Director: Lars Klevberg
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hamill
Release Date: September 24, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Get ready for childhood dreams of talking toys to go completely sideways when Chucky, the sinister killer doll, comes home in Child’s Play – a re-imagining of the 1988 horror classic sure to elicit screams from a whole new generation of fans this fall. Realizing that her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) is lonely, Karen (Aubrey Plaza) buys him a seemingly innocent, AI-enhanced Buddi doll that he names Chucky. But Chucky’s safety restrictions have been disabled, and soon, a gruesome series of events unfolds. Unable to convince his mom that the doll is responsible for the carnage, Andy becomes the target of the bloodthirsty Chucky!
This new re-imagining of ‘Child’s Play’ tells the story of struggling single mother Karen (Plaza) who while working at the local department store gets her hand on a malfunctioning, yet refurbished “Buddi” doll that she can’t resist bringing home to her kindhearted yet lonely son Andy (Bateman). But as this glitchy doll that just happened to be the victim of an angry employee’s revenge starts exhibiting increasingly strange and even violent tendencies, Andy becomes thoroughly concerned. Enlisting the help of his newfound local friends, Andy and his new pals trick and attempt to destroy the doll before it can cause more harm than it already has. Yet when the plan backfires and Andy finds himself and his mother Chucky’s new priority targets, it’s going to take some serious smarts, luck and possibly additional help if they hope to destroy this sadistic doll before it’s too late.
Directed by Lars Klevberg (Polaroid) from a screenplay by Tyler Burton Smith (marking his first film script), Klevberg does a great job altogether at the helm of ‘Child’s Play’ smoothly guiding along the bloody chaos and fun, and always with plenty of style. The film also features a quite capable cast that includes Aubrey Plaza (TV’s Legion), Gabriel Bateman (Light’s Out) and Brian Tyree Henry (TV’s Atlanta), along with Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman The Animated Series) as the voice of Chucky and more, with the majority offering solid and fitting performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
This new take on the iconic 1988 film ‘Child’s Play’ may not be the horror film of the decade but it’s a great deal more impressive than some might expect. Offering a bloody and darkly humorous new adaption of the popular horror classic loaded with twisted fun and tense excitement throughout. Wisely opting for changing up the origin of our doll this time around and focusing more on the modern overload of technology instead of simple reincarnation, it helps to make for a slightly different and original take on the material that continually pays homage to its inspiration while at the same time unafraid to be very much its own film. Add to the mix a notable amount of fun kills and bloody chaos, along with quite a few laughs (not to mention the perfect voice casting of Mark Hamill as Chucky) and it becomes a surprisingly competent and well-crafted reboot that looks great and is also incredibly fun from start to finish. I would strongly encourage fans of the original film(s) along with horror fans in general to try and make a point of checking out the new ‘Child’s Play’ whenever you have the chance. It’s a smart, bloody and funny new take on the popular killer doll that’s similar and unique enough to equally please fans and newcomers to Chucky’s world; both of which should find a lot to appreciate about this one, as well as the manner in which the material is altogether handled.
Overall, the new ‘Child’s Play’ re-imagining is a surprisingly clever and massively entertaining new take on the material that isn’t lacking in bloody kills or dark humor, coming together into a thoroughly fun and demented little ride that’s worth taking. The new ‘Child’s Play’ film is highly recommended for fans of the original (and still ongoing) franchise and genre fans in general that appreciate a fun and unique slasher flick with a sense of humor. It’s a far better reboot (or re-imagining) than you might expect that serves up a healthy amount of bloody fun and twisted laughs and is definitely one that most horror fans won’t want to miss out on. At the absolute least it should have no issue proving more than worth the cost of a rental and ninety minutes of your time one uneventful evening in the near future.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Child’s Play’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and offers a sharp, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults or troubles to be uncovered throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit moments and heavily populated scenes, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that should thoroughly please both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, crisp and frequently quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the score, along with creepy effects, crowd chatter, plus nature effects and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that more than delivers in every way necessary and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Child’s Play’ includes a few enjoyable bonus goodies. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Lars Klevberg’, in addition to a few brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the new film to life including: ‘The Making of Child’s Play’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), ‘Bringing Child’s Play’s Chucky to Life’ (running approximately 4 minutes) and a ‘Soundtrack Trailer’ (approximately 3 minutes). 2 ‘Lee Hardcastle Claymations’ featuring Chucky are also included: ‘Toy Massacre’ and ‘A.I. Mayhem’ (approximately 1 minute each). The release also includes a still image ‘Gallery’ and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (1 minute).