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CHILD'S PLAY
2019 / Horror
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8.3 / 10
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Directed by Lars Klevberg
Written by Tyler Burton Smith
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry and Tim Matheson

A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

The following tags are associated with this movie: slasher, killer doll, robot
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Movie Discussion
Child's Play (2019)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

9 / 10
I'm not someone that cares a great deal about movies getting remade. With this being a remake of my all-time favourite film, if there was any movie that had the chance to annoy me by the simple thought of it being remade, it would be this one. Yet, it never bothered me a single bit and I always found myself to be quite interested in what they could do with it and how they could update it for a new generation of viewers in a world that is so much more technology driven.

The first half of the movie is rather fantastic. The interactions with the Chucky doll as he's in his "learning phases" were quite hilarious, such as refusing to be named Han Solo, picking up a few naughty words, trying to strangle the family cat simply because it was a nuisance to Andy and so forth. It's all somewhat reminiscent of John Connor trying to teach the Terminator to not kill people and how to smile. It was a very fun part to the movie.

I don't have any problems with Mark Hamill's voicing of the Chucky doll, but because the doll is a result of technology gone haywire, it doesn't quite have the same range of what Brad Dourif could provide in the original movies. The doll does swear, but not necessarily out of desire or anger. While that makes for a few funny moments, it takes away from Chucky's angrier, darker side that made him so prolific.

It's all so different to the original movie. Yes it has a killer doll named Chucky which bares some similarities physically (being ginger, somewhat similar clothes), it has a kid named Andy with a seemingly widowed mother and a detective named Mike Norris, but everything else unfolds quite differently. A great scene in the movie is when Andy and his friends are laughing at a cheesy horror film (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and Chucky interprets it all as being fun, so he grabs a knife and starts to emulate what he saw on the television.

The second half of the film feels a little messy or rushed in comparison to the first half. One of the greatest scenes in the original is when the mother finds out the doll is alive, but unfortunately, there's no similar scene like that in this movie to rival with. To be honest, while the second half is fine, the scenes just didn't feel as special. With Chucky's ability to control other Kaslan products, it starts to feel a little convoluted, similar to how Cult of Chucky took its wrong turn with the idea of introducing multiple dolls.

There is one cool, gruesome death scene but I'm struggling to really think of any other standout kills in the movie. I'm not entirely sold on the setting of the finale scene, which feels like a less effective version of the toy factory ending in the sequel to the original movie and in my opinion, Chucky is defeated a little too easily. The majority of effects and doll movements are fine for the most part, but there are just a few small instances of unfavourable CGI used usually when Chucky is lunging at whoever he's attacking which irked me just slightly.

While I have wavering thoughts on how good the actual movie is, I have come to the conclusion that it is a very good movie overall with a brilliant first half that could've just been a little more effective towards the end. The original is still king in comparison, but this new version is really good too and can stand on its own rather easily.
Child's Play (2019)
Review by Michael Mahoney

7 / 10
This re-imaging of the classic 1988 film was, at times, pretty decent, but though I generally found it above average, I don't think there's really a whole lot to utterly love about this.

First off, as hard as I tried, I just couldn't get use to the change in design of Chucky, most noticeably the face. I don't think it was something that deeply took away from the film, but at the same time, I had a hard time getting the authentic Chucky feel when he was on-screen.

A big part of that too could be explained by the vastly different origin - instead of an insane serial killer trapped inside the body of a kid's toy, this Chucky is basically a rogue program installed by a disgruntled employer (which isn't much a spoiler, as it's how the film opens). Because of this change, Chucky was never 'human' here, instead feeling more like a robot attempting to understand how best to be the best friend he could be to Andy. Of course, this exploration doesn't end well.

Though it wasn't as distracting as I thought it'd be, I also wasn't overly thrilled with the idea that Chucky was in control of not only himself, but of all the products this company linked into, such as hearing aids, televisions, drones, cars, etc. It really gets rid of the more personal feeling that I tend to expect from Chucky, though at the same time, it matches his drastically different origin well.

Many of the performances were perfectly acceptable. Aubrey Plaza certainly came across as a rather young mother, but it worked well. Brian Tyree Henry was pretty fun as a supporting cast member, though I sort of wish they did a bit more with him. I liked both Ty Consiglio and Beatrice Kitsos, and Kitsos was certainly the more memorable of the two, but I wish they had mattered more in the conclusion. As Andy, Gabriel Bateman was good. He was no Alex Vincent, but he was still good, and it's always great to see Tim Matheson pop up, if only for a few minutes.

There was a solid kill here involving a heated pipe and a saw-blade, but the other kill with potential (lawnmower) was a bit on the dark side, and made it somewhat difficult to see everything. I did enjoy a somewhat jarring scene involving a head, so it certainly wasn't all bad, but overall, I thought they could have done a lot more with the special effects and gore than what they did.

I'm somewhat hard-pressed to see how anyone could love this over the original film. There were certainly solid aspects about it, but it also lacked some of the scenes that made the original so great, such as the sequence in the asylum with Andy, or the scene in which his mother finds out that Chucky's actually alive. Much of the film is serviceable, but it doesn't really go beyond that for me.

I had a decent time watching this (it helps that by the time I saw this in theater, very few others were there to muddle the experience), and I do find it a bit above average, but I definitely don't think the film's great, and it sadly falls behind the original, along with at least three of it's sequels (the second and third films, along with Curse). 7.5/10 (rounded down to 7/10 to fit site's format).
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