Film Review: Child's Play

09:34 June 28, 2019
By: David Vicari

I wasn't expecting much out of the new Child's Play remake, so I was surprised when it turned out to be not half bad. Chucky, the killer doll returns, this time voiced by Mark Hamill instead of Brad Dourif, and the reason for his murderous mayhem is an electronics glitch instead of the ol' evil possession route.

In the opening of the film we see a disgruntled factory worker in Vietnam sabotaging a Buddi doll, which is like Bluetooth in the form if a creepy three-foot doll. Cut to America where single mom, Karen (Aubrey Plaza), and her 13-year-old son, Andy (Gabriel Bateman), are moving into a new apartment. Andy doesn't have any friends so his mom gets him a returned Buddi doll from the Wal-Mart type store where she works. The doll, calling himself Chucky, is a little glitch-y but begins to amuse Andy. Chucky soon becomes possessive of Andy and starts to exact vengeance on anyone who hurts the young boy, like the mom's lout of a boyfriend.

This new Child's Play is completely its own movie and not a lazy scene-by-scene rehash of the 1988 movie. Tyler Burton Smith's screenplay for the remake is rather smart and suspenseful, and is even ghoulishly comedic. A few of the bloody deaths are hilarious. Yes, a horror film with a sense of humor. Director Lars Klevberg knows not to take this too serious -because it's about a killer doll.

The big finale promises an insane gore fest akin to the Piccadilly Circus sequence from An American Werewolf in London (1981) but fizzles out instead. That's a real shame. Still, this Child's Play is far better than all those rotten Chucky sequels.

** ½ stars (out of four)

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