoiler” for you, I’ve tried my best for it not to be but only wrote along the same level of description as found on the back of the packaging. Alright, with that bit of warning or such out of the way I’ll describe this film’s plot, story, and characters.
Back in the first film, the wanted killer had put his body inside of the “Good Guys” brand toy doll named “Chucky” (Brad Dourif) and he was eventually stopped at the end of that film by being burned. He may have burnt up but the frame of the doll survived and as we see this sequel [film] start out they’re cleaning that up and trying to salvage the doll to find out what went wrong.
We soon meet a man further down in the chain of the line of command that works at the Good Guys company headquarters. He’s a guy by the name of “Mattson” (Greg Germann) at the warehouse greeting (upon the arrival) the head of the company, “Mr. Sullivan” (Peter Haskell), who has come to analyze the situation. They try to restore the doll but something manages to happen, preventing them from finding out what caused the doll to “glitch” [or rather become possessed]. Let’s just say that Chucky was brought back and rebuilt by the toy company that originally made him and he gets out with one agenda, to find the first person he told his true identity once he became the doll. I think you all know who that is.
Meanwhile, after the events of the first film, the young boy “Andy Barclay” (Alex Vincent) and his mother survived and all, but his mother had some emotional problems [as one might expect] and Andy was put in an orphanage. But, he manages to find a foster family of “Phil Simpson” (Gerrit Graham) and “Joanne Simpson” (Jenny Agutter). As Andy soon finds out, the Simpsons also have another adopted child that happens to be a rebellious teenage girl named “Kyle” (Christine Elise). Kyle and Andy actually get along pretty well and end up becoming friends, despite some crazy events that transpire in the foster home. Could Chucky be to blame and out to take the body of Andy all over again? What do you think? Let’s just say he’s certainly back and he’s more ruthless and a lot funnier this time with his unique sense of crude humor.
Movie Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)
“Child’s Play 2” on 4K UHD Blu-ray is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with HDR10 and Dolby Vision forms of high dynamic range.
The release features a new  4K scan of the original camera negative which comes as a 4K DI (digital intermediate) remaster. This movie was shot on 35mm film using the Arriflex 35 BL3 camera and spherical lenses.
One note going in, the cinematography here was done by DP (director of photography) Stefan Czapsky. He also worked as a director of photography on other films like “Vampire’s Kiss” (1988), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), “Batman Returns” (1992), and “Ed Wood” (1994). I don’t regularly mention those things but when the cinematographer did so many other amazing projects as those it is certainly worth noting that visually impacts how the movies oftentimes turn out.
Next, let me get technical, for a bit, in regards to the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc itself here. This release uses a BD-66 (66 gigabytes) disc, 62.2 gigabytes total, and 56.8 gigabytes for the film itself. Let’s take a look back at the original 2013 Blu-ray Disc release of the film which was included in a box set. That release used a BD-25 (25 gigabytes) disc, 24.8 gigabytes total, and 22.2 gigabytes for the film itself. So, the 4K version here is roughly almost 2.5 times larger a file than that which was used on the original HD version.
Based on my observations via my 4K UHD Blu-ray player, this seems to be running an average (roughly) anywhere from 60 to 80Mbps in the HEVC (high-efficiency video coding) codec, hitting peaks as high as 104 to 119Mbps at times. According to info on the PC side of things, this seems to have an overall video bitrate of 84.3 Mb/s average.
Now, I want to do a visual comparison here between the original Blu-ray and the 4K UHD Blu-ray. So, I’ll be offering you the still screenshots for both the original 2013 Blu-ray Disc and the new 2022 4K UHD Blu-ray releases. For those who want to see more Blu-ray VS. 4K screenshots, click the text below.
SOURCES: 2013 Blu-ray (left), 2022 4K UHD Blu-ray (right)
Well, folks, as you can tell from the comparisons above this, [the 4K] has a slightly different and obviously warmer color timing than the original Blu-ray release did. That’s fine, because (as you’ll clearly see above) that change of color timing has brought with it a more accurate approach to flesh tones. The colors such as reds, blues, and yellows are certainly more vibrant now with the color changes and addition of HDR as well with set pieces, costumes, and whatnot. The color of the Chucky doll’s bright red [nearly orange] hair really finally stands out as it feels like it always should have, now presented in a much better-lit environment. The black level now is perfectly solid and helps to emphasize this sharp newfound amount of detail that you’ll find in 4K with every shot, especially in facial close-ups.
