Child’s Play (2019)

Grade: C+

Admittedly, I have never seen any of the “Child’s Play” movies dating back to 1988.  Nor am I a horror movie fan by any stretch of the imagination, but for some reason I wanted to see the new “Child’s Play” movie.  Mainly for Mark Hamill I suppose? Mark Hamill voices the famed Chucky doll and Aubrey Plaza plays Karen Barclay, the woman partly responsible for bringing Chucky into her son’s life.  

In this chapter of “Child’s Play,” the dolls are made in a sweatshop in the Philippines.  One lowly worker gets fired and develops a “screw it all” mentality towards his work. He is tasked to make one last “Buddi” doll and as he completes it, all of the doll’s security and safety measures are stripped away.  The doll will literally do anything it learns or sees without thinking if it is safe or not. Karen Barclay works at a retail store that carries the “Buddi” dolls and she ends up bringing a “broken” and returned doll back home to her son Andy (played by Gabriel Bateman) because she cannot afford a new phone for his upcoming birthday.  When the doll learns from his surroundings that Andy does not live a life that makes him truly happy, Chucky the doll takes it upon himself to make sure Andy is happy. Chucky starts murdering people in Andy’s life in an attempt to appease Andy and make him happy again. Andy’s life isn’t all roses because his mother is dating a guy he just despises and there is some drama within the household.  Since “Child’s Play” is your typical slasher movie, Chucky has no problem carrying around a kitchen knife as soon as he learns the stabbing motion from Andy while making a sandwich and stabbing the cutting board to store the knife. The characters in the movie need to be careful about what they say and do because if Chucky hears anything bad or sees something hurting Andy, it could come with some grave consequences.  Chucky is controlled by an app on the phone and the app allows the human to see through the eyes of the doll. Once Andy is hip to all the chaos Chucky is causing, he uses the app to figure out where Chucky is and tries to stop the killing spree.

All of this explanation thus far would make you think that “Child’s Play” is an outright creepy horror movie.  The truth of the matter is, the first half of the movie is quite funny and none of the movie is truly scary. “Child’s Play” is chock full of comedy and there were times when the audience and I were laughing so hard you missed some lines.  Not sure if it was the filmmaker’s intention to make the movie so funny but, you will be laughing. There were some issues within the script that made no real sense but it is hard to get into details without giving away spoilers and I try to keep my reviews spoiler free.  The plot holes are pretty obvious if you watch the movie. Another problem with the movie is that it was really short. “Child’s Play” is only an hour and a half long. With all of the comedy in the beginning of the movie, not much is left for the horror aspect of it. Chucky had some pretty funny antics to start the movie off and by the end of it, you don’t really fear him or take him seriously.  He just made me laugh because the movie does get very silly at the end. None of the actors in the movie seemed to be really scared of Chucky either during his violent moments nearing the end of the film. Not sure if that was due to bad directing or just bad acting but, Chucky is definitely not a villain I would fear either.

“Child’s Play” does make you think a little bit about today’s privacy invasive technology that are in a majority of homes today.  Since the “Buddi” dolls in the movie are controlled by an app they do have the capability to run smart appliances in your house such as a thermostat or a tv, similar to an Alexa or Google Home device. I have a few Google Homes throughout the house and not sure how the devices could turn on me and kill me but it does make me wonder if Google is listening to us all the time and trying to control our lives any which way they can.  

“Child’s Play” is not a great movie, but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would.  It seemed to be a slight step up from your typical “B Movie” that goes straight to DVD and you simply embrace the good time being presented to you without any high expectations.  If you are into laughing a good amount, go see “Child’s Play” with your best “buddi.” If you are looking for a good scare, go find it elsewhere.

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