Tag Archives: Child’s Play

Child’s Play (2019) Review

Time: 90 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence and offensive language
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.


Child’s Play (1988) Review

Time: 88 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and offensive language
Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay
Catherine Hicks as Karen Barclay
Chris Sarandon as Detective Mike Norris
Brad Dourif as Charles Lee Ray/Chucky
Director: Tom Holland

Gunned down by Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), dying murderer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) uses black magic to put his soul inside a doll named Chucky — which Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) then buys for her young son, Andy (Alex Vincent). When Chucky kills Andy’s baby sitter, the boy realizes the doll is alive and tries to warn people, but he’s institutionalized. Now Karen must convince the detective of the murderous doll’s intentions, before Andy becomes Chucky’s next victim.

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Although not quite on the level of iconic horror movies like Halloween or The Exorcist, Child’s Play is known as a horror cult classic. With a remake now in cinemas, I decided to revisit my thoughts on the original movie, whether or not I actually decide to watch said remake within the next few weeks. Child’s Play was never a movie I got into when I saw it, not that it’s bad but it’s nothing all that great either. It’s a pretty familiar horror movie that doesn’t produce really any quality scares. It is still watchable though, and Brad Douriff’s Chucky is quite memorable (even if he’s not really that scary).

There’s not a whole lot to say storywise about Child’s Play, so I’ll mostly be talking about the horror aspect. It’s a pretty typical horror/slasher movie with the directions the plot goes, and it doesn’t really do much to subvert. It pretty much is what you’re expecting it to be. With that said, at under an hour and a half, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. While obviously being in scenarios with creepy dolls can be unnerving, I don’t particularly have a phobia of them, but I can tell that this would be a nightmare to those who have them. Even cinematic horror dolls like Annabelle seem to be more scary to me. Maybe it’s just because giving him a human voice made it less scary, especially knowing that in this version of Child’s Play at least, it’s a human inside a doll, who acts very much like a human too (when people aren’t watching of course). All the horror is generated from Chucky himself, and so I never found it scary. Conceptually it all sounds scary, but I don’t find myself feeling that way when I actually watch it.

Brad Douriff is mostly just a voice in this movie, but he does well as Chucky. Even if the movie isn’t all that good, you can see why Chucky still managed to be a bit of a horror icon, and I have a feeling that at least half of it is because of Douriff. I will say that as iconic as Douriff made the character, every time he spoke it made the character less scary, and even a little funny at points. The kid played by Alex Vincent is a typical horror movie kid, not the worst and does the job fine enough, nothing special though. The rest of the cast like Catherine Hicks as the kid’s mother and Chris Sarandon as a detective also perform well enough for what the movie required, but again nothing special. Really no one in the cast is terrible but sort of just does what’s needed and nothing more (aside from Douriff of course).

The direction by Tom Holland (the director, not the actor) was fine. The effects on Chucky to make him work still work today quite well today, even if much of the movie feels dated. The Chucky design holds up well, I’ve seen the remake’s design and it looked a little off to me (and not in a good way), the original’s design is legitimately creepy (until it talks of course). With that said, it is a little silly how freaky of a doll design it’s been given, even before the possession they’re disturbing on their own. Now most horror movies don’t get me very scared but this one never even got a reaction out of me. If anything it was more on the ridiculous and silly side, and I found it very hard to take the movie seriously, and it seemed to be aiming to be more serious.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Child’s Play is terrible, I don’t think I’d even say it’s bad, I just don’t think it’s that good of a movie. It’s quite dated, it’s more likely to produce laughs than actual scares, and you don’t really get much from it by the end. But Chucky himself is pretty good (lack of scares aside) it’s a little entertaining and I didn’t dislike it. It is a sort of horror cult classic, so if you are into horror movies, it’s definitely worth a watch at the very least. I haven’t seen the sequels or the remake yet but I hope I like them a lot more.