Child’s Play (2019)
Directed by Lars Klevberg
Written by Tyler Burton Smith
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill
Rated R | 90 minutes
Release date: June 21, 2019
The 1988 Tom Holland/Don Mancini Childâ€™s Play took a ridiculous premise and elevated it to classic horror status thanks to a great cast, tremendous practical effects, and Brad Dourifâ€™s iconic voice acting as Chucky. While that franchise continues to find new life on Blu-ray and TV, director Lars Klevberg and Orion rebooted the killer doll franchise with a movie that many hate and rip on general principle. Yet itâ€™s perhaps thanks to having zero expectations that the updated Childâ€™s Play is really freaking entertaining.
Altering from the voodoo curse/soul transfer of the original, the modern adaptation from a screenplay by Tyler Burton Smith puts the film in a Black Mirror/Robocop-style reality. Filthy city blocks outside, updated Amazon-style (Kaslan) technology monopoly inside. Thatâ€™s where we meet Buddy, the best friend doll who serves as a tool to control all the Kaslan products.
Some Mancini-loyalists will shit on this massive change in Chucky lore as essentially heâ€™s closer to the kill bots in Chopping Mall than a Freddy-level slasher, but I liked and appreciated the change. To me a good horror remake, which are rare but do exist, maintains the spirit of the original while doing things to stand out on their own. What Klevbergâ€™s film has is a good cast, a great score from Bear McCreary, and of course, the Joker himself, Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky and you can feel him having so much fun emoting in a sound booth.
There are plenty of issues. While I like the tech aspect, I didnâ€™t appreciate the opening 15 minutes and thought it was lame how Chucky â€œbecame Chucky.â€ Thereâ€™s also a character who is SUCH an asshole that it made it hard for me to take his acting and general presence seriously.
That said, this movie got a R rating and itâ€™s a HARD R! One of my biggest issues with the recent film Ma was that it got the R, and then teased major â€œoh shitâ€ moments, but then bait and switched. Here, Chucky goes for the jugular and there is blood and carnage galore. One scene in particular had audiences squirming.
You will 100% get what you want from Lars Klevbergâ€™s film. Itâ€™s funny, bloody, entertaining, and fairly mindless horror. If you want to hate it, thereâ€™s plenty to hate, especially with the weird look of the doll. But if you pay $16+ for a movie ticket looking to hate the film, I donâ€™t know what to tell you. Hamill, the score, the hard R violence, and the overall sense of fun left me happy at the end.
3.75/5 – perfect to kill 90 minutes on a shitty rainy day.
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