Child’s Play: Bloody return of Chucky isn’t playing around (review)

Child's Play Blu-ray Cover - Courtesy of United Artists Releasing
Child's Play Blu-ray Cover - Courtesy of United Artists Releasing /

Boasted by brilliant marketing, MGM’s Child’s Play reboot stuns with slick direction, smart scripting and a star-making turn from Gabriel Bateman.

The Intro:

Six years after Chucky’s epic return in Curse of Chucky, MGM is ditching the series’ insistence on voodoo for a fear becoming modernized daily in a new reboot of the classic Don Mancini tale. Bringing back the beloved Orion brand, the new Child’s Play features everything fans have come to expect from reboots but with heart and strong thematic ideas of loneliness and a desire to connect. Ready to play?

So let’s all come to life, find our best buddi and do what it takes to keep our loved ones close as we take a closer look at Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play.

The Review:

Child’s Play — Courtesy MGM

The Acting:

More from Child's Play

After beginning his career only years ago, Gabriel Bateman comes into his own in Child’s Play. Delivering an already underrated performance rivaling anything seen in theaters this year, Bateman is simply stunning. Calling upon almost every human emotion, the young actor kills it at every turn (pun intended), especially in a scene dealing with Chucky after discovering the killings. I was left stunned.

Along with the Lights Out actor, supporting players are also turning in stellar work. Not only is Aubrey Plaza more than serviceable as Andy’s mother, Brian Tyree Henry brings levity to a new take on Detective Mike Norris. This, along with Mark Hamill making us quickly forget the only person to ever voice the killer doll is Brad Dourif, makes Child’s Play strongly acted across the board. (B+)

The Script:

Written by Tyler Burton Smith. Child’s Play amounts to more than just a movie delivering buckets of blood and shocks in bunches. Based on Don Mancini‘s beloved horror classic, Orion Pictures’ reboot is about loneliness, longing for connection and lack of parental love. While Andy’s mother is trying her best, the kid is without a father.

With her abusive boyfriend in the middle, he just wants to connect. When Chucky shows up, the technological disadvantage immediately begins working his way into Andy’s heart. With the doll eventually killing for his love of Andy (mostly), Andy is put a hard place of taking on something that legit cares for him but is, you know, killing people. It’s this making the film great, something seemingly most are overlooking.

Oh, and the third act is incredible. If it doesn’t put you on the edge of your seat, I’m not sure what will. (A-)

The Direction

With slick direction from Lars Klevberg, Child’s Play is truly a cut above the rest. While not leaning in John Carpenter territory of solid filmmaking, the return of Chucky is made with confidence and precision. Moving his camera when necessary, the emerging director really shines in the third act. Once the rising action begins leading into its climax, Klevberg using the camera it feed into the script to cause excitement