There’s an old adage, saying “Why fix what ain’t broken?” and this adage couldn’te be truer for Child’s Play 2019, a reboot of the 1988 cult classic that spawned six movies that joined the ranks of Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th in the horror genre. Suffice to say, Child’s Play committed the worst kind of sin for any reboot, and that is to damage an already established character for future generations of horror fans.
Synopsis: A disgruntled employee from a third world factory sabotages the chip of an AI Buddi Doll, which has the ability to tap into different home devices and appliances to make life easier for their owner. The doll becomes obsessed with his kid Andy (Gabriel Bateman) and goes on a murder spree against anyone who displeases his best bud.
First and foremost, the main question for Child’s Play 2019 would be the design for the new and improved version of Chucky. Seriously, the face of this children’s toy looks like claymation gone wrong and I would doubt that any parent would want anything so creepy hanging around their household, much less their kids.
True, this version of Chucky is much more high tech and even employs blackmail against Andy with his incriminating recordings but it was not rocket science that there was something seriously wrong with the toy straight off the bat.
Child’s Play 2019 does away with the supernatural element of the original franchise that brought the Chucky doll to life in the first place. Perhaps, it was trying to appeal to millenials by employing something that they were familiar with — technology. Perhaps, the reboot was playing it safe my trying to make this update a standalone unrelated to the first six movies. Perhaps, they were sending a message against the perils of technology? Who knows?
In all fairness to the reboot, it does try its best to serve up the scares. It was sufficiently gory and paid homage to 80s horror but what really took away from any sense of believability was Chucky himself. How could he be a child’s toy? Seriously. The fact that the original Chucky was so effective was because he looked like a normal child’s toy in the beginning before he showed his true colors. This marked a transition. Buddi was scary from the beginning. There was no transformation whatsoever.
Even though he was voiced by Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, I could not move on from the fact that the film destroyed a classic character with this poor excuse for character design. Sorry Buddi, I know its not your fault that you look awful but really. I’m at loss for words over my disappointment.
The film also disposes of very minor characters whom audiences just know will meet their deaths the moment they stepped on screen. Unfortunately, that throws out the sense of danger right out the window.
I think Child’s Play was gunning for the classic 80s kids’ movies with montages featuring Chucky and Andy which were framed like Elliot and E.T., or the Goonies/Stranger Things vibe with the supermaket scene with Andy and his posse. These were actual strengths of the movie that the film should have explored further instead of hard selling the technology thing.
And what about Aubrey Plaza’s character who was so clueless until the very last minute when she was the one in peril? She was so dead set in making her child “normal” that she missed all the signs that her only child was dealing with a psycho doll.
Word of advice, if you loved the original Child’s Play movies, skip this reboot. Let Chucky live in your memory just as he was before the image is forever corrupted by this “updated” version of the character.