I’m a pretty big Child’s Play/Chucky fan. Out of all the horror icon franchises, Chucky is still one of my favorites. I can’t say out of the 7 films any of them were ever truly bad. I know a lot have their issues with Seed of Chucky, but even that has its charm. One out of 7, even that’s extremely rare to say, as once you start getting to part 4 in films, things usually start take a nose dive and the quality drops. Especially horror franchises that get their budgets cut making the move from theaters to straight to video.
An example being the Hellraiser straight to video films, particularly the later ones that started filming in Romania, a move most low budget horror films make to save costs on shooting.
I guess I could also lump some of the Tremors movies in there as well but really the only one I didn’t enjoy, hell, I couldn’t even finish was the latest one, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell.
But you can’t say the same for Chucky. Instead of continuing the insanity the Chucky titled films set up, the films took yet another departure and went back to basics, giving the films more of its Child’s Play roots. They knew how to deal with the lesser budget they now faced and used it to their advantage. As a fan, I found it to be it a breath of fresh air. One downside however is that it completely fucked up the continuity of the earlier films.
What helped to keep the franchise from falling into the same trappings as others is the fact that writer Don Mancini has stayed on with the franchise for all 7 films, eventually taking over as director.
And because of that, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a remake of Child’s Play. I’m not sure I really wanted another Chucky movie without Don Mancini or Chucky’s voice actor Brad Dourif, who has also been a part of these films since the beginning.
It also felt strange to me that they’d remake a film to a series that is still very much alive. I feared that we’d get another pointless shot by shot remake like that Pet Semetary movie that came out not long ago, giving us only minor plot changes.
It also didn’t help that the redesign of Chucky looked fucking hideous. It looks like something you’d find in a knockoff film like the low budget stinker Robert or the sequel The Curse of Robert, which I’m sure is equally as bad.
But then again, I am doing what LeVar Burton told me to never do and that’s judge a book by its cover. Because regardless of my hesitations with the 2019 remake of Child’s Play, I still walked away pleasantly surprised. So much so, I might have to put this on my top 10 list this year.
That’s right, readers, I’m happy to report that the remake is fucking awesome and a must see for horror and Chucky fans alike. Though I don’t know if I should even call this a remake. It’s less a retelling or remake of the original and more like an homage to it.
One thing is clear to you right off the bat and that’s this film is stupid. It knows it’s stupid and they relish in it. The original if you didn’t know was about a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray who dabbled in voodoo, who is killed one night while running from the police. As he lies dying, he uses his voodoo magic to transfer his soul into a Good Guy doll.
This gives him the motivation throughout the series of finding a human body to place his soul in and leave the doll behind.
In the remake however, things are extremely different, as there is no serial killer and no voodoo magic. But there is a disgruntled factory worker in Vietnam who is the one to bring Chucky to life sort of speak.
After getting chewed out by his boss, the worker decides before killing himself to take away all of Buddi’s safety protocols. Why a toy like this would have a need for such a thing is beyond me, but remember, this film is purposely stupid so the best thing you can do is not think too hard about it and just go with the flow.
No longer are the toys called Good Guys, a satire on the popular cabbage patch dolls that were all the crazy in the 80’s. Now more modernized, Chucky is essentially a walking Alexa, being able to control your smartphone, tv, your stereo and even your car. Anything connected to the cloud or any Kaslan made product, this film’s version of either Apple or Amazon, Chucky can control it using his E.T.-like glowing finger.
You guessed it, this makes Chucky a robot this time around. After hearing this I was extremely upset by the change and that’s a pretty big change to have. It changes the whole dynamic of the film. Chucky was no longer motivated to transfer his soul into a young boy, but now his goal is to just be best friends.
I still can’t get onboard with the name change of calling them Buddi’s instead of Good Guys. I feel it just doesn’t work, mainly because Buddi aside from being another term used for friend, it can also be a person’s name, so what is even the point of naming the doll Chucky?
Realistically, wouldn’t you just call him Buddy, wouldn’t you?
It almost felt like something you’d see in a repurposed script, where this was about a mechanical toy that took the whole friendship thing a bit too far and they just rewrote it into a Child’s Play film. Even the movie itself handles this like an afterthought, shoehorning in his name.
When Andy gets his Buddi doll, he wants to call him Han Solo, but the doll repeats back, “did you say Chucky? “. It’s funny but it doesn’t really work.
I absolutely loved the dark humor in this. The Child’s Play films always had some humor to it, mostly coming from Chucky himself, but it wasn’t until the self-titled films that the humor really came into the forefront, essentially making them horror comedies.
I think I might put the humor with the remake up there with the first Gremlins film. If I had to compare this film to something, I think I would be Gremlins.
The film once again takes place in Chicago, where Andy has just moved with his super young mom played by Aubrey Plaza, who by the way I thought was fantastic in this. At first I thought she was playing his sister since she’s so young, but nope, she’s his mom. They do make a reference to it later explaining she had him at a very young age at 16.
She played her role perfectly as this struggling single mom. I found her witty and loving… it was a good casting decision.
Andy’s mom Karen works at a department store where the latest craze is these Buddi dolls. A new model is coming out in a few weeks, so people are trying to return the older models. Since Andy’s birthday is coming up soon, she decides to take home a returned doll to surprise him. In the original film she bought one off a homeless guy.
Andy is finding it hard to get acquainted with some of the kids that live in his apartment building. Seeing how much of a loser he is and needing a friend, Karen lets Andy open his gift a bit early.
