Published on October 12th, 2019 | by Dan Nicholls0
Blu Ray Review: Child’s Play
Chucky is back for 2019, replacing the legendary Brad Dourif with the talented Mark Hamill as the killer doll. We look at the blu ray.
Chucky the killer doll is reborn for today’s kids in a 21st century Child’s Play – for a certain audience, that’s damn near blasphemous to announce. The possessed and demented toy left some scars on a segment of us with his original trilogy from 1988-1991 but his new breed of victims is significantly more difficult to haunt. The youths today see and do so much shit on a regular basis that you have to wonder, how will a mini hunk of a plastic wielding a kitchen knife inflict some real damage? The filmmakers here would suggest that hey – it’s worth a try.
The movie is set in a weird alterna-universe where Apple doesn’t exist but everything is designed and run by the Big-Brotherly Kaslan Corporation – this gives the movie’s reality just enough of a silly edge that camp is kept at the forefront. That marks a missed opportunity to score some real horror scares – after Chucky devolved to being a little stuffed comedian instead of a cold-blooded killer the Child’s Play movies haven’t exactly been synonymous with scaring the shit out of you. If we weren’t going to be getting a terrifying slasher for a new generation then I sort of wish this new 2019 iteration had embraced that camp a little bit harder. I kind of miss wise-cracking Chucky and from a performance perspective Mark Hamill is great but he’s not Brad Dourif-level legendary.
Child’s Play isn’t one of the great horror remakes, but it isn’t one of the worst either. It resides somewhere in between, torn between its own free will and its ties to conventions from a time gone past. I think it’s just clever enough, funny enough, and slickly produced enough to warrant a watch. The human players, including Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry, are savvy enough to have fun with the material. Director Lars Klevberg exhibits a generous amount of directorial panache that helps the brief 90-minute runtime avoid boredom and fatigue.
Being released on the same weekend as Toy Story 4 was a clever play at tongue-in-cheek publicity but it didn’t help drive ticket sales. The new Blu-ray release contains a fair crop of extras to give you some extra bang for your buck, including:
- The Making of Child’s Play
- Bringing Child’s Play’s Chucky to Life
- Soundtrack Trailer
- Toy Massacre
- A.I. Mayhem
This new Child’s Play has got a decent idea but floats its own boat to varying degrees of success. Some of these whims work (the comedic tension of the ‘Christmas present’ gag) and some don’t (just let Tupac rest in peace, dammit). It’s a straight-up remake of the original with a technologically-enhanced bend to it but it doesn’t break any new or old designs.