Minor spoilers follow!
This remake of the 1988 horror classic is one that wasn’t particularly welcomed by fans of the franchise, I’m always open to new imaginings so I was more than happy to watch it and see what they had in store! The result is a mixed bag that is far from perfect, but definitely entertaining.
Gone is the doll possessed by the spirit of a serial killer, this remake brings Chucky to the modern age with a Small Soldiers type plot device of modern technology gone bad. Some people might roll their eyes at this and see it as a bit cliché, but it works in this film and I acknowledge that certain things need to be tweaked to set this film apart from the original and attempt to justify it’s existence. I’m sure you can work out what happens next in terms of plot, so I won’t delve too much in to it!
There has been a lot of hate and anger around the design of Chucky in this film:
However, I quite liked the design and I think it looked a lot better on screen than it does in still images. Sure, it’s not quite as iconic as the original design, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable here and it genuinely is quite creepy. I don’t agree with the critics out there criticising the animatronics and puppet design, I personally felt it was one of the film’s best strengths and I for one think this Chucky design holds it’s own and is different enough from the original to give the character a unique feel.
Of course, the other thing that differs is the iconic voice, but thankfully, Mark Hamill steps up here and delivers a fantastic, eerie performance and you can tell he was having great fun bringing this character to life. Those that are familiar with his work may hear snippets of his iconic Joker character in Chucky, but that’s not really a bad thing. Again, the overall performance isn’t going to be as iconic as Brad Dourif’s take on the character, but Hamill isn’t trying to replicate him, he’s trying to bring a new, fresh take on a well known character, and he does so brilliantly. Hamill as Chucky gets a thumbs up from me!
As for the rest of the film, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, as I said earlier. The tone of the film is a bit inconsistent and my biggest problem, ironically, is that I felt that there wasn’t enough horror. When Child’s Play delivers the goods, it is genuinely unsettling and the gore will undoubtedly make you wince, it’s very entertaining! But sadly, there just wasn’t enough of it and sometimes the film got bogged down in the drama/comedy side a little too much for my liking. I understand that it’s trying to tell a story as well and flesh out the characters, but I think the balance was a bit off. This film shone when it was doing the horror pieces, understandably, but it felt like this is what we got the least of. The performances are fine, nobody sticks out as bad and they all do the best with what they’re given.
It’s quite a forgettable film, you’ll no doubt be entertained whilst you’re watching it, but once you’ve seen it I would imagine most people will choose to rewatch the original films rather than go back to this one. That’s not to say this isn’t worth watching, though. It’s a bog-standard horror flick that is fine if you’ve got 90 minutes to kill, just don’t expect much more than that!
I give Child’s Play a 5.5/10.