Child’s Play

childs-playWhen a rash of murders unfolds, 6-year-old Andy knows that his toy doll Chucky is the killer, but neither his mom nor the cops believe him.

Year: 1988
Certificate: 15
Director: Tom Holland
Starring: Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Tommy Swerdlow, Alex Vincent, Dinah Manoff, Neil Giuntoli, Jack Colvin

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I first saw “Child’s Play” when I was first, ahem, less than 15 years old on a battered VHS copy at a friend’s house – the same friend’s house where I first saw “Predator” when I was, ahem, less than 18 years old… I actually don’t remember much about it, other than the basic outline that a “Good Guy’s” doll gets possessed and goes on a killing spree. Oh, and the immortal line of “Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?”. So when this returned to Netflix UK a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was deserving of an up-to-date review to see if it has stood the test of time as a classic horror movie.

We get straight into the action with Charles Lee Ray being chased by cops after a robbery; there’s no long, drawn out back-story like you tend to get with modern films and I actually prefer this. So, Charles end up being shot by the cop and, knowing he’s about to die, starts chanting in an African-style language and ends up possessing a Good Guy’s Doll in a toy store.

We then meet Andy, a young kid with his birthday coming up. Guess what he really, really wants? That’s right – a Good Guy’s doll. In fact, he’s obsessed with Good Guy’s – watching the cartoon on TV, dressing like him and, basically, doing what most young kids do when they’re obsessed with a TV show or toy. Eventually the wait is over and through various means Andy gets his Good Guy’s doll.

Again, getting straight into the story without long, drawn out filler, within 15 minutes of the film starting we start to see the creepy stuff happening. Andy’s doll starts talking and telling him his name is Chucky. The musical score is quite thrilling and helps build up the intensity of the film – you know something’s going to happen, but you’re not quite sure when… As it turns out, for a Good Guy, Chucky’s pretty handy with a knife.

“Child’s Play” doesn’t actually use that many special effects – when you see the doll running it’s looks a bit funny… Thankfully, we usually see Chucky’s movements from his point of view – low down camera work. Obviously this cuts down on special effects costs, but at the same time adds to the effect as you see people from his point of view.

Back to the story and, as expected, Andy’s mum or the cops don’t believe him when he says his doll is alive – that is until Andy mentions his name. Suddenly the cop is reminded of Charles Lee Ray who happened to go by the name of Chucky.

Overall “Child’s Play” is a little bit cheesy and predictable at times but it does provide a thrilling watch and a couple of jump-scares. It’s not as dated as I expected (perhaps because of the limited use of special effects) but it’s also not as scary as I had remembered. It’s not the best horror movie, but it’s probably worth a watch.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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