There’s a very tasteful amount of film grain now visible in this 4K presentation that before seemed to turn to pixilated block noise in the background due to compression issues of that time when the Blu-ray was made, back in 2013. Now, things just look remarkable and dare I say damn-near perfect in terms of a 4K visual presentation for a 1990 catalog film. Once again, the folks at Scream Factory have done a splendid job at bringing this film [sequel] to 4K physical with the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of “Child’s Play 2” which I’m giving a well-earned and extremely impressive 4.75 rating for video quality.
Video Quality Rating: 4.75 (out of 5)
“Child’s Play” arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray in Dolby Atmos, with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core — for those not able to decode the Atmos. Also included you have a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo sound mix. Yes, despite a misprint on the packaging, this includes Dolby Atmos. I’m relieved to be able to say that. At first, I was worried until I got to the audio section of the menu.
Alright, so unlike the Dolby Atmos mix on the first film (not used selectively and solely for scares), this is more intense constantly. The mix pushes the Dolby Stereo source material to the max. Here you will hear the height channels being used persistently and tastefully in choice of a selective manner. The original music (score), sound effects, and such all get thrown to heights for the Atmos. They also get mixed nicely into the rear channels as well as being driven primarily by the front (left & right) channels. Dialogue is primarily what you’ll find the center channel is used for here and it is delivered perfectly, never once requiring me to make any volume adjustments. There’s one very hefty amount of LFE to be felt here via the subwoofer as well as bass in general throughout the mix.
Now, don’t think that just because the height channels are being used so actively in this mix that the scares won’t be impactful. Intact and in fact, the scary moments in this sequel are just as creepy and cool as they were before, in terms of sound, and actually now are even more so in ways here via this new Atmos mix. And, come on here, let’s face it, a sound mix that’s over-the-top is appropriate for a sequel that was as well and I mean that entirely as a compliment.
Most important here in terms of audio, in many ways [not just for this], is the film’s original score by Graeme Revell which serves as a prime example of what the height channels are used for to help add emphasis to this Dolby Atmos mix. Some of the sound effects here that seemed to be used for the height channels and benefit the most (for the Atmos mix) are simple yet attention-grabbing sounds such as a passing train, a car engine, a drill, a sander, car horns, as well as of course explosions and other loud occurrences, such as machinery running.
This time around, for the sequel, it is more of your typical Dolby Atmos sound mix where the height channel speakers are almost constantly being used for sound effects. It’s over-the-top and unapologetic like the film itself and the menacing character of “Chucky” which is all fitting. Lastly, the lossless 2-channel Stereo audio mix is straightforward and sounds very impressive without any issues.
All and all, “Child’s Play 2” on 4K UHD Blu-ray with its new Dolby Atmos mix, just like the first film on 4K, merits an overall impressive 4.5 rating for audio quality.
Audio Quality Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
The 4K UHD Blu-ray disc includes the Audio Commentary with Director John Lafia which is a must-hear.
The Blu-ray Disc includes the film using the new 4K scan. This features a 1080p HD video presentation in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Dolby Atmos, and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo lossless sound. It’s also where you’ll find all the extras listed below with the exception of the audio commentary. These all were created by Shout! Factory in association with Justin Beahm’s Reverend Entertainment.
The 4K UHD Blu-ray menu background:
Bonus materials included on the Blu-ray Disc are listed below. These are all in HD (high definition) with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- Audio Commentary with Director John Lafia
- NEW “The Puppet Master: An Interview with writer Don Mancini” (12 minutes, 57 seconds – HD) was a remote video interview. Here he reminisces about the late director (John Lafia), he recalls this sequel being the fan favorite and judging by the shirt he’s wearing I would certainly say it is his personal favorite as well. Mancini certainly states the truth here when he says the first film was overlit and that “people love how that movie was shot.” And there’s a reason for that, as he mentions (as did I in video quality) that the director of photography also did other films like “Edward Scissorhands” (1990). As always, with Mancini, it is a blast hearing him talk about what he created and how much passion he has for it. This time around he had full screenwriting credits and was more directly involved with the film and you can tell that meant a lot to him, personally, finally getting that creative control. It’s fun to learn that Don and the director were both [at that time especially] fans of the film “The Return of the Living Dead“ (1985) and they let that inspire them a tad bit with the blend of comedy and horror that this sequel certainly has its share of. This is a definite must-see for the fans of the franchise.
