Just over twenty years ago, the horror scene as plagued by an orange haired plastic doll possessed with the murderous spirit of a convicted killer. The series as progressed getting campier and more ridiculous with each film. And they are brilliant, perverse, and entertaining schlock.
It’s surprising/not surprising that in spite of the original series still technically going, the Child’s Play franchise would reboot itself. But does the 2019 movie do justice to the film?
Child’s Play revolves around the Buddi doll. An updated must have toy, the film acts as a smartphone home device that can move, sing, dance, and also tap into your home system and all that modern jazz. Naturally, this all goes pair-shaped when young Andy finds out his doll (who affectionately names himself Chucky) is defective. And not you’re usually gift fuck-up, this doll wants to kill anyone who tries to stop him and Andy becomes the best friends ever.
Starring Brian Tyree Henry, Aubrey Plaza, and the voice of Mark Hamill, the film is a garish and gory movie that slices into red stuff. It’s funny and entertaining, good for a few laughs and a few jumpy moments that make you squirm in your seat. Hamill and the animation of Chucky are certainly pleasing, digging into that natural creepiness of life-like, maniacal dolls.
However, there is a sloppy assembly here. Right from the beginning, the plot seems nonsensical. The child’s possessed toy is no longer that – it’s a defunct one that becomes sentient following the removal of safety protocols from a disgruntled employee (who promptly kills himself.) Chucky then starts to learn the behaviours from television or the kids but it doesn’t really make a lick of sense. Whilst the filmmakers are clearly trying to make allusions to artificial inteliigence, smart-phones, on-screen violence are children watch, and possibly how robots could take over the world – having the doll possessed by a serial killer makes alarmingly more sense than one malfunctioning AI system. Why? Because why would anyone program that capability in the first place? Why not just make the toy with inherent safety measures that don’t have to be removed because you haven’t programmed in the ability to murder?
Like a clock – I don’t have to remove the safety measures because there aren’t any because it hasn’t been programmed in to straight up kill me in my sleep.
Child’s Play feels like a lazy adaptation that you can still have a lot of fun with. There are creative deaths and a kid that you can have. Just sadly, it’s more of a cold and shiny reboot that you struggle to warm too. The characters are loose, the acting is average, and the action is somewhat sloppy. If you’re going to attempt a bloodbath, then go for hell. Instead, apart from a few creative moments, it feels like they are holding back somewhat. The score is great though. But then again, when has a score by Bear McCreary ever been bad?
For a movie, Child’s Play works best with mates and beers and not that many brain cells…
Child’s Play is out 21st June