Back in May, I reported on Child’s Play getting a reboot, a month later and Chucky is now back on the big screens. So, is the new version worth watching?
Child’s Play revolves around Karen (Aubrey Plaza) and her young son Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman), who doesn’t have many friends. Sensing his unhappiness and struggling financially, Karen presents her son an early birthday present with the hottest new toy around, a Buddi doll, that was returned by an unhappy customer and was due to be thrown out. Andy quickly takes to the smart toy, who named himself Chucky. As time goes on, Andy realises that Chucky is not exactly like all the other Buddi dolls.
The original 1988 release has a massive cult following and that meant the creators of the reboot had to be careful with their approach to modernising Chucky. There are some significant changes to him and the plot, but considering it’s about a killer doll, the alterations not only work with modern times but make more sense. He is (slight spoiler alert) no longer a doll possessed by a ghost of a criminal, rather an artificial intelligent being. With that being said, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously which plays a major part in its enjoyment.
Voiced by Mark Hamill, Chucky comes across as very sweet and misunderstood at first, absolutely designed to make you feel for him until he becomes a blood thirsty psychopath. Child’s Play balances having tongue-in-cheek dark humour with major bloodshed that is sure to satisfy all Chucky and horror fans. The creators know Chucky is not scary and requires a level of suspension of disbelief, so gore takes centre stage to frighten or shock viewers in a brilliant way.
Chucky is undeniably the highlight with his antics, however, Gabriel Bateman (Andy) is a wonderful young talent who easily carries the film on his shoulders. He brings out the strong emotional anchor in Chucky and the plot. I don’t believe anyone would have thought that this reboot would get audiences to feel empathy for Chucky – but that is exactly what happens.
Staunch fans of the original might find it hard to get used to the new Chucky but the rest can breathe a sigh of relief, this reboot of Child’s Play is fun, fresh, bloody, and entertaining. Can’t wait to see the sequel. 6.5/10
Child’s Play is in cinemas now.