Child’s Play is actually a fun flick that re-imagines the original just enough to kind of be its own thing, with some similar plot elements yet still feels fresh even being in the killer doll sub-genre.
Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Comedy
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment | R – 90 min. – $34.99 | September 24, 2019
Date Published: 09/29/2019 | Author: The Movieman
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3.75/5
Plot Synopsis: Realizing her son Andy (GABRIEL BATEMAN) is lonely, Karen (AUBREY PLAZA) gets him a seemingly innocent, AI-enhanced doll named Chucky (voiced by MARK HAMILL). But Chucky’s safety restrictions have been disabled, and soon, a gruesome series of events unfolds. Unable to convince his mom that the doll is responsible for the carnage, Andy becomes the target of the bloodthirsty Chucky.
Review: With original content being increasingly rare with few exceptions (like the Jennifer Lopez drama Hustlers), it’s no surprise Hollywood leans on either comic book adaptations or remakes, going so far to have retellings of a few classics. However, more often than not, these are at best middling films or downright awful (The Hustle comes to mind here). It is a lazy path for the industry but thanks to built-in audiences, no surprise they get made, with studios just hoping to get a hit that could launch a franchise.
The latest is Child’s Play, a possessed-doll horror films based upon the 1988 modest box office hit which spawn five sequels, the last one was 2017’s Cult of Chucky, written and directed by the original creator, Don Mancini. Here’s where it gets interesting, while this remake was being made, Mancini apparently was working on an entry into the current franchise.
So, in any case, I will say… I was actually pleasantly surprised by this movie. The dark humor was on point, the horror was rather, well, horrific and the overall production was just well done. The performances weren’t anything special, though as always Aubrey Plaza is wonderful (and makes me feel old seeing her portray a mother); Brian Tyree Henry in a somewhat small role has a few nice moments; Gabriel Bateman, as child actors go, wasn’t half bad; and the choice of Mark Hamill to voice Chucky was brilliant, though I do still prefer Brad Dourif in the original series.
I could nitpick the film, of course. There are times when you wonder how Chucky is able to get around like he can, how he pops into a shot when there’s no discernible way (the car scene in particular) that can be seen on camera, and those moments did stand out a bit, but ultimately did not detract from my enjoyment either.
Child’s Play was helmed by Norwegian filmmaker Lars Klevberg, marking only his second feature film and first English-language film. All in all, while the direction itself was pretty standard, I will commend him for refraining using one of the worst aspects of modern horror: the jump scare and instead actually had a few quiet moments with some actual, bonafide… tension. Quite the concept. Maybe others will learn from it (hope springs eternal).
While not the best of the remakes out there (The Thing and Ocean’s Eleven tops my list), Child’s Play is still a well done horror-comedy that doesn’t tarnish the original and kind of make it its own thing at least. Worthy of a rental.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Audio Commentary – Director Lars Klevberg sits down for a low key yet still informative track breaking down some of the production tid-bits and his approach to helming the Child’s Play re-imagining. Like most solo tracks, would have been nice to have someone else in the room to bounce stories off of.
The Making of Child’s Play (5:05) – Short behind-the-scenes featurette with some sound bites from members of the cast and crew (including Klevberg, Plaza, Bateman, Producer Seth Graham-Smith, etc) on the plot and the updating into the 21st century.
Bringing Child’s Play’s Chucky to Life (4:28) covers the design of the Budi/Chucky doll.
Soundtrack Trailer (3:16) – More of a music video of sorts for the admittedly haunting main theme by composer Bear McCreary.
Lee Hardcastle Claymations (1:37) are claymation shorts… I think.
Gallery (1:03) filled with behind-the-scenes and publicity stills.
Theatrical Trailer (1:02)
I don’t count this as part of the features rating, but there is also a Sneak Peek (2:27) at Ready or Not.
Preview – Ready or Not
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Fox (Disney, technically I guess), releases Child’s Play onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture, like any new movie, looks great with sharp detail throughout and even with it being a horror film, still provided some decent and bright colors while black levels were stark.|
AUDIO – 4.5/5
|The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track outputs crisp and clear dialogue through the center channel with some nice depth via the front and rear channels, the latter displaying Bear McCreary’s sometimes unnerving score as well as some off-screen elements, especially noticeable during the finale.|
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Child’s Play is actually a fun flick that re-imagines the original just enough to kind of be its own thing, with some similar plot elements yet still feels fresh even being in the killer doll subgenre. I will say, it might not be as highly regarded amongst the remakes, but still was really entertaining. The Blu-ray release offers up great video/audio transfers however the bonus features are a little lacking.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.