CHILD’S PLAY gets 7.5/10 Cheeky Chucky

Directed by Lars Klevberg

Starring Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill


Not another turgid horror remake! With just about every classic and not-so-classic horror film of the 80s getting the remake treatment, it was only a matter of time before the long-running Child’s Play (or now known as the Chucky) series got its own reboot, particularly since the Chucky doll can swap the supernatural effects for wi-fi interconnectivity that makes him able to hack into just about all surrounding electronics (including metal-winged drones and self-driving cars).

That’s just one of the many dumb aspects of this very dumb film. Yet there’s a very gleeful kind of self-awareness that this horror remake has, as if it’s aware of its reboot status, so it doesn’t indulge in solemn over-seriousness like the majority of horror remakes of its ilk, and instead emerges as what may be one of the funniest comedies of the year.

A defective Chucky toy (known commercially as Buddi) ends up in the arms of 13 year old Andy (Gabriel Bateman), an early birthday present from his mum Karen (Aubrey Plaza), who works at Zed Mart where Buddi has been a hit. Although initially not so interested in the smart-doll, Chucky’s penchant for wrong-doing greatly excites the inner trouble-maker in Andy, particularly as this foul-mouthed and violence-loving toy has earned the introverted Andy some new friends.

However, this one-of-a-kind Buddi is programmed for a much more sinister and dangerous side to him (or it), but there’s beforehand plenty of hilarious moments revealing the doll’s malfunctions that make it look like a Cinco product from Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job. Andy trying to get Chucky to pull the scariest face he can is milked for all its worth – if you’re afraid of dolls, it will haunt you, but if you’re not, it will have you laughing like a maniac.

To reiterate, this film really is dumb. Though it may be as dumb as any other 80s horror film remake, Child’s Play sets itself apart because of the great amount of laughs (some of which of a very, very dark sensibility) and the crowd-pleasing murders from this naughty little doll. Despite not being hugely scary or atmospheric, and merely relying on loud-noise jump-scares, Child’s Play at least works far better as a comedy – I don’t think these days a film about a kid’s doll that kills people can be of any other genre.