Child’s Play (2019)

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Chucky gets a modern update in this actually pretty well-made reboot of the 1988 classic horror film.

The Kaslan Corporation has unveiled their latest product, the Buddi doll. The doll is a smart doll that can serve as a best friend, security system, all the works. At a factory in Vietnam, a programmer grows tired of the abuse he receives at the hands of the warehouse manager. Putting together a new Buddi doll, he decides to reprogram the doll to take away all restrictions before jumping to his death. The new doll is sent to Chicago, where Zedmart worker Karen Barclay decides to give the new doll to her son Andy as both an early birthday present and the fact that life’s been hard since they moved to the city.

At first, the doll, known as Chucky, slowly gets to bond with Andy. However, as Andy deals with issues involving both his cat and Karen’s boyfriend Shane, Chucky shows a side that proves to be very dangerous. With his restrictions off, Chucky begins a deadly spree that eventually makes it way to Andy as he finds himself targeted by Chucky. Chucky feels if Andy can’t be his best friend, then no one can. Andy must attempt to rely on his new friends Falyn and Pugg to help him find a way to stop Chucky’s reign of terror before it is too late.

When it was announced that Chucky would be getting a reboot, fans were extremely shocked because in 2017, the original Child’s Play saga continued with Cult of Chucky. However, creator Don Mancini did tell viewers that MGM only have the rights to the original film and he would have zero involvement in the film. The concept of the original, a serial killer possessing a doll before his death was ingenious. However, this new film would involve a re-programmed smart doll (just like the recently released and reviewed Banana Splits Movie) and one can only thank God that they found Mark Hamill to voice the new doll.

Hamill may be no Brad Dourif, but as both Luke Skywalker and one of the most popular voice actors today, Hamill is great as the new Chucky, who looks very creepy from the get-go. The facial expressions are both funny and disturbing at times. Gabriel Bateman, whose Andy Barclay is now a teenager who is partially deaf, finds himself alone until he bonds with Chucky. However, eventually he befriends two other kids, Falyn and Pugg, played respectively with toughness by Beatrice Kitsos and comic relief by Ty Consiglio. And this poses a threat to Chucky, who by then, offed both a cat and her mother’s overbearing boyfriend, especially after Andy is berated by the boyfriend, the victim of some pranks.

Aubrey Plaza’s new take on Karen Barclay brings a bit of her trademark brand of acting along with the eventual realization of what her son’s new doll has been doing, brings a bit of shock and anger to the role. Meanwhile, Bryan Tyree Henry’s Mike Norris is definitely a far cry from Chris Sarandon’s tough demeanor as Henry’s take is a more likable character who sees Andy as a likable kid. However, it is in the third act where he does show off a tough exterior due to a traumatic incident that happens on behalf of our insane killer doll. The third act alone serves as a total bats**t scene that can act as a fear of technology and what it’s capable of today.

The Child’s Play reboot is pretty much what is expected when technology can go awry and serves as a pretty good modern update. While it will not live up to the original film or its sequels, its intentions are met in this case, all thanks to Mark Hamill’s voiceover as the new killer doll Chucky.

WFG RATING: B

MGM and Orion Pictures presents an Oddfellows Entertainment production in association with Bron Creative, Creative Wealth Media Finance, and KatzSmith Productions. Director: Lars Klevberg. Producers: David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. Writer: Tyler Burton Smith; based on the original 1988 film written by Don Mancini. Cinematography: Brendan Uegama. Editing: Tom Elkins and Julia Wong.

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, David Lewis, Trent Redekop, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Carlease Burke, Marlon Kazadi, Mark Hamill (voice)

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