For this October I’m doing quick reviews of the Child’s Play trilogy.
I remember being deathly afraid of these movies when I was kid. I saw bits and pieces of footage on the AMC TV channel and I remember a kid on my soccer team had a doll…yeah a young child had a “seed of chucky doll” or whatever. Freaked me out.
Needless to say I was definitely not allowed to watch the movies when I was younger nor did I have any desire. Now that I’m older I enjoy a good horror movie and I decided to sit down and see if these have any merit. Click through the pages to read each review.
Child’s Play (1988) ~ Review
Child’s Play came to theaters in early November of 1988. The working title was Blood Brother or Blood Buddy (referencing Hasbro’s toy “My Buddy” which resembles the Good Guy doll). The working title makes sense if one knows the original plot which consisted of a life-like Good Guy doll that had blood and latex skin. If the kids tore the latex skin, they could go out and buy official Good Guy bandages. In a blood-brother pact, Andy cut his own hand and mixed his blood with Chucky’s, thus causing him to come alive and become human. That is an intriguing concept and one that may be slightly more believable but I don’t see how it could work with the serial murderer Charles Lee Ray inhabiting the doll’s body.
Instead what we’re given is a young boy, a single mom, a detective, a serial killer, and a highly popular children’s brand called Good Guy. Toss that into a bag, mix it up, and you have one intriguing concept.
An intriguing concept alone is not enough to sustain a movie. So where does this movie shine? Well…not until the last half hour when Chucky shows people he’s alive and starts reeking havoc…that’s when the fun begins and the movie gets exciting. Otherwise the audience is left in suspense needlessly since the opening sequence shows that Charles Lee Ray uses voodoo magic to inhabit the Good Guy doll.
The opening chase sucked me in, when Charles performs the voodoo it got me wondering, and seeing how much thought/work when into making the Good Guy line a believable thing impressed me. I want to give props to the cartoon we see of the Good Guy and the additional toys and programming. That sucked me in and got me excited. Chucky is associated with a horrific, murderous doll but seeing the roots of the “Good Guy” doll gave me a different perspective on the character.
Giving this some thought, the premise really is a terrifying concept and has actually sparked many protests and outrage to ban the film. I can say this…the movie should not be banned and children should not be allowed to watch it. But the movie gives adults a macabre feeling of nostalgia when they think back to a favorite toy that they played with. What if it came to life and was in fact inhabited by a murderer who commits murders while in doll form but no one is around to see it, therefore the child is to blame for horrific acts. Now that is down right frightening. But is the movie itself frightening?
No it’s not. Andy–the protagonist–played by Alex Vincent is terrible in this film. He shows no fear or confusion when he should and his line delivery is so awful it makes you root for something bad to happen to him. Now I know that’s terrible to say but what I’m getting at is if the movie sticks with an unwatchable protagonist how is the audience expected to accept the movie? That coupled with the boy’s mother Karen, played by Katherine Hicks, are not a winning combination but rather an emotionally contrived one.
Child’s Play has an intriguing premise and great horror action at the end but suffers from weak characters, a slow pace, an over serious plot, lack of fun, and a lack of…well…Chucky. I almost don’t feel fare in saying that because I do feel the audience gets enough of Chucky yet we don’t see him spring into action until 45 minutes into the film (yes I started clock watching after a while).
I give Child’s Play 6 stars out of 10 making this movie a Slight Recommend.