Child’s Play (2019)

So before I write a review gushing about a horror remake I’ll say I’m well aware of the fact that MGM viciously plagiarized their own sacred content to produce a Child’s Play ‘reimagining’ that no one asked for, wanted or even knew was coming until a few months out. Hell, the original franchise is still technically going. Why did they do this? Well it has to do with rights and who holds them, a dumb and always pointless red tape hurdle that now means there will be two Chucky franchises operating simultaneously, both vaguely owned by the same studio but also kinda not? It’s weird, but needless to say the fans weren’t happy and I it’s important to know this behind the scenes shit going in because this is a very different Chucky movie than you might be used to. Now that that’s out of the way, is the film itself good? Yes! It’s a lot of fun and makes its departure from the original series in several key ways, the most obvious being Chucky himself, who is now voiced by Mark Hamill instead of Brad Dourif. He isn’t some voodoo doll inhabited by the spirit of a serial killer either, he starts off as a normal Buddi doll off the assembly line who has all his violence inhibitors, social boundaries and conscience features disabled by a very disgruntled Vietnamese factory worker before being sent stateside to be bought by a single mom (Aubrey Plaza) for her kid (Ben Daon) who doesn’t have too many friends. The ‘Buddi’ doll is at first kind of a blank slate until his AI capabilities kick in, the dysfunctional household and hectic neighbourhood around him augment settings and, you guessed it, he becomes a homicidal little bastard with Mark Hamill’s voice cackling out of him. The cast are all great including Brian Tyree Henry as a cop who lives next door, Tim Matheson as the oily toy company CEO and David Lewis as Plaza’s shitty asshole garbage boyfriend who meets the film’s stickiest and most hilarious end thanks to Chucky. This is a fun, imaginative, very gory flick filled with dark humour and gruesome kills. One of the ways it breaks new ground is seeing how Chucky’s Bluetooth capabilities allow him to control various other electronic devices in his vicinity for maximum carnage including a fleet of deadly drones. All because of a pissed off asian factory worker, a priceless plot detail that had me laughing right off the bat. This is a ton of fun if you can wrestle past the fact that it’s not the most necessary remake an enjoy it as a standalone of sorts.

-Nate Hill

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