child's play

DIRECTOR: lars Klevberg (polaroid)
starring:
aubrey plaza, gabriel bateman, brian tyree henry, and mark hamill

 

REVIEWER: purdie picot

A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

Yes, it’s yet another horror movie reboot, from a franchise that already has seven films to boast about. Child’s Play is back 30 years after the original release with a new cast and set in the age of the internet of things. Chucky has gone online, which really opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

 

Buddi dolls are the new most wanted item, essentially a robot companion who will be your child’s best friend crossed with an Alexa - connecting to all your Kaslan products. Karen (Aubrey Plaza) is a solo-mum trying to do the best by her son Andy by moving to a new city, however she works a dead-end job and has a bit of a loser boyfriend. In an attempt to give some joy and a new friend to Andy she gifts him a Buddi doll of his own. The doll, Chucky, voiced by the amazing Mark Hamill, is corupted and begins a murder spree in the name of his best friend Andy.

 

While pretty predictable, Child’s Play still has some goods to offer audiences. Bringing this story to the modern era Chucky has a lot more to play with. It is a good old slasher style film, with the heroes trying to stop a psycho-killer in the form of a children’s doll. There are plenty of little digs at what we would consider modern conveniences, making a comment on how much blind trust we put into technology.

 

The film doesn’t hold itself too seriously, and while the trailers look like a bit of dark and dingy horror, I found myself laughing out loud and having a good time. Mark Hamill delivers Chucky’s lines in such a sincere way, he really captures the life of a twisted blend of innocence and murder which just brings a certain joy to the whole film.

 

There is a slightly slow build up, as Chucky is introduced to new, fresh audiences. Which, for the diehard fans might feel a bit tedious, and perhaps it’s because the studio is hoping for a sequel. The holding back, hoping for a sequel attitude is what is setting apart the good horror films from great horror films. Stories that have an ending seem to be more satisfying to watch, something which will stay self-contained ends up as a richer experience overall. Whereas stories which have been influenced by the possibility of sequels end up just missing the mark ever so slightly.

 

The cast do a wonderful job, and there is a lot of fun to be had. There was just something missing to make it a standout hit in a horror-saturated market. An honorable mention goes to Andy, played by Gabriel Bateman, who really holds his own as the lead. This isn’t his first horror film, but at only 13, he is already making a name for himself.

 

Child’s Play is what is says on the box; a fun and easy reboot horror.

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