Child’s Play is a remake of the 1988 movie of the same name – a movie that has instilled the fear of dolls in the minds of many (except for me), fearing it would come to life and start murdering people. This retelling of the classic slasher film tries to be a completely new version of its own as it eliminates the supernatural voodoo element that was once in the original. In the 2019 version, the producers decided to go for a more realistic and technological route of a malfunctioned robot doll, working beyond it’s intentional abilities, instead of having a serial killer’s soul transferred into a hunk of plastic.
From the get-go, one can already tell that the movie is more stylish and lighthearted as compared to the grittier and darker feel of the original. The obvious downside however, is the design and aesthetic of the ‘new Chucky‘. I find it mind-boggling that the animatronics and puppeteering of the 80s version seems to be far more superior than that of the new film. Were they on a tight budget? It is worth noting that Chucky appears to be somewhat cute, sympathetic and even humorous in the first few encounters with Andy.
The character Andy has a little more depth here as a hearing impaired loner who finds it hard to make friends after moving to a new city. Gabriel Bateman does a good job at what he’s given with, which is unsurprising considering he has already taken roles of ‘dealing with evil entities’ before – Annabelle (2014) and Lights Out (2016). By switching the focus on Andy, Aubrey Plaza’s Karen is severely underutilized and plays up as the clichéd disbelieving mother who’s convinced that Chucky is just a harmless toy. Mark Hamill is a delightful treat for lending his voice but ultimately pales in comparison to Brad Dourif’s more energetic and vulgar Chucky.
With a run time of 120 minutes, this movie has a surprisingly good pace to it. The creators definitely did not shy away from the display of blood because it gets incredibly gory when it needs to be. Throat-slashing, limbs being thrown around and face-ripping, just to name a few. This updated version will not be considered scary but it is slightly creepy as Chucky is now portrayed as an overly attached best ‘Buddi’ that will do whatever it takes to stay friends with Andy.
Child’s Play (2019) will be remembered as an unnecessary remake that is both mindless and enjoyable if you view it as a stand alone movie (for the newer generation). It succeeds on updating various elements that were absent before but fails on delivering a legitimate scare and creep factor. On the bright side, it is undoubtedly better than the latter entries of the original franchise.
Plotline: Andy Barclay receives a toy doll for his birthday from his mother Karen, that ends up having a mind of its own and starts wreaking havoc.
Child’s Play (2019)
Genre: Slasher / Horror / Thriller
Directed by Lars Klevberg
Starring Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill (voice) and David Lewis
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