Child’s Play (2019) Review

Time: 90 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence and offensive language
Cast:
Aubrey Plaza as Karen Barclay
Gabriel Bateman as Andy Barclay
Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Mike Norris
Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky
Tim Matheson as Henry Kaslan
Marlon Kazadi as Omar
Beatrice Kitsos as Falyn
Ty Consiglio as Pugg
Director: Lars Klevberg

After moving to a new city, young Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman_ receives a special present from his mother (Aubrey Plaza) — a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. When the doll suddenly takes on a life of its own, Andy unites with other neighborhood children to stop the sinister toy from wreaking bloody havoc.

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I was probably in the minority, but I wasn’t necessarily against a Child’s Play remake. I think the original movie from the late 80s is just fine, I didn’t find it scary in the slightest, it was rather silly, and the movie didn’t really do much for me, despite it being a horror cult classic. I wouldn’t say it’s bad but nothing particularly remarkable. With that said, the concept had potential, and a modern interpretation of the setup could lead to something. It was quite the surprise, I liked it more than I expected it to.

Whether you like or don’t like this new and different take on Child’s Play, at least they tried something different instead of repeated the same thing. It takes advantage of the modern technology that’s somewhat relevant to today (it’s not a remarkable satire, but it didn’t need to be). At times it’s so different you’d think that the concept should’ve been made as a completely different IP. It’s generally too over the top for its own good, especially with Chucky’s abilities (it’s especially silly towards the third act). With that said, it’s actually getting creative with the concept instead of just repeating the whole serial killer in a doll with a knife (or whatever other weapon) thing. Whereas the original can be over the top 80s horror, the remake is a lot darker. That’s not to say that it takes itself completely seriously all the way through, there’s dark comedy throughout, and much of it is very effective. At 90 minutes it’s the right length, never really dragging.

The actors generally do well, Gabriel Bateman plays the kid protagonist very well, he more than delivers on his role. Aubrey Plaza who plays the mother, and Brian Tyree Henry who plays the detective, have done much better work in the past, but nonetheless they add enough to this movie. The acting of Bateman’s friends on the other hand weren’t so great, nor did I feel like the characters were necessary for the movie. Brad Dourif’s voice had a big part in making the original Chucky iconic. This time, Mark Hamill provides the voice, and while you can definitely tell this is his voice, he does a good job with this new incarnation of Chucky. He nails the animatronic voice and then when he goes full on killer doll, he’s creepy and sinister. Design aside, if we talk about the new take on Chucky, personally I think this one is scarier. Instead of a human being stuck in a doll, a broken mechanical doll is more creepier to me. Maybe it’s just compared to what the original movie’s version was, especially with Dourif’s Chucky having a lot more of a personality (and with the comedy). With that said, in terms of quality I won’t compare them, both of them stand alone.

Lars Klevberg has directed this reasonably well, I liked the visual aesthetic, and it looked good overall. The scares really are typical of a horror movie, and are rather uninspired, there are also some bad fake jumpscares which feel completely unneeded. Now for the design of Chucky. It’s known that even the original Chucky looked pretty scary on its own as a genuine doll being sold to children. However this new design is even more demented looking, at times it’s intentionally scary, at others it comes across as creepy when it shouldn’t. One thing I will say though is that I like that it went the route of actually having animatronics instead of just using CGI, which you’d think a big budget horror remake to use. It’s considerably more violent than the original, with plenty of graphic and at times over the top killing scenes, at reaches the level that you’d expect (and/or hope).

The Child’s Play remake was better than I thought it’d be. The main cast is good, it’s mostly directed well, and the newer take is quite refreshing for this story. However I know that some people are really not going to like it. As you probably figured out, I like the remake more than the original. It’s nothing great but it’s okay.

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