Child’s Play (2019) Review

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Child’s Play was a franchise in need of a reboot. The franchise had become a straight-to-home release staple and had completely lost its way compared to the fantastic original. From the opening sequence involving a disgruntled worker in the Buddi factory, it is clear that this is going in a completely different direction than the original franchise did.

This is a Child’s Play which fits neatly into today’s world. A Child’s Play where technology controls our lives and if a killer doll were to fit into a society where everything is connected by wi-fi and the internet, there is no telling the chaos and creative killing which could result.

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This movie updates Chucky for the 21st century

This makes for a creepier Chucky. This Chucky is a broken toy as opposed to a possessed one and it means that his motives are different and more effective. He wants to help his new best friend Andy, played by Gabriel Bateman, and anyone who wrongs his friend is a target for a grisly death. It adds a great impending doom to the movie and means that the littlest disagreement between characters can lead to murder.

There are some great updates to the Chucky character too. He can record voices, connect to televisions and phones and generally intercept all technology. It feels like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey but with a face, and the voice of Mark Hamill. Hamill does a decent enough job but this is a Chucky which is unfortunately void of personality. This is certainly not the wise-cracking doll from the original franchise and although this Chucky is certainly scarier, it does miss some of the iconic charm that Brad Dourif brought to the role.

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This Chucky lacks the charm of the original

There is an able supporting cast which makes up for what Chucky lacks. Aubrey Plaza is convincing enough as Andy’s disbelieving Mum, managing to make a lot of the poor decisions which lead to the murders while Brian Tyree Henry is the friendly Detective down the hall who you are praying will figure things out in time. Add to this a host of throwaway victims for the doll and you get a very effective horror, slasher movie.

This leads us to a decent finale where Chucky is truly unleashed and the full extent of how susceptible we would be to this kind of technology going wrong. Although this is played for horror and built-up for effect, there is a thinly veiled commentary on our society today and how reliant on technology we are, or more importantly how much we have allowed it into our lives.

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This film is a much more effective horror

Beyond this commentary is a very solid slasher though and it leaves some scope for a sequel if this series wanted to become a horror franchise to rival the original Child’s Play.

Overall, Child’s Play’s reboot is a much-needed update and slots the character clearly into the modern world. It is a much creepier character than it was before and this makes for an effective horror movie. It does lack some of the Chucky charm which made the original character so beloved but this is a horror rather than a silly, black comedy that the original franchise had become.

Rating – 4.5

(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)

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A franchise with potential

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