‘Child’s Play’ (2019) Review- From Supernatural Slasher To Sci-Fi Horror

Child’s Play is a 2019 science fiction horror film directed by Lars Klevberg from a screenplay written by Tyler Burton Smith. It was produced by MGM under the Orion Pictures banner.

The Kaslan Corporation releases their “Buddi” doll, a toy with wifi capabilities that can connect with their other electronic products. An abused factory worker turns off the safety protocols and ethical programming on one named Chucky (Mark Hamill) before committing suicide. Chicago single-mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza) feels distant from her single-minded son Andy (Gabriel Bateman), who has trouble making friends. Blackmailing her boss, she takes home Chucky after it is returned to the store. At first, it has several glitches, creeping out Karen’s boyfriend Shane (David Lewis) and neighbor Chicago PD detective Mike Norris (Brian Tyree Henry). However, it brings allows Andy to make friends with neighbors Falyn (Beatrice Kitsos) and Pugg (Ty Consiglio). However, Chucky begins to grow creepy, almost acting jealous, and things soon turn violent for Andy.

This movie falls prey to the same temptation that The Stepfather remake does. It trades genuine thrills for general creepiness and gore with no depth to the horror. While there is something there, they failed to truly take advantage of the set-up provided by the original 1988 Chucky flick or bring it into the current times.

The problem is not Mark Hamill. He provides all of the chills and creepiness that one would expect from a suspicious doll like Chucky. He truly jumps into the voice acting roll, though I wish they would have let him give one Joker laugh for an Easter egg.

One issues with the casting. Aubrey Plaza comes off more like a toned down, thus inferior, version of her Parks and Recreation character April. She does not feel like a mom who wants to help her son, but more like one that wants him to just be out of the way. Also, instead of being horrified when her boyfriend is murdered, in a gruesome manner she is more angry that he was using her to cheat on his wife. The wife is never shown by the way.

Likewise with Gabriel Bateman as Andy. What made the original version so special was that he could be any kid. This version of Andy dodges the “everyman” angle to that kid you would avoid. He is foul mouthed, panicky, and with no sense of being childlike or endearing. Even with a hearing aid, which seemed to be used as a convenient plot armor instead of development, could not redeem him.

Now the switch from supernatural slasher to sci-fi horror could have been good. After all, the original was born in the days of the “Satanic Panic” while this one was created in the midst of technology advancing at an alarming pace. However, they traded this nuance for family drama and cheap jump scares.

Botton line, this reboot of Child’s Play was a missed opportunity. They could have utilized the modern angle, but ultimately fails at that and the casting.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Bloody violence, Disturbing content

FAVORITE QUOTE: You are my buddy, until the END.

Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, read my reviews of Shattered and The Black Phone. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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