Child’s Play (2019) Review
Well, the day has finally arrived. Chucky has gotten the reboot treatment.
After sitting through the cinematic abortions that were the rebooted “Friday the 13th”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, and “Rob Zombies Halloween”, I had little hope this would be any good. Fool me once and all that shit.
Soooo I got my popcorn and soda and sat my ass down in the darkened theater expecting to witness the wholesale rape of one of my beloved franchises. Why did I even bother then? Fuck you, that’s why!
Anyhoo, when the credits rolled I was surprised to find that I didn’t hate the film. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t feel it was a complete waste of celluloid either. Yeah I know? Shocked me too!
Let’s chop it up, shall we?
So, in this version, Andy is 13 and not 6. His single-parent mother works a lot and has a shitty boyfriend Andy can’t stand. One day his mom brings home a Buddi doll, an A.I. that becomes it’s owners best friend and helps do all sorts of useful tech things (Sorta like Alexa in doll form.). Unbeknownst to Andy though, this particular Buddi doll has been tampered with by a disgruntled Vietnamese sweatshop worker (Nope, not making that up.) and his safety protocols have been disabled, meaning Chucky is capable of anything.
As you can see, the story differs from the original, most notably in the fact that Chucky is an A.I., not a doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer. While I’m not a fan of this particular change, I’ll admit that the movie made it work. I chalk this up to the fact that they didn’t go down the road of “A.I. gets smart and turns on humans” angle that’s played out. Chucky’s turn to the dark side is due to other factors I won’t reveal. You may actually feel bad for the little guy by the end.
The acting is pretty solid although I can’t help but feel Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry were wasted. Gabriel Bateman as Andy does a great job and makes the character likable and sympathetic but Plaza, who I have to admit surprised me by being cast as a mom, isn’t given a ton to do. I love Aubrey, she’s funny and hot and weird and hot and goofy and hot and smart and hot and a good actress but I have a hard time seeing her as a mother character, just doesn’t fit. Don’t get me wrong, she does ok with what she’s given, but had they given her more this could have been a great role to expand her portfolio or something.
Henry as detective Norris was very likable but barely gets screen time. The OG film Detective Norris had a sizable role in the story, why downgrade him?
Andy’s friends Falyn and Pugg (Played by Beatrice Kitsos and Ty Consiglio) were interesting, but they’re underused as well. I fucking hate when films create decent characters then barely use them. What’s the point assholes? Ya allergic to good character arcs?
Then there’s Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky. I was actually somewhat excited when I learned he’d be voicing the character as I’m a big fan of his voice work, and he’s Mark fucking Hamill! He does a great job here BUT he’s no Brad Douriff. I know I shouldn’t compare, the characters are vastly different, but I can’t fucking help it! Brad is to Chucky what Robert Englund is to Freddy and all subsequent Chucky’s will be compared. So sayeth the horror gods!
This Chucky isn’t maniacal and constantly swearing like a sailor, nor does he throw one-liners. Hell, he doesn’t even do a crazy laugh. This was one of the things I was concerned about when I learned the new Chuck was A.I. There was no way his personality was going to be as loud and over the top as the OG Chucky if he was just a robot. I get the filmmakers were going for a different story but a big part of what made the original films work was Chucky’s crazy ass persona. Seeing a cute little doll swearing and threatening people was a hoot!
I don’t even want to get into how he look’s. There were times Chucky looked mentally challenged with that big fucking head and those huge eyes. How the fuck does the doll from the 1988 version look better than the 2019 version? How Sway?!!
Anyway, that said, I didn’t hate this version of Chucky. He works for this particular story, but damn’it, I miss Brad!
One of thing’s this flick has going for it though is the gore. There isn’t a ton of kills but when they do happen they get wet. Lot’s of catsup! The ending scenes are pretty fun too. I won’t say more as I’ll let you enjoy them for yourself.
BTW, I’d love to know why it was so easy to turn off the safety protocols, you’d think a big corporation would hardwire that shit into the dolls so it can’t be screwed with. Kinda a huge fucking liability.
Also, is none of the characters freaked out by Chucky’s eyes going red or that he acts homicidal at times? If it were me, the first time I saw that shit…nope! Come on Chucky, time to take a trip to the Wal-mart returns desk.
Andy just locks him in a closet…
Anyway, as I said, I don’t hate this film. For a reboot, it isn’t terrible though part of me feels they could have just called it something else. I wasn’t bored and I’m genuinely curious about any sequel but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like a Chucky film. I don’t know how to put it into words.
Look, if you like horror that has a decent story and lots of red stuff, then go see this, but don’t go expecting the Chucky you grew up with. Try to take it as it is and you may enjoy yourself. However, if you’re a diehard Chucky fan, you may want to skip this and wait for Mancini’s upcoming series. Nuff said!
Three and a half Grue’s out of 5