Child's Play (2019)

Child's Play (2019)

(2019)

Time to play.

Aubrey Plaza buys her son the wrong toy in this remake of the 1988 doll from hell slasher. Brian Tyree Henry (TV's Atlanta) co-stars.

Flicks Review

Child’s Play without Don Mancini and Brad Dourif? Even as an ardent horror fan who’d like to remain open where possible with regards to contemporary reboots, I believe this one’s edging into borderline/dicey territory of being unthinkable.... More

Beginning with the first Child’s Play in ‘88 and continuing for another six sequels, the distinctive partnership between Mancini (writer) and Dourif (voice) birthed one of horror-dom’s most enduring characters in the demon doll Chucky. It’s also among the most oddly consistent of all horror franchising. Together, they maintained a creative continuity where others have failed. Divorced from its crucial source DNA, this version, directed by sophomore director Lars Klevberg, is an iffy, absolutely unnecessary Child’s Play movie. For the non-puristic, it’s reasonably fun, a fast-paced tech-runs-amok romp that carries traces of the franchise’s warped, camp sensibility.

Call it Charlie Brooker’s Small Soldiers. Tyler Burton Smith’s script could be interchangeable with any late-season Black Mirror episode, swapping out the primal terror of the original’s supernatural possession for laboriously present-day concerns that take aim at our lust for endless connectivity and convenience. The hysterical, cackling irreverence of Dourif’s Chucky is nowhere to be found, and while Mark Hamill’s impishly sinister take on what happens when robot code goes bad isn’t technically awful as such, it simply doesn’t turn the dial.

A handful of gruesomely tongue-in-cheek setpieces fulfill the hard-R quota satisfyingly, but if you’ve come to see a movie about a freckled, ginger-haired evil doll saying “Fuck you bitch!”, this isn’t it. This Chucky’s here to warn you about the impending robopocalypse, the day your Alexa’s going to turn on you and you’ll regret ever teaching your nana how to use Uber.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Child's Play is never going to remembered as affectionately as the original. And that's fair enough. But it does run down the clock with enough jump scares, one-liners and gags to make it just about worth the price of your ticket. Full Review

  • It's a toothsome turn from Hamill, who knows a thing or two about infantilised villainy, having voiced the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. Full Review

  • Not helping matters is dead-eyed snark source Aubrey Plaza, somehow less expressive than the doll itself (creepily voiced by Mark Hamill). Full Review

  • Making a killer-doll movie out of decent component parts should have been child's play, but this misses the mark. Full Review

  • Being an AI with faulty circuitry, Chucky 2.0 doesn't have the hilarious vulgarity or the single-minded murderous glee - the soul, if you will - that made Dourif's Chucky such an unnervingly human abomination. Full Review

  • Remember the disappointment you felt that Christmas when Santa brought you an off-brand Cabbage Patch Kids counterfeit when you asked for the real thing? Well, if you grew up on the "Child's Play" movies, then brace yourself for more of the same... Full Review

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