Fans of the Child’s Play franchise expect the creepiest gore, unsettling and jumpy scares, and tons of memorable one-liners. However, they definitely did not expect the curveball that the reboot just threw.
The Child’s Play remake from Orion Pictures follows a kid named Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman) and his single mom, Karen (Aubrey Plaza). After moving to a new neighborhood, Andy has trouble settling in and making new friends. He wants only one: the WiFi-enabled Buddi doll from fictional tech giant Kaslan. The AI robot is intended to befriend kids, become their guardian, and make life simpler for parents. The life-like device with the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa is — supposed to be — programmed with kindness and care. As a last ditch effort to make her son happy, Karen brings a defective Buddi doll home for him. He warms up to the doll, who names himself Chucky, and they become best friends. With Chucky, Andy is able to make two new friends, Pugg (Ty Consiglio) and Falyn (Beatrice Kitsos), and together they teach the doll how to operate in the world.
Little do they know that an abused Kaslan factory worker in China, who was fired on the job, takes revenge on his supervisor and programs Chucky to be evil, jealous, and violent. The AI doll is hardwired to learn how to be evil and kill anyone who hurts Andy or tries to befriend him. When Chucky begins his gruesome rampage, Andy has to find a way to stop Chucky and convince his mom that it’s the doll’s doing.
Child’s Play is the reboot fans didn’t need — but will definitely love. It combines the comedic horror and gory slashing of classic Chucky with a heartfelt story that makes viewers feel bad for the sinister icon. It follows the same characters of the original movie with a modern twist that brings a fresh take on the legendary ‘80s horror flick. It stays true to the character of Chucky, making sure not to ruin or overshadow the original movies that fans already love. It also gives a new generation of horror fans a relatable yet terrifying story by incorporating commonly used technology as a source of fear.
The plot, along with the cast, has viewers sympathizing with Chucky and rooting for his friendship with Andy. At one point, you really consider how great of a friend Chucky is — until he starts killing everyone who breathes in Andy’s direction. Mark Hamill adds an extra boost of creepy to Chucky with a voice that makes you cringe, but he masterfully convinces the audience to care for the slashing doll the way that Andy does. His one-liners and cursing are so awkwardly funny that they add comedy to a series that fans already know and love. Just as a heads up: You won’t be able to get the voice of Mark Hamill as Chucky singing the “You Are My Buddi” song out of your head — for days.
The new-and-improved Chucky doll does not disappoint when it comes to the gory special effects. The high-tech scenarios make you reconsider using any new-age technology, including Amazon Echo or self-driving cars. He wields his signature knife for many of the murders while also getting creative and using any dangerous object or machine at his disposal. And, of course, the movie is full of the blood and severed limbs that Chucky fans anticipate.
All of this scary goodness combined creates a reboot that Child’s Play fans can proudly accept as Chucky’s new story.
Photo: Orion Pictures