Movie #321 2020: Child’s Play (2019)

Well lads, we made it. This is the final Halloween movie of the year, and the one I actually watch on October 31st this year. Was I expecting much? No. But let’s see how we went.

Child’s Play is a remake. We all know that. The original movie debuted in 1988 and spawned a bunch of sequels due to its popularity, so why not update the eighties classic with a modern twist? In this version, single mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza) gifts her probably too old son a Buddi doll for his birthday. What Karen is not aware of is that the doll she purchased is a dud, and holds more sinister thoughts than your average smart speaker. The movie then centres on the discovery that Buddi – who has named himself Chucky – has been committing gruesome murders around the town.

The genre of the original Child’s Play was always meant to be a horror comedy. In the remake, it’s quite obvious that they leaned more on the comedy and just added some gore in there, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Usually, you wouldn’t want a ‘horror’ movie to come with added laughs, but many of the jokes here really work, partially due to Mark Hamill‘s comedic timing. So it’s not the best scary movie ever made, but who cares? It does come with a slasher aspect that ties in with the genre, even if the more successful sequences do come with the comedy side of things.

Possibly the most surprising facet here is that there are actually some pretty good performances in this. Gabriel Bateman (no relation to Jason, but he is in fact the brother of Talitha Bateman) in the lead role was… kind of excellent?! And of course Mark Hamill is perfect as the voice of Chucky. Even Aubrey Plaza puts her awkward demeanour to good use and churns out a decent show despite having relatively little to do.

The over-arching let down in Child’s Play is that it falls into that old trope of “technology bad”. Reboots and original horrors alike quite often rely on this as a theme, and it’s definitely overplayed. Something more original would have definitely been better, specifically because we didn’t need Chucky to be rebooted as a walking talking Alexa. Why not just make the little fucker possessed? Anything but ‘technology bad’ next time, please.

Will I remember this in a year’s time? No. Honestly, the plot is pretty basic. But did I have a good time watching it? Not ashamed to say yes. It’s entertaining drivel for the most part.

Child’s Play is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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