Home > Movie Review > Child’s Play (1988) Review

Child’s Play (1988) Review

childs-play-poster

The notorious Chucky movies have always been a part of my movie loving consciousness, being intrigued and weirded out by the VHS covers in my local video stores. Yet bar the final sequel released in 2013 (the “straight to video” Curse of Chucky) I’ve not seen any of the theatrically released films in the series.

Brad Dourif plays a serial killer who practises voodoo and is shot dead inside a toy store in the opening sequence. In his final moments he chants an incantation with his hand over a Good Guy doll, transferring his soul into the inanimate object.

Meanwhile, young Andy is desperate to get a Good Guy doll for his birthday, and his struggling single mother manages to procure one from a homeless seller in an alley at an affordable price. Strange things start happening, and up until a certain point, it could be argued that Andy is going crazy, perhaps at the distress of not having his father around. For the first half of the film, the doll does everything it’s supposed to do, talk back in a sugar coated sweet voice, with limited facial movement.

When it becomes apparent (to us the audience at least) that the doll and the soul of the killer, nicknamed “Chucky”, has murdered Andy’s babysitter, a whole host of problems crop up. His mother finally starts to believe in her son’s crazy story when she realises the whole time the doll has been speaking and moving as it should, the batteries weren’t even inside it.

When threatened with being tossed into the fireplace, Chucky finally reveals himself to the mother, and us the audience. It’s a great reveal that was built up nicely throughout the first half, and it’s a lot of fun to see this foul mouthed voice coming out of such a sweet looking doll. The animatronics on the Chucky character of the doll, with angry looking, more expressive facial movements are incredibly well done.

chuckystill

There’s a fair amount of humour to go along with Chucky, but his vicious nature, and murdering ways, add an element of horror to him too. I wouldn’t call the film scary, but Chucky’s mean streak adds a suitable amount of tension and gravitas to an otherwise ridiculous plot. Brad Dourif is excellent as the voice of Chucky, injecting a great amount of attitude into the character.

The final confrontation with this psychopathic toy is a great one, with a lot of thrills, comebacks and a grisly end. A fun, occasionally creepy slasher with a unique twist.

★★★½

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