Tag Archives: Gabriel Bateman

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.

Lights Out (2016) Review

Time: 81 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Supernatural themes & violence
Cast
Teresa Palmer as Rebecca
Gabriel Bateman as Martin
Alexander DiPersia as Bret
Billy Burke as Paul
Maria Bello as Sophie
Director: David F. Sandberg

When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought that her childhood fears were behind her. As a young girl growing up, she was never really sure of what was real when the lights went out at night. Now, her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that jeopardized her safety and sanity. Holding a mysterious attachment to their mother (Maria Bello), a supernatural entity has returned with a vengeance to torment the entire family.

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The thing that originally interested me about this movie was that James Wan produced it, and as we all know, James Wan is quite possibly the best horror director working today at the moment. Now I saw this movie a long time ago, so I won’t have the best memory of the movie. But what I do remember about this movie is that I liked it. It’s quite a simple and straightforward movie, the story was decent, the acting was good, this is mostly a ‘fine’ movie. What makes it worth seeing however is the direction by David F. Sandberg. All things considering, Lights Out is a lot better than most horror films nowadays.

Lights Out isn’t a hugely deep or special horror movie, it’s quite simple in its premise but I’m okay with that. There’s only so much you can put in a 90 minute movie. It flowed pretty well and I wasn’t really bored at any points. The dialogue is okay, nothing spectacular but a little cliché at times. There’s honestly not much to talk about the story but I did like the direction that it went in. The story overall was decent, nothing bad, but nothing particularly great either. It is mostly the execution of the story which makes the movie work so well.

The acting was generally okay from everyone. It’s nothing great but it is good enough, I’m particularly referring to Teresa Palmer and Alexander DiPersia. They are fine but nothing special. There are two great performances in this movie though. One of them is Gabriel Bateman, a child actor who was actually good, also very convincing in his role. The other great performance was Maria Bello as Teresa Palmer’s and Gabriel Bateman’s mother, who was also very impressive and convincing.

The main reason to see this movie is the direction by David F. Sandberg, who seemed to be quite good at horror flicks with the recently realeased Annabelle Creation being surprisingly good as well. The use of shadows was very creative. The scares were quite effective, even if there were some scares (particularly jump scares) which weren’t really effective. Also some scares were more hilarious than actually scary, I’m not sure myself if these scares were intentional or not. But for the most part it works quite well for the movie. It is generally difficult for me to judge scares as I’m barely scared by horror movies.

Lights Out is a solid horror movie which is quite effective in its scares. The acting was decent (at times really good), and the okayish story worked for the movie but it’s the direction by David F. Sandberg that really ties the whole movie together. If you love horror movies, you should check this out sometimes. It’s not one of the best horror films of all time, I’m not even sure I’d call it great but it is probably one of the better horror movies in recent years, but I guess that’s not really saying a lot.