Child’s Play is a remake of the 1988 film of the same name and a reboot of the Child’s Play franchise. It released in 2019 and was directed by Lars Klevberg. You might think you know the plot but this remake changes up a few aspects, for better or worse. The basic premise is similar in that a family is terrorized by a doll who becomes self-aware and subsequently murderous. Let’s see if this turned out to be yet another pointless remake or if it managed to offer a fresh new take.
The Kaslan Corporation has just launched Buddi, a revolutionary line of high-tech dolls designed to be life-long companions to their owners, learning from their surroundings and acting accordingly. Buddi dolls can also connect to and operate other Kaslan products, quickly becoming a success for children worldwide. At a Buddi assembly factory in Vietnam, an employee is fired by his supervisor for insufficient work. In retaliation, the employee manipulates the doll that he is assembling by disabling all of its safety protocols, before committing suicide. The doll is packed alongside others in preparation for delivery.
In Chicago, Karen Barclay and her 13-year-old hearing-impaired son, Andy, have moved into their new apartment. In an attempt to cheer Andy up, Karen blackmails her boss in order to procure a Buddi doll and introduces it to Andy as an early birthday gift. Once Andy activates the doll, it names itself Chucky and becomes attached to Andy. Over time, Chucky helps Andy befriend two other children in the building. Soon after, Chucky begins to display violent tendencies. He strangles their pet cat after it scratches Andy. Then, while Andy and his friends watch a horror film, Chucky starts mimicking the violence on the screen and approaches the trio with a kitchen knife before Andy disarms him.
Andy arrives home the next day to find that his cat is dead; Chucky admits to killing it so that it would not hurt him anymore. From there, things only escalate further and further. Chucky wants Andy all to himself and nobody is going to get in his way.
You can add Child’s Play to the landfill of pointless remakes. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely terrible. Firstly, I was not a fan of the change to Chucky and his origin. I know it makes much more sense with this film as they’re attempting to make it feel realistic. Whatever the reason, it’s much less interesting and raises other issues.
Secondly, I genuinely believe that Chucky looked better in the original. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I disliked about the design in this remake. The best word I can think of to describe him is ugly. I don’t see why anyone would actually want one of these things. It’s supposed to be a high end product and it just looks weird and creepy. Why would people buy this for their kids? Andy himself states that Chucky is “kind of creepy” almost immediately.
While we do get a few moments of bonding between Chucky & Andy, I would have liked more. Chucky goes from playing with Andy to full on serial killer without too much happening.
Thankfully, there are some good looking gore effects and a couple of cringe worthy moments to sink your teeth into. Child’s Play attempts to be creative with its kills. Unfortunately, it uses one too many jump scares for my liking.
The acting is fine, just fine. It felt to me as if Mark Hamill was being held back by the shoddy writing. Many of the characters are just plain useless. Andy’s mother is a moron and his new friends are just as bad. After knowing full well that Chucky had come to life and murdered someone, they are seen playing with what they believe is a new one a few scenes later.
Finally, I can buy Chucky being able to manipulate certain parts of the house with his AI. However, it goes way too far with this aspect of the story.
Child’s Play fails as a remake of a horror classic. If you were to look at it as an original film then it’s just bang average. There are a few violence filled highlights but even then it was hard to know if I should be laughing or not.