Child’s Play (2019) Review [SPOILERS]

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Director: Lars Klevberg
Producer: David Katzenberg, Seth Grahame-Smith
Writer: Tyler Burton Smith
Production Designer: Dan Hermansen
Film Editor: Julia Wong, Tom Elkins
Music: Bear McCreary
Makeup: Brendan Mainusch
Setting: Chicago, Illinois
Storyline: Kaslan’s most popular product in modern technology can help control entire lives and houses with a Buddi doll, which uses artificial intelligence technology to respond, control, interact and engage with its owners. Except this Buddi doll comes programmed different than the others.

Cast (character name – actor):
• Karen Barclay – Aubrey Plaza
• Andy Barclay – Gabriel Bateman
• Chucky – Mark Hamill

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Heidi Ho Horror Fam! Well I FINALLY watched Child’s Play and it took me long enough (it’s one of my favorite horror franchises). First and foremost, I’m going to say I liked it. Actually, I enjoyed the fuck out of it; so if you disagree that’s okay too. I like all movies and I’m proud of it.

For as long as I can remember, Child’s Play has always had a huge impact on my imagination and sanity. If you were like me, I was fucking terrified of Chucky. If I was walking by the film stand at Walmart or flipping through channels on TV, I was on edge about landing on a Childs Play film. It’s something I can laugh about now because I’ve always loved horror and I was that afraid of him; up until high school really. I would watch every other horror movie without killer dolls or even porcelain dolls. They were
always a hard NO. You can still catch it in the movie theater if you hurry. Also, this post will have major spoilers so beware.

*Spoilers*

Let’s get started with just saying that I went into this movie without any expectations. If anything, I probably went in with low expectations, and they were exceeded. I always try to go into films without any, unless they hype them the fuck up. Take for example the Halloween movie franchise, but that’s a whole other post for the future. Okay! So now let’s see the differences between remakes vs. reboots. Here are some great definitions I ran into on the internet.

REMAKE: “A remake honors its source material and does it’s best to pay homage to it. A remake could mean a modernization in visual or cinematic style, social relevance, dialogue or theme. It can add a director’s unique vision to a project or it could mean a cultural repurpose to appeal to a mass Western audience.” (Gideon)
REBOOT: “A reboot indicates a complete overhaul of the source material; a reimagining,
reconceptualization into a franchise. The new material may be vastly different from the original material that only the title remains. A reboot may maintain some of all of the characters names, plot elements, themes, setting and storylines, but a reboot is basically starting from scratch.” (Gideon)

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That said, Child’s Play was not a remake which is why I think everyone is upset and disappointed. It’s clearly a reboot. The exchange of Charles Lee Ray’s (CLR) body and soul for an AI doll was a part of the few things I didn’t like about the film. Also, why the fuck would they remove the voodoo aspect?! As a youngster that watched the originals, it scared the shit out of me when CLR (or later as Chucky) would start chanting in Latin. I didn’t understand what he was saying, of course, but it was scary, nonetheless. There were a couple story holes, like, what happened to Andy’s dad? There was a short moment where Karen tells a coworker, “I was really productive on my Sweet 16.” And then another shot of Andy looking through some of his things and seeing a family photo with another man. He quickly puts it away like if it made him sad. The storyline wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been for sure, and character development suffered from it.

Cinematically, I loved the filters and effects chosen to show city shots from Andy’s apartment. The music alongside the angles still gave me retro vibes like the original, which I loved.

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Kaslan is the brand that sells products that control household technology like TVs, speakers, the lighting, and pretty much everything in the home. They also make toys, and their Buddi doll is like an Amazon Alexa doll following you around… creepy AF. The actual Buddi doll is creepy on its own and so the scenes where Andy is teaching Chucky how to use facial expressions is where the movie takes a turn for the worst. He still wears the same outfit, resembles the original’s appearance vaguely, and inevitably enjoys killing after being exposed to it. The problem with this Buddi doll is that it was returned for technical errors, and when Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) takes it home to her son, they figure out that it really should have been sent back to the manufacturer. The Barclays can’t properly program the doll after several attempts. In the first couple minutes of turning the Buddi doll on, Andy tries to name him and then later in a tour of the home, he finds out that Chucky can repeat curse words. Well we all know that shit never goes our way when we try to defeat science.

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When it comes to the acting, I would say that it was decent. Honestly, Gabriel Bateman did a great, awesome job. I did get some Goonies or It (2017) vibes with his two friends accompanying him throughout the movie, like an adventure. Aubrey Plaza is the super hot, single, mom working doubles just to make ends meet. I guess I enjoyed that role description because I think that type of lifestyle is more common nowadays. They did away with the conventional approach of a close-knit family.

My favorite part of the whole movie was the ending where Chucky hacks other Buddi dolls along with drones and other Kaslan products at the premiere of the new Buddi 2 release. Red, glowing eyes let the audience know the product has been demonized. I thought that was corny, but fun.

How would I rate this film?
Overall rating = 8/10
Gore level = 6/10 (takes a little while to see some blood, and it not a whole lot)
Character Development = 5 /10 (the storyline had holes)
Anticipation Levels = 6/10 (I jumped once, but really hard lol)
Scary = 8/10 (dolls still scare me)
Entertaining = 8/10 (it was better than I expected)

So those were my thoughts, you may agree or disagree, leave a comment below! Stay tuned for next week’s post!

Always,
Panda

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