Child's Play, 2019
Signed up the 28/03/2017
A reboot of one of the most well-known horror franchises sounds exciting, especially with a cast that includes names like Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Aubrey Plaza and rising star Tyree Henry. This Child's Play establishes itself from the beginning as a near-future take of the cult classic, that warns of an A.I. apocalypse and cooperation greed; as the doll suffers a manufacturing defect, instead of the age old "serial killer possesses doll" origin.
There isn't much else to offer a franchise that has been on-going for some decades now, with a new movie coming out every other year, along with series (in development). I understand why they would to change the origin story, but it proves to works against the film more than it establishes a fresh ground for a rebooted franchise. Chucky just isn't the same without the Wicca.
What's more dissapointing is that the film could've turned out wonderfully with this particular cast, but the writers couldn't quite manage to layer the story enough for anyone to truly be invested in the characters and their well-being, or to bother being terrified of Chucky as we once were. That Chucky was fear-inducing even when you knew that it was silly to be scared of a figurine in farming overalls; no one could keep their skin from chilling at the plastic demon's cold and obsessive nature. This Chucky has none of those qualities, and when attempting it only comes across as a parody.
Perhaps the reason the storyline isn't quite as impactful as the writers would've hoped is that we live in the world of the Black Mirrors and Westworlds, so the ole A.I. gone rogue plot really isn't something to hang at the end of your seat for in bated breath, as it once was.
From tone to pace, to characterisation and development, the writers and director seem to suffer from a lot of overimposing the idea of a killer doll that terrorises its subjects for the hell of it. Honestly, the story didn't need any moral incentive to begin with because it all ends up not making any sense, and weighs the fun of a senseless summer horror frenzy like this one down a lot.
The film lacks the gore, creepiness and inventiveness of the horror movies of its age, but I'll still give it a single thumb up for being able to pull its weight in the final act. Here we get to witness horror-queen Plaza naturally unhinged and strange (which is honestly what we were all here for), and we also get to finally have some adrenaline pumping as a stand-off between Chucky and a Stranger-Things/IT-esque ensemble takes place the only way a horror movie should close.
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