Childs 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 plunked down in the darkened theater expecting to witness the wholesale rape of one of my beloved franchises. Why did I even bother then? I dunno, I guess I like pain or something.
However, 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.
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 things. Unbeknownst to Andy though, this Buddi doll has been tampered with by a disgruntled sweatshop worker. 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, 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 overplayed. 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 though I can’t help but feel Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry were wasted. Gabriel Bateman as Andy does a great job and makes Andy 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 weird and 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.
Henry as detective Norris was very likable but is 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.
Then there’s Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky. I have to admit, I was somewhat excited when I learned he’d be voicing the character as I’m a big fan of his voice work. 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.
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 personality. 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 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. I won’t say more as I’ll let you enjoy them for yourself.
I’d love to why it was so easy to turn off the safety protocols, you’d think a huge corporation would hardwire that shit into the dolls so it can’t be fucked with. Kinda a huge fucking liabilty.
Also, is none of the characters freaked out by Chucky’s eyes going red or that he acts homicidal at times? The damn thing would be returned with the quickness! Fuck my money back, fuck credit, just take it, I’m out!
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. if you’re a diehard Chucky fan, you may want to skip this and wait for Mancini’s upcoming series. Nuff said!