In cinemas nationwide from Fri 21 June 2019
Horror remakes have always been in the darker territory of the world of film. Capturing that lightning in a bottle is hard enough to do once, let alone twice (usually the reason why horror sequels or franchises are so damn awful). To even remotely live up to the expectations that a first horror film left behind is difficult. The problem with past remakes is that filmmakers tried to succeed in remaking what were already regarded as masterpieces, but the recent remake of IT proves that it is worthwhile remaking the films that could actually use a new makeover, or even just pushed back in to the public’s consciousness. In comes Child’s Play.
Child’s Play begins with the origins of Chucky. Whereas the original has a serial killer transfer his soul to the famous doll this version takes a more realistic route. A factory worker is fired in the middle of programming one of the new Buddi Dolls. In a blind rage the programmer takes all of the safety measures out of the doll’s program as revenge on his employers. This is not the only change from the original story with this remake being almost a completely different movie.
We are then introduced to Andy (Gabriel Bateman), a teenage boy living with his single mother in their new apartment. With his mother at work all day, no friends in his new neighborhood and no father, Andy is a pretty lonely kid. When his mother gifts him a Buddi Doll as a joke present it doesn’t take too long for him to become fond of it, for it is the only one who is there for him. This creates a very sweet and genuinely heartwarming friendship between the two and creates some of the funniest scenes in the film (in one scene Andy attempts to name the doll but it rejects his suggestion and calls itself Chucky, poking fun at the usually very on the nose treatment that things like that tend to get), but in the background the doll’s darker side is already taking shape.
The development of Chucky’s instinct is very well done at the beginning, with Chucky mirroring Andy’s movements along with him, such as brushing teeth, but more subtle movements like using a knife feed in to Chucky’s development as a killer. However, it is Andy’s outbursts towards his pet cat and his mother’s boyfriend (who is hilariously one-note) that cause Chucky to take matters in to his own hands to keep Andy safe and happy at all costs (like a twisted Toy Story).
The film isn’t perfect by any means, with some painfully derivative scenes (most notably a scene involving Jack Black that really slows the film down) as well as huge lack in character for anyone bar Andy or Chucky, but the good certainly outweighs the bad when it comes to this film. The kills are glorious, the gore is over the top, the score is magnificent, and Mark Hamill’s sadistically sweet voice makes for a terrifying portrayal of Chucky. Child’s Play is another great horror remake.