When it comes to creepy doll horror films, the Child’s Play franchise is probably the most successful and iconic. Chucky has instilled fear (or sometimes a blade) into the heats and minds of audiences for over thirty years.
With recent years placing Annabelle from the Conjuring franchise to the front of viewers’ minds, now seems like a great time to reboot the Child’s Play franchise. Chucky has not graced the silver screen since 2004’s Seed of Chucky. The last two films Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky were direct to video/streaming releases. All of which brings us to the present.
Child’s Play 2019 is a reimagining of the 1988 classic with a familiar, yet distinctly different storyline. Gone is the serial killer inhabiting the body of a beloved children’s doll- though that storyline will reportedly continue in the TV series premiering in 2020. This time around, Buddi is a malfunctioning (or, working as intended) program from an integrated smart device. In the era of Alexa, this is a much creepier addition to the reboot.
Franchise fans will probably miss hearing Brad Dourif in this installment. However, Mark Hamill does not disappoint, with a suitably creepy and menacing voice performance. Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman also bring great and believable character performances to the film.
The movie has an unexpected opening, the first example of social commentary made. With the overarching theme of ubiquitous technology, the end result feels like an insightful Wes Craven production.
At its core, Child’s Play is a horror film, so there’s plenty of blood and gratuitous violence. There’s a mix of traditional death methods, some served with a twist, but always well constructed from a technical standpoint.
What puts this movie over the line from B-Grade horror to possible cult classic is the story. There’s a character arc for both Chucky and Andy, with a bit of help from the supporting cast who each spend some time in the limelight.
So, is it worth watching? In a nutshell, yes absolutely. If you’re a fan of the previous instalments’ campy dark humour then you might be disappointed. Child’s Play 2019 is a straight up slasher horror with very little humour to break up the tension. Although the kill count is relatively low, the significant deaths each get their own grisly treatment. There’s plenty of jump scares, a healthy dose of blood, and a lingering sense of dread after leaving the theatre which might make you think twice about talking to Siri.