Child’s Play review – Chucky is back in this nostalgic thrill ride

Chucky in Child's Play. Photo: Orion Pictures

Chucky in Child's Play. Photo: Orion Pictures

If you were to scared to watch the film back in the day, this one is a great thrill as an adult.

It’s the year of the reboots. Lion King, Aladdin and IT Part 2.

But for a real child of the ’90s, no movie will make your toes curl with delight like the Child’s Play reboot.

First off, we all faced urban myths at school about one friend whose brother’s girlfriend’s friend’s doll turned murderous after watching the original Child’s Play about a murderer that has his soul placed in a doll through some weird voodoo spell.

Looking back, Child’s Play is a cheese-fest sprinkled with camp horror, and the reboot relishes in that – but also provides the same subversive horror about childhood toys that the original did.

Mark Hamill in Child’s Play. Photo: Orion Pictures

Producer Seth Grahame-Smith was 12 years old when the original was released and remembers being absolutely terrified by it, then watching it again and again. “I’ve been a fan ever since,” he says.

When MGM and Orion Pictures brought up the idea that they wanted to update the original movie, Grahame-Smith and fellow producer David Katzenberg were initially apprehensive.

“We didn’t want to just remake the 1988 movie, which is a horror classic that introduced the world to one of greatest horror villains of all time. We wanted to introduce something new to it, something relevant to today’s audiences,” says Grahame-Smith.

The answer was how media has changed the world – the social kind, especially. Now if you have a warped mind you know exactly what that means.

“We got excited by what it would mean for Chucky, if he were not just a kid’s toy but a really high-end AI product, like something you’d see from Apple or Amazon or Google – a child companion.

Gabriel Bateman in Child’s Play. Photo: Orion Pictures

“What would happen if something with so much computing power and connectivity went bad? What would the possibilities be?” Grahame-Smith says in a feature about the film.

The upgraded Chucky is far more advanced, adds Grahame-Smith. “He has more ways to kill you. He now has the ability to access other devices and look through them, and he can take over thermostats, vehicles, robot vacuums. He can use anything at his disposal to terrorise and kill you.”

But the film also has a great sense of wryness thanks to Aubrey Plaza as the mom that has to protect her kid and his friends against this new kind of terror.

Chucky has aged well and merges nostalgia and a fresh narrative. If you were to scared to watch Child’s Play back in the day, this one is a great thrill as an adult.

Aubrey Plaza in Child’s Play. Photo: Orion Pictures


Rating: ★★★☆☆
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman and Mark Hamill
Director: Lars Klevberg
Classification: 18 BHS

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