review by Bobby Blakey
Ever since Chucky slashed his way onto the big screen in 1988s Child’s Play he has become a horror icon. The film spawned six sequels throughout the years including the last installment Cult of Chucky that continued to take things back to a darker tone as opposed to the bloody laughs it had shifted to as well as more in development along with a TV series. Outside of the original franchise Polaroid director Lars Klevberg is taking on the original film with a reimagining aptly titled Child’s Play starring Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Gabriel Bateman, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Carlease Burke and Mark Hamill taking on the voice of Chucky. Could this latest take bring something new to the franchise or will it fail to be the friend we need?
Child’s Play follows a mother who gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature. While the story is pretty much the same idea, this time around instead of the possession causing Chucky to wreak havoc this doll his programming is hacked causing no limitations to learning and obviously a love for causing bodily harm to those around him. As a big fan of the original franchise I was interested in this new take, but also cautious. Before seeing this new take I revisited all seven of the other films and was reminded how dark and funny there are. This latest chapter takes a new direction to reimagine the original in way that might not be the same as the original, but sure is more relatable to real life.
The use of technology of all kinds screams issues that could really happen and makes the idea here a lot more terrifying in the bigger picture. While I didn’t find any real scares here, that is usually because that is just the par for the course for me. There are some great kills and they take it serious enough to make you get invested without the campy nature that took over the series in later installments. I loved that aspect, but for here works way better without it and too more effect, but the big issue most had was with Chucky himself.
The first time you see him he looks off, but that is because his face is designed more for a realistic approach than doll and in turn makes him way more creepy and unnerving. I love the original design a lot better, but admit that this new one really comes into its own as the film plays out. He is just bothersome to look at in the best way possible making him all the more effective as a killer. While I love Brad Dourif in the role, Mark Hamill killed it bringing a creepy childlike innocence to the tone while still feeling like Chucky. I never once thought it was any other character but could still feel him putting his own take on it to great success.
The idea of him not having an actual soul and just be A.I. opens up new possibilities and they fully use them. There are times where it’s a bit slow, but the second half when things really kick in are a ton of fun. I hope this is just the beginning of this new take as it would be awesome to have two completely different franchises running side by side bringing us all the bloody best buddies we can handle.
This new release not only includes the film, but also bonus content including a gallery, trailer and featurettes taking you behind bringing this latest chapter in the Chucky franchise to life. Get ready for playtime with your new best friend with Child’s Play available now on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.