"Child's Play" (2019) Movie Review
If you think about it, technology is pretty darn scary. Against better judgment, and constant warnings, scientists have successfully built robots that look and act so human-like that they'll soon be indistinguishable from the real thing. What if someone messed with their protocol coding? They could be more dangerous than any human. That's the fear that the Child's Play remake taps into, and it does a spectacular job of it.
The film follows Andy Barclay and his mom Karen. Karen is working double shifts at Zed Mart just to be able to pay for Andy's hearing-aid. She feels bad that she's not been able to spend more time with him and also that she knows she can't afford to get him a birthday present. When a customer returns a Buddi doll named Chucky, Karen sees an opportunity. She decides to take it home and give it to Andy for his birthday. What she doesn't know is that a disgruntled employee turned off all of Chucky's safety protocols. Chucky watches Andy's actions and learns from him. Soon enough, Chucky turns sinister, wanting his best buddy Andy all to himself.
Normally, I don't get behind remakes very much. So many times, they try to separate themselves from the original by adding in unnecessary "jumpscare" moments and loading it with sex scenes. While Child's Play did differ from the original, it was different enough to feel fresh and similar enough to keep the nostalgia alive. There were a couple jumpscares but only one of them was cheap and unnecessary. I was actually impressed by how well-crafted this was.
Now, I have to take a moment to talk about the voice of Chucky. Mark Hamill did an astounding job giving new life to the little demon. The evolution of the voice was very skillful on Hamill's part. From innocence to possessive to sinister, Hamill's voicework lived up to Brad Dourif's classic take on the villain.
I actually loved Chucky's new look. It was more relevant to today's tech. I didn't feel like the film was trying to be better than the original. This is just one story that actually needed an update. The thing that was big in the 80s was the My Buddy dolls, which is what the original Chucky was based on. Today, everything is more technology based. With the new home assistant Alexa connecting all your home devices to it so you can just command your home to do what you want, a tech-based Chucky makes complete sense.
Aside from the one dumb jumpscare, my big issue is why the remake was made now. Don Mancini has stated multiple times that he's planning on making a TV series that will continue the plot from the film series and then he'll make more films after that. So this remake was really a bit of an oddity, a duck in a flamingo pond so to speak.
In conclusion, if you loved the Child's Play series or just tech in general, go see this film. Child's Play does for talking dolls what Jaws did for swimmers. You'll appreciate Hamill's genius but it'll make you think twice about what you let inside your home. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper