''Child's Play 2'' isn't as dumb as most horror films, and it isn't as gory as most. It is, however, as silly and irresponsible as most.
Murder, the movie says, is fun. When you kill, you make jokes about it.
''Child's Play 2'' follows on the success of the original film that was released two years ago. In the first, a doll, possessed by the soul of a murderer, tried to take over the body of a small boy.
Chucky, the doll in both films, didn't do much talking in the first. He just about talks his head off in the second, though his vocabulary isn't that extensive. He keeps using the same words, or word, because that's the way devil dolls talk in the movies made in the '90s.
In the new film, the same boy who was pursued by the doll in the first movie is placed in a foster home. His new parents are stupid but well meaning. The boy's new ''sister,'' another foster child, is a little brighter. At first, she refuses to believe the business about the devil doll, then she has no doubt.
She can't. The doll gives her trouble, too.
John Lafia, who directed the new film, employs all the usual horror film ''scares,'' save for the pigeons, the cat and the hand-on-the-shoulder. Those, he has spared us, but all other horror cliches are here, and they don't really scare. Well, some people were taken in by them, but they may be new to horror films.
Alex Vincent continues as the boy whose body the doll covets, Jenny Agutter and Gerrit Graham are the foster parents, Christine Elise is the foster sister, and Grace Zabriskie is head of the foster home.
"Child's Plaly, 2" is showing at area theaters. It is better than most of this genre, but how good is that?
''Child's Play 2'' - (1 STAR) - Chucky, the nasty doll who is still looking for a human body he can inhabit, continues to chase Andy. CAST: Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, Christine Elise, Brad Dourif, Grace Zabriskie, Peter Haskell. DIRECTOR: John Lafia. RATING: R (Language, violence) RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes.