★★★ | Zach Hester
For a long time, the Child’s Play franchise fell into the realm of obscurity. Yes, I know there have many entries to the story of Chucky the Killer Doll since the original 1988 film. However, a large majority of those have been delegated to Movie Hell with straight-to-DVD releases and more focus on nasty comedy rather than the comic horror that kicked off the first movie.
The Child’s Play remake (it’s more of a reimagining) follows a family terrorized by a “Buddi” doll after it’s programming is reset and allows it to become self-aware.
The film stars newcomer Gabriel Bateman in the lead role of Andy Barclay and Parks and Recreation veteran Aubrey Plaza as his mother Karen, a department store worker who brings home the defective doll as a birthday present for her loner son.
Bateman does a good job portraying an older Andy Barclay in this story. I wondered if I would like an older version of this character, but with the modern upgrades made to the story regarding artificial intelligence, it makes sense for Andy to be older and more inclined to use a Buddi doll in his daily life.
Speaking on the scientific upgrades to the story and without spoilers, Chucky isn’t a possessed doll this time, he’s more like a creepy version of Amazon’s Alexa, who can walk around…and stab you when he feels like it. Mark Hamill also does excellent voice work as the killer doll, but there was never any doubt about the greatness of his performance.
In a million years, I never would’ve imagined the concept of artificial intelligence mixing within the walls of a Child’s Play movie. While I did miss some of the supernatural aspects of the original that made it more creepy, overall, this is the best entry to this long-running franchise since the original film. It was a great fusion of comedy and creepiness that will make you actually care about these movies again.