- NEW “Under Pressure: An Interview with actor Alex Vincent” (7 minutes, 56 seconds – HD) was a remote video interview. Here we learn that Alex left the first grade to do the first film and that he then left the third grade to do the second film. He wasn’t a fan of discussing the film with classmates, as he mentions. You can tell he perhaps enjoyed making this film a bit more than the first as he recalls screenwriter (creator) Don Mancini actually used the Universal Studios involvement to allow for him to go see “Back to the Future Part II” (1989) in a theater and then afterward got to go on the set of its sequel and have lunch with its star (Michael J. Fox). That had to have been surreal even to a child and you can tell it is one of Alex Vincent’s fonder memories from that time period. He later discusses now coming back to acting and reprising this role of “Andy Barclay” on the “Chucky” TV series. This is a must-see for any fan of the franchise and especially for fans of that new show.
- NEW “The Family Expands: An Interview with producer David Kirschner” (7 minutes, 37 seconds – HD) was a sit-down interview. Here Kirschner once again is reminiscing about this franchise and his involvement as the head producer and creator of the “Chucky” doll. He first talks about how the studio contacted him wanting to make the sequel and how he immediately asked Don Mancini (the creator) to write the screenplay. During this time, he had actually been asked to become the head of a very famous animation studio but decided not to take that job and would end up continuing to work on this franchise. So, United Artists was sold and they would no longer be making the films at MGM though, it would instead be at Universal. You’ll learn all about this and I’ll try not to give too many details and spoil it for you. Let’s just say Steven Spielberg was involved. Yes, you read that correctly. He then discusses the late director and how he became a bit nervous while making the film. This is one truly emotional heartfelt interview. I will simply leave it at that.
- NEW “In Kyle We Trust: An Interview with actress Christine Elise” (10 minutes, 9 seconds – HD) was a sit-down interview. First Christine discusses her career up until this film, then she discusses how she landed this role. She had originally auditioned but did not at first get the part, as she will explain. You can tell she certainly enjoyed working on this film. Next, she reminisces about working with the writer Don Mancini, who is close in age to her, as well as working with the film’s late director John Lafia. Christine also has some very cool memories of working with the Chucky doll, in the rather large set from the end of the film, and she discusses the everlasting legacy of this franchise.
- NEW “School’s Out: An Interview with actress Beth Grant” (5 minutes, 28 seconds – HD) was a remote video interview with the supporting actress who played the school teacher in this film. Most of you might recognize her from tons of other films like “Donnie Darko” (2001). Beth Grant is a bit of a legend, folks. Check her IMDb credits! She first discusses how she really liked the script and what Don Mancini had done with it. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to do a horror film or not, so she asked a friend who ironically had been in the first film and they quickly assured her it was fine. It’s also so fun to learn that Beth is the total opposite of the character that she played in this film. She’s cool and this is one very fun interview. She ends by discussing her admiration for Don Mancini.
- NEW “The Second Dance: An Interview with executive producer Robert Latham Brown” (3 minutes, 59 seconds – HD) was a sit-down interview. He first discusses getting the script and immediately breaking it down and creating the schedule and budget for the show. He discusses working with the late director John Lafia and felt he was a great choice for the job. He also tells us how much of the budget went into the Chucky doll, almost like he was an actual movie star getting paid as a way to put into perspective just how much the effects cost. He ends by discussing how he felt about how the film turned out and the reaction from the fans.
- Extra Scenes from the Broadcast Version (11 minutes, 20 seconds – HD) as seen on TV are included. It is certainly a shame we don’t get the option to at least watch an HD version of the film with these scenes put in with the theatrical cut to be able to fully experience that broadcast version but it’s in a different aspect ratio here [4×3] with black pillar bars on the sides for this material. I doubt they could ever go back and get that material from any camera negative and I’m betting this came from a different post-production video source. You’ll notice the SciFi channel [today SyFy channel] logo in the bottom right corner. I guess that’s where this cut originally aired in its entirety. That would certainly make sense, it airing on that channel, considering that it is owned by Universal. Still, getting to see these [even if it’s not along with the rest of the film] is a blast and fans will absolutely enjoy every minute of it.
- Theatrical Trailer (1 minute, 18 seconds – HD)
- TV Spot (31 seconds – HD)
Overall in terms of bonus materials, this release offers up a nice improvement over just that theatrical trailer that the original 2013 Blu-ray included. Now, on this release, you get a total of six new interviews with cast and crew members as well as extra scenes from the TV broadcast version, that theatrical trailer [ported over], and even a short TV spot. All together the extras here total up to around 62 minutes, with 49 minutes being new interviews. That’s a good hour of supplemental materials, not including the audio commentary track with the director. This is, in my honest opinion, a solid set of bonus materials, and the folks at Shout! Factory and Justin Beahm’s Reverend Entertainment have done a splendid job.
Bonus Materials Rating: 4 (out of 5)
“Child’s Play 2″ was actually, despite what critics and some folks will say, a surprisingly good horror sequel. I always have enjoyed it, but not by any means as much as the first film. However, I’ve always been one of the few who actually enjoy the first few sequels of this franchise. The story here is fun and the “Chucky” character grows even more menacing as well as hilarious in terms of his “one-liners” and such.
This film had a 13 million dollar budget (according to IMDb) in comparison to the first film which only had a 9 million dollar budget. It was by no means a failure at theaters in terms of ticket sales, regardless of what critics said, as this sequel (in 1990) ended up grossing globally 35.7 million in total, and 28.5 million in the US. That being said about the sequel, to put it in perspective, looking back, the first film (Child’s Play) ended up globally grossing 44 million in total, and 33.2 million in the US (back in 1988). And, in comparison, that’s actually not a huge amount more than what this sequel grossed (35.7 million & 28.5 million). In fact, it almost performed nearly as well as the first film and made a definite return at the box office. Plus, once it hit TV and home video on VHS, Laserdisc, and then later DVD [in the 1990s], this film found most of its audience — and fans — outside of theaters.
Regardless, box office returns matter sometimes more than the critic’s reviews and this film was a financial success for the studio [Universal]. As mentioned, this sequel would find its home with fans it hadn’t already acquired in theaters through the means of TV broadcasts and home video releases. Plus, by no means a failure (as discussed), this film almost immediately had another sequel in the works (and released in 1991) which then spawned so many further sequels, such as “Bride of Chucky” (1998) and “Curse of Chucky” (2013). — to just name a few. And, recently (in 2019) there was a remake of the first film released and there is now a TV series, “Chucky” (2021) which actually connects to this sequel. Yeah, Chucky [as a character] and Child’s Play as a franchise has become something memorable and widely a part of the horror genre and community.
In terms of video quality, this offers up one exceptional upgrade visually to the original 2013 Blu-ray in HD with its new 4K scan which brings along with it a newfound crisp amount of detail. Along with that, you’ll get the more vibrant colors that “pop” as well as a more accurate representation of flesh tones, and a solid black level which helps [thanks to the addition of HDR] deliver. This looks great and should leave the fans almost questioning how this film could look this good now in 4K. It was just so well shot, in terms of the style of cinematography and perhaps the choice of camera and such helped as well [in comparison to the first film].
In terms of audio quality, the Dolby Atmos mix here is a whole lot more actively using the height channels throughout and really over-the-top in terms of its level of intensity. It’s less about suspense for the most part and more about the laughs and action this time around and that translates into a more lively Atmos mix, with lots of rear channel use as well as an immense amount of LFE. Dialogue is spot-on and it’s just an impressive Atmos mix from start to finish. Then, you get the option of a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo lossless sound mix for the purists. It’s remarkable how they told a Dolby Stereo sound and made yet another very impressive new Dolby Atmos mix. That all being said, this delivers in terms of audio.
The bonus materials here are one huge improvement over the original 2013 Blu-ray, which only included a trailer for the film. Here, you get almost 50 minutes of new interviews as well as another 12 minutes or so of other extras, including the theatrical trailer and [not counting in runtime] the audio commentary with the film’s director. This is a solid set of supplemental material for this film and should leave fans (like myself) finally pleased with what you have to enjoy after you’ve watched the film.
Overall, “Child’s Play 2” on 4K UHD Blu-ray here makes for one fantastic release from the folks over at Scream Factory [Shout! Factory]. This is what the fans of this franchise have been waiting for and they’ll be happy to know that the sequels look and sound just as good as the first film, if not perhaps look better (as discussed). I must say that this release is yet another recommended upgrade.
In terms of 4K UHD Blu-ray release, this gets:
4.75 (out of 5) for video quality
4.5 (out of 5) for audio quality
4 (out of 5) for bonus materials
Another Recommended Upgrade
Amazon Commissions Earned
4K UHD Blu-ray Screenshots:
Blu-ray VS. 4K Screenshots Comparison:
SOURCES: 2013 Blu-ray (left), 2022 4K UHD Blu-ray (right)
4K UHD Blu-ray Technical Specifications:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Exact Runtime(s): 1:24:09
Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core), English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (with a DTS 2.0 Stereo core)
HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Disc Size: BD-66
Disc Use: 62.2GB total / 56.8GB for the film
Video Bitrate: 84.3 Mb/s