Child's Play 2019 | Review

Thursday 1 October 2020

    Let's remake, reboot, or make long awaited sequels to popular 80's horror franchises! Sounds good, right? Sarcasm aside, sometimes it works. Sometimes we get 2018's Halloween that works. It may have unfortunately retconned every Halloween film except for the first taking Michael's body count from 91 to 7, but the film was so good that I forgave this misstep. But what about last year's Child's Play remake? Here's my review. (This isn't a spoiler free review. FYI)

    First let's talk about the changes. First is the obvious. Both movies take place in their various times. The original in 1988 while this one was in 2019. But why beat around the bush? The biggest and most damming change was the fact that Chucky was no longer a doll that was possessed by the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Instead, Chucky is a Buddi doll (not Buddy) that's a "smart doll" that can connect to a multitude of other high tech products. Instead of being possessed, Buddi has his software tampered with by a disgruntled employee and has all of his safety protocols removed.

    So right off the bat we have a movie that's fundamentally different. Charles Lee Ray brought and automatic evil to the role. Why is Chucky evil? Because he's actually a disembodied serial killer. Duh! Why is the new Chucky evil? Because he does bad things, gets in trouble for it, and doesn't understand why.

    Halfway through the film it donned on me the that the person I felt worse for was Chucky. Writer Tyler Burton Smith and director Lars Klevberg made the doll the most sympathetic character and I think they knew what they were doing. They show Chucky devastated that he did something bad and made Andy upset on more than one occasion and even looked horrified when Gabe (the creepy apartment manager) was cutting him open to replace his parts. Worse was how he reacted when Andy and his friends held him down to tear his power supply out.

    It's obvious that the writer and director knew what they were doing because Chucky kills Doreen. She's the first one who didn't actually deserve it. The cat in the beginning? A mistake. An unfortunate one that was hard to watch with me being a cat lover and all, but it was a mistake by an AI who didn't know any better. Shane's death? Due to the rules of horror movies, he was an ass and deserved what he got. Gabe? He was a creep who had cameras set up in the women's bathrooms in the apartment building and gives Karen (Andy's mom) creepy looks. I don't think anyone will miss him. But when Doreen, the sweet old next door neighbor, was killed, that was the sign that Chucky had truly gone dark side. 

    The original movie was the story of a small boy and his mom that had to survive the killing spree of a doll possessed by a serial killer. Chucky is the clear bad guy and Andy and his mom are the clear victims. The 2019 version has Chucky as the sympathetic character for part of the film as he just doesn't understand what he's doing is wrong and is driven crazy when his best friend betrays him by holding him down and tearing his power supply out in an attempt to kill him. This new take on Chucky defangs him as a slasher icon.

    The acting was good, the effects were fine, but nothing could make up for the loss of the spirit of the movie. 

Child's Play (2019) gets a 4 out of 11

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