31 years after Chucky, the murderous doll, caused fear and terror, “Polaroid” director Lars Klevberg is taking part CHILD’S PLAY for a contemporary remake that has a remarkable amount of charm with fresh ideas and a strong look. We reveal more about this in our review.
In the finale, Andy has to take on the dolls alone…
The plot summary
Single mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza) unwittingly gives her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) a doll. What’s special about it: The “Buddi Doll”, later named Chucky, contains an artificial intelligence – and of all things, its security measures were removed by an employee shortly before delivery. Not only can Chucky constantly learn new words and operate his new family’s smart home, he also delves deeply into the psyche of Andy and his mother. Through careful observation and imitation, Chucky does everything he can to please his “best friend.” And he doesn’t shy away from murder when he realizes that Andy is suffering a lot because of his mother’s new boyfriend. However, when Andy realizes that the doll is no ordinary toy, it is already too late: armed with a knife, Chucky goes on a slashing spree. Before that he had watched “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”…
Child’s Play Movie Meaning & ending
It’s not just the billion-dollar company Disney, which is best known for its animated films, that currently prefers new editions of its greatest classics. The horror genre has also always been remade. That doesn’t always go well. Especially at the beginning of the new millennium, it was in vogue to transform the terror classics of the 1970s into polished splatter films. As a rule, the intention, the atmosphere and everything else that made the films of that decade so worth seeing fell by the wayside. Only a few horror reinterpretations were well received by fans of the genre. The reboot of the “Chucky” series, on the other hand, will soon be one of the more respected remakes – especially since Lars Klevberg, a director who recently produced an unprecedentedly disappointing horror film with “Polaroid,” was responsible. But the Norwegian-born artist has apparently invested all his skills into staging “Child’s Play”. The 90-minute horror comedy not only has a completely new approach to horror in puppet form and cleverly justifies the existence of the remake. On top of that, it is also really well staged, although the hysterical final act detracts from the impression compared to the hour before.
Karen (Aubrey Plaza) gives her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) the doll Chucky.
Of course, it’s always a matter of taste whether you expect a remake to be true to the original or a completely new approach. The current discussion about Disney’s “The Lion King” proves this only too well. “Child’s Play” screenwriter Tyler Burton Smith (“Kung Fury 2”) , who is the very first in the seven-part “Chucky” history to inherit the creator of the series, Don Mancini (and the lack of understanding from him and him large fan base), chooses his own reason to explain the evilness of the iconic Chucky doll. This time it is not the ghost of a bloodthirsty serial killer that turns the harmless toy into an ice-cold slasher, but rather a computer system that has gone awry. In doing so, Smith not only places his story in keeping with the times and, almost in passing, includes criticism of a technology-obsessed society in “Child’s Play”, he also opens up completely new opportunities for his version of Chucky to develop his own character. At the beginning you will actually get to know the Buddi Doll as a very interesting AI in which the outsider Andy finds a new best friend after some initial difficulties. The 2019 Chucky almost grows a little fond of us before we realize what the knee-high fellow is actually cooking up.
What director Lars Klevberg, on the other hand, sticks to is the tonality of the old “Chucky” films, which is somewhere between horror and comedy – his “Child’s Play” also works just as well in the atmospheric scary moments as in the comedy scenes, which largely result from the matter-of-factness where Chucky gradually takes over control of Andy’s family. This starts with the naming, when the script no longer spends any time explaining why Chucky is now called Chucky – the doll simply gives himself this name. Furthermore, scenes in which the murderer doll watches brutal horror films with his new friend develop He gradually created his own enemy images through observations and ultimately committed the (mostly extremely bloody) murders with great pleasure. Even today, his joke comes from the crazy contrast between the harmless doll figure and the brutal consequences that his actions bring with him. Even in 2019, this basic idea has lost none of its charm. Only Chucky’s appearance could irritate murder doll purists – the “Buddi Doll” looks like a toy from today and has lost the now antiquated look of the original Chucky. A decision that should be easy to get over, especially considering that “Child’s Play” has absolutely nothing to do with the previous series in terms of content.
Unfortunately, in the last third Lars Klevberg sticks too slavishly to the unwritten rule that horror films just have to really turn up the heat in the finale in order to really increase the tension. In this case, the escalation takes place in a supermarket, where people immediately have to deal with a whole armada of toys that have gone bad. There’s a lot to be said for it, but the mood that was previously so carefully constructed and only very occasionally supplemented with cleverly placed jump scares, let alone the interplay between morbid comedy and tough horror film, no longer comes through here at all. What remains is one big commotion, that of cinematographer Brendan Uegama (“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”) not even presented in a particularly appealing way. The underlying criticism of consumerism and technology has long since disappeared at this point. And the relationship between Andy and his mother, whose passionate embodiment is Aubrey Plaza (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”) Unfortunately, it doesn’t get that much space and at some point it fades into the background with all the puppet action. That’s a real shame compared to the first hour, in which “Child’s Play” is an absolutely worthy new edition of the “Chucky” films, for which the makers were even able to get “Star Wars” legend Mark Hamill on board. He lends his diabolical voice to the doll in the original version and is in no way inferior to his predecessor Brad Dourif.
Conclusion: After an atmospheric start with just the right mix of scary horror and morbid comedy, “Child’s Play” drops a lot in the finale, but is still a very solid new edition of the classic “Chucky – The Murderer Doll”.
“Child’s Play” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 18th.