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Child's Play is a 2019 horror film directed by Lars Klevberg and written by Tyler Burton Smith, serving as a remake and reboot of the 1988 film of the same title. It is the first film featuring Chucky produced without the involvement of creator Don Mancini or actor Brad Dourif. The film stars Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, and Brian Tyree Henry, with Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky.
After moving to a new city, young Andy Barclay receives a special present from his mother—a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. When the doll suddenly takes on a life of its own, Andy unites with other neighborhood children to stop the sinister toy from wreaking bloody havoc.
"Child's Play" Review
Child's Play is the remake of the 1988 horror cult classic. Going into this film, my expectations were very low. The original film was great—it was flawed but it was still great. However, we then got Bride and Seed of Chucky, which I really did not like.
So going into the film, I really didn't know what they were going to do with it. They could've gone for more of a comedy route, or a darker version of the original film. One thing the original did great was balance the comedy and horror, which is something that most of the sequels failed at.
So going into this film, there was a lot of mystery behind what it could be, but after seeing the film, I can honestly say I really enjoyed it. It definitely had its fair share of problems, but overall it was far better than I expected.
The film was a lot funnier than I thought it would be. I thought the first act set the film up nicely and really set the mood. This was a very lighthearted film that managed to be very fun to watch, while also being serious enough to make those horror elements effective.
They made one big change to the film. Early on, when I realized they made this certain change, I really didn't like it. However, after watching the entire film, I honestly liked it and thought it was a really smart move. It made me care for Chucky more than I thought it would. While watching the film, you see get to see Chucky develop as a character, making the film feel a lot more character and emotionally driven.
The only real problem I had was with the characters. They're not necessarily bad, but with the exception of Chucky and Andy, none of them are given much thought. You got the mom, then the mean stepdad, then you got the bully, and so on. They just feel like each one was handed a label with a role on it and nothing more.
Another problem I had didn't necessarily affect the film; it's more of a personal nitpick. I really didn't like the new and "improved" Chucky design. Maybe it's because I'm so used to the original one, but this one felt so goofy. They even poke fun at the design and use it in a joke. I don't know, I just didn't like it.
One thing that wasn't bad, but I thought they could've improved on, was the horror elements. The film builds itself up as a traditional slasher film, but it plays out more like a slow-burning thriller. I thought the film could've potentially benefited more if they really focused on the slow burn a little more instead of forcing horror that didn't always work.
In terms of downright scary moments, there were very few if any. That's fine as the film was more of a thriller, but the film also lacked tension. Again, the horror elements could've used work.
Overall, Child's Play (2019) managed to bring that classic '80s slasher flick nostalgia while also managing to blend the comedy and more serious tones together fairly well. The film isn't great, but in terms of remakes, it could have been a lot worse. In the end, I found this to be an enjoyable B slasher flick.
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The acting was solid.
Bateman did a solid job. A lot of the film relies on him and he delivers. Plaza also did a very good job. I do wish her character played a bigger role. She's an actress I really like, and she did get slightly wasted here. With that being said, I thought she played her part very well.
Hamill is a legendary voice actor that's turned in some masterful voice work. Now add Chucky to his list of iconic voices. It was a creepy and at times terrifying voice that managed to keep this naive tone to it. This is brilliant work by Hamill.
Overall, the acting was solid. Pretty much everyone else is given a specific role to fill, but they all fill it admirably.
The story surprisingly worked for me, and while the plot wasn't necessarily great, it still worked.
Spoilers ahead. It starts off with the creation of Chucky. They change it from the soul transformation to a worker/programmer tired of his job that decides to take all the restrictions off of the Buddi doll. When I first saw it, I didn't like it, but as the film went on and we got to see Chucky develop as an actual character, I started to love it.
Afterward, we see Andy's first interaction with Chucky. It's a fun scene, but later I thought the fun went down a little.
The middle is where most of the weakest spots are. Not all of the horror elements worked, and they did lack tension. Characters are introduced to play a specific role and that's it. The story just seemed to slow down a little. Chucky does something he isn't supposed to do and Andy reacts. That's what most of the middle is. It isn't until the third act that the film really starts to move forward.
Speaking of the third act, I really liked the end. It's over the top and I really liked it. It did have a few sour notes and cliches are found here, but overall I liked it.
For the most part, the story was fine, but plot wise, the film struggled moving. Halfway through it kind of felt stuck in one place. The film was pretty short, but it felt a lot longer because the middle was a little sluggish.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film. It's very flawed, but overall I thought it was a really fun film.
With that being said, I don't know if die-hard fans will like it. It makes changes, and I'm pretty sure some fans will hate them. I really liked the film, but my mother who loves horror did not like it whatsoever. One of the main reasons why she didn't like it was because it wasn't very scary and the truly tense moments were far and few in between. The film also relied heavily on comedy. I personally liked it, but it's definitely not for everyone.
The film feels more like a light-hearted comedy that turns into a slasher-drama film. It's a funny film that you can laugh at. It then turns more into a slasher film, and although that doesn't necessarily work, the film becomes a lot more effective.
Child's Play (2019) takes its fair share of missteps, but overall I really enjoyed the film. Plus it had one the dumbest yet creepiest songs I've heard. "The Buddi Song" was so annoying yet so addicting.
© 2019 Royce Proctor Jr