Child’s Play (2019)

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After moving to a new city, young Andy Barclay receives a special present from his mother — a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. When the doll suddenly takes on a life of its own, Andy unites with other neighborhood children to stop the sinister toy from wreaking bloody havoc.

Another day, another horror franchise reboot… Except, this time I’m ok with it.  While other horror franchises have been rebooted with disastrous results (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th) and some have been successfully rebooted by way of picking up existing threads, and ignoring shitty sequels (Halloween), this Child’s Play reboot falls somewhere in the middle.

Have you watched the original lately?  It’s a little lame these days, and the whole “possessed by a serial killer” element is better off left in the past.

This time around, there’s nothing supernatural on offer.  Instead, advancing technology is the enemy – and in this day and age of smart phones and drones and fit-bits, Siri and Alexa and all of those similar A.I type things, it makes sense to explore what happens when that goes haywire.

Everything here is at it should be.  The look of the whole movie is really good, the script is surprisingly ok, and the acting is good – particularly from Gabriel Bateman, who plays Andy, and Aubrey Plaza who plays his mother.

Then there’s the voice of Chucky – the one and only Mark Hamill.  Whoever decided to pursue him for the role is owed a debt of thanks from us all.  He’s been a notable voice actor for a long time (his work as Joker in Batman: The Animated Series is sublime!), and here in Child’s Play he is perfect.  Not over the top at all, but does do creepy and sinister when required.

Strangely enough, while this reboot takes place, the original series is set to continue on the small screen.  Regardless, there is a set up here for a sequel, so we soon could be looking at dueling Child’s Play franchises.

Seriously though, don’t be turned off by the remake/reboot debate.  This is worth a watch, especially for horror fans.

7/10

Rick Trewin.

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