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380 Days of Halloween Movies: Day 7 - Child’s Play (1988)
Child's Play (1988) - What Happens When A Possessed Psychopathic Murdering Doll Gets Ahold of a Giant Kitchen Knife
Chucky, the evil possessed children’s doll, voiced by Brad Dourif, is the horror villain (now icon) for Child’s Play. Child’s play has since gone on to receive two sequels, but none of which quite match-up to the originality and pure cinematic brilliance of the first. Moving away from Child’s Play there have been multiple Chucky spin-off movies, and each of them has received a noteworthy level of cult support throughout the years, with the most recent Chucky movie, titled “Cult of Chucky” in 2017. So, that is quite a bit of time for the Chucky horror villain to pull out a few surprises from his duffle bag of violent goodies. Think it is cool for a children’s toy to swear, curse on all four levels, use knives and any other weapons to promptly cause harm? Well, if you do, then this movie might just have what you are looking for.
What happens in Child’s Play (1988): The movie is based around the family lives of a single working mother and her young child, and at Christmas time there is always that one toy that every child wants, and the Chucky doll is that one toy. The mother, being the wise and gifted woman that she is, finds a mysterious man down a dark alley outside of the mall where she works and buys from him a stolen Chucky doll on the cheap. The mother feels like she has grabbed a bargain, left the darkened alley with her life, and makes her way home. The Chucky doll is given to the son who immediately finds satisfaction in playing with the toy, and it speaks, only the toy requires batteries in order for it to work. Mysterious, but back in the 80s (when the movie is set) toys without batteries would be toys that do not work, unlike modern times where there is almost always a back up charge for the toys. The Chucky doll stays in the boys bedroom, and this offers perfect timing for the evil possessed Chucky doll (one of a kind) to come to life as the spiritually possessed doll and tell the boy his manipulative plans to cause violence.
How does a mass produced Christmas toy become possessed? Child’s Play starts when a criminal is on the run from the police, and in his escape he breaks into a toy store. Whilst in the toy story he gets critically wounded, and in a desperate attempt to maintain his life he uses dark voodoo magic to transfer his life-essence into one of the Chucky dolls that have fallen onto the ground after he got shot. There is suddenly a massive bolt of lightning as the dark magic does its job and the maniac psychopathic killer’s soul is transferred into one of the Chucky dolls. A child now owns the possessed Chucky doll, but there are sinister plans in the works for Chucky to take his revenge.
Back to Child’s Play: Chucky forces the boy to leave school and instead keep on walking to a rougher part of town where Chucky can find the people who betrayed him. First, he needs to kill his once criminal partner, and this is done by blowing up the property with the man still inside. Chucky also needs to speak to the dark voodoo magic guy to get his soul put back into his human body. Fury overturns when Chucky realises that he is trapped in the children’s toy doll, and this leads Chucky into manipulating the young boy into helping him commit violent, senseless murders.
What I think of Child’s Play: If Child’s Play was to be remade in 2017 then the movie would lose all authentic values, as the original Child’s Play movie was released in 1988, and set in the 80s Northern American society. Back in the 80s, talking toy dolls were all the rage, whereas in 2017 talking dolls would come and go, and not in any larger way play a large role in a child’s life growing up. Kids today would much sooner play video-games, set-up LEGO Star Wars, and collect cuddly toys from the Marvel/DC Comics respective universes. Sure, the reboot for Child’s Play could use this to their advantage, but when something has been done great once before, all that reboots for movies of a niche kind (anyways) have proven is that they can smear the imprinted stamp of quality from the franchises original movie.
Chucky, voiced by Brad Dourif, was a stroke of genius. Child’s Play has sprouted a whole array of sequels and spin-offs, and the cult following is large enough that there can be risks taken to find the right formula that may skyrocket this franchise back to greatness. Chucky was truly a great horror villain in Child’s Play, whereas the spin-offs are just adding in new formula characters to see if a character sticks with the audiences to be leveraged in future Chucky movies. These are slow dreams for a fast paced horror villain thinker, and it might be more interesting to strive for a bigger budgeted production, and hold off on all of the terribly funded Chucky movies short-term to set themselves up for a much healthier return on a larger investment.
Child's Play (1988)!
Have you seen Child's Play (1988)?
Chucky Wants To Come Out And Play... (Chucky Screams) I'm Gonna Cut You... (B-Word)
Would you consider Chucky to be an iconic horror villain?
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