At first Andy isn’t all that impressed as Chucky seems glitchy. But still, the things he is able to do is pretty incredible. Much like the teddy bear from the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Chucky can walks all on his own and interact with his surroundings.
If this was based in reality today, Chucky would most likely just be a Rumba vacuum cleaner.
Right away you can tell something is off with Chucky as he loves to watch Andy sleep, waiting for him to have a singalong, singing the friendship song.
Andy starts to teach Chucky all sorts of things, like how to use a knife to cut sandwiches, how to swear, and most importantly, how to freak out Karen’s shitty boyfriend that Andy absolutely hates.
Seeing Chucky is able to do things other Buddi dolls can’t, Andy starts to get a group of friends. With the addition of new buddies to hang out with, Chucky gets jealous and does whatever he can to get Andy’s attention again. Since they seemed to be enjoying Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 so much, Chucky decides he might try his hand as stabbing Andy’s new fat friend.
Slightly freaked out by this, Andy pushes Chucky further away.
Things come to a head(no pun intended, you’ll see) when Karen’s asshole boyfriend confronts Andy about Chucky, upsetting him so much it brings Andy to tears. He wishes something bad would happen to him so he’d leave them alone. Overhearing this, Chucky sets out to put an end to this asshole.
Chucky hitches a ride and follows him to his home where we learn this asshole is an even bigger asshole who is married with two kids.
In a strange but great scene, the asshole boyfriend whose name is Shane, but I prefer calling him asshole, is out trying to take down the Christmas lights off the house and for some reason they are also growing a watermelon patch…
Anyway, Chucky knocks him off the ladder, breaking both of his legs.
Chucky then switches on the mower, attempting to chop him up.
Chucky gives him a few stabs like he learned how to do from one of Andy’s friends, as the mower chops off Shame’s head.
Chucky then presents Shane’s face tacked on to a watermelon. What proceeds after that is a wacky attempt at Andy and his friends trying to get rid of this watermelon head.
Getting caught in a lie by his mom, Andy claims the headermelon which is now wrapped in gift wrap paper, is a present for the old lady down the hall whose son is a police detective.
He begs the old lady, whose name is Doreen, to hold off on opening the present until it is officially his birthday.
Now all that leaves is what to do about Chucky.
Andy and his friends trap Chucky, hold him down as they remove his power cell battery.
They dump him down the trash chute, thinking that will be the last they’ll see of him.
Unfortunately, the apartment complex is being supervised by a super creepy super who has set up secret cameras throughout the building, peeping on Karen and others unknowingly.
He finds Chucky and gets him working again, hoping to sell him on ebay for a quick buck.
Chucky overhears Doreen joke about being Andy’s new best friend after he helps her set up a type of Uber account but with self-driving cars. Which would be pretty amazing!
Now Doreen has to die, but not before the creepy super does, knocking him dick first into a buzzsaw.
Chucky mails himself to one of Andy’s more assholey friends Omar. Chucky hides in plain sight, secretly plotting how he’ll kill Doreen.
He taunts Andy, showing him his friends talking about him behind his back and hinting at who his next victim will be.
Chucky takes control of the self-driving Uber that is taking Doreen to bingo night. But instead of dropping her off, the car goes out of control, crashing into a truck.
Chucky pops out of nowhere, stabbing her in the chest, killing her.
Now that the bodies are starting to have a bigger connection, Doreen’s son Detective Mike Norris suspects that Andy might be the killer, especially since the headermelon still gift wrapped that he last saw Andy running away with, was found in the trash.
It’s almost time for the unveiling of the new Buddi doll, showcasing several other types, one actually being a teddy bear. I kind of wish they went with that one for the movie. The film is already a giant departure from the other films, just go all in and make Chucky a teddy bear.
Since I’m thinking about it, Mark Hamill did a fantastic job voicing Chucky. It isn’t dark and menacing like how Brad Dourif does it. It’s more like Mr. Rogers doing the voice of Daniel Striped Tiger. But if Daniel Striped Tiger sliced people’s faces off.
The big unveiling is taking place in the store Karen works at, having to take Andy with her to work since he’s been acting weird and paranoid that a doll is out to get him.
So the plan was to take him to a department store filled with Buddi dolls?
Chucky plans on trapping everyone inside the store and murdering them with other Buddi dolls and flying killer drones.
Detective Mike Norris finds Andy and arrests him, but before he can take him away in handcuffs, Chucky stabs the neck of the man dressed up in a giant Chucky costume, spewing blood all over the little kids in the audience.
Chucky unleashes his army, killing as many as he can. He kidnaps Karen and taunts Andy to come save her.
Andy takes him up on the offer and heads out to save his mom, finding her about to get hung on a forklift.
Andy fights with Chucky as he’s gone completely off the deep end, now wanting to cut Andy open to see what’s insideto fix him like how the creepy super did to him.
Detective Mike Norris shows back up to save the day, shooting Chucky, shutting him down. To make sure he is out for the count, Andy and his friends do a little Office Space work supply beat down and destroy Chucky once and for all, burning the remains.
But this is Chucky after all, you can never kill him and we see that another Buddi doll has the same glitch as Chucky, brandishing those evil red eyes.
And that’s the remake of Child’s Play. I was shocked just how much I enjoyed this movie. The dark humor had me laughing harder than most comedies I’ve seen this year.
I can’t recommend this enough, Child’s Play gets a whopping SEE IT, as it’s the best horror film, hell best comedy in theaters right now.
Next week I’ll be back to reviewing more superhero movies with my review of Spider-Man: Far from Home. So until next time…
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