Child’s Play Review
Directed by: Lara Klevberg
Written by: Tyler Burton Smith
Starring: Mark Hamill, Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Ty Consiglio, Brian Tyree Henry.
The worlds most notorious killer doll makes a bloody return to the big screen with this summers horror reboot of Child’s Play. As a huge fan of the franchise myself, I have been cautiously anticipating this reboot of the series as it takes a more modern artificial intelligence approach. The original movies creator will soon be releasing his own television series using the original Chucky design and characters. It’s for this reason I previously had concerns for the reboot. Will it regain its charm? Can the year make Chucky scary being AI? This, however, is a prime example of how horror remakes should be tackled and shattered all doubts I had.
From its opening scene, the movie instantly separates itself from the original. Gone are the good guy company and voodoo possession and instead introduces technology corporation Kaslan (think Apple and all connecting devices) and AI as the movies new premise. Apart from these new tweaks, the story follows the original 1988 movie. Andy lives at home with his mom, gets a surprise new doll for his birthday, becomes best friends and soon realizes the danger this friendship will cause. It’s the first time I’ve seen Chucky and Andy bond properly before the chaos ensues and there’s even a scene early on that makes you genuinely feel sorry for the Chucky.
The movie balances both horror and comedy in a delightfully fun way. The latter movies in the original series veered more towards just comedy and lost its horror feel. The reboot does a great job in separating the two. The first half of the movie plays more into the comedy while it’s final acts are straight up horror. And it’s horror done well, the death scenes are deliciously gruesome and inventive similar to what would be seen in a final destination movie.
I’d also like to acknowledge the movies stunning cinematography which is quite rare in this horror setting. The script is well-paced and never takes itself too seriously knowingly full well it’s a movie about a killer doll. Fans of the original series will also be able to spot references to each of the original three movies which I thought was a cool homage moving with the new franchise. Aubrey Plaza was a highlight but it’s Mark Hamill and the voice work that shine overall. It’s a brilliantly executed horror reboot and I personally hope the franchise gains new fans and becomes your new best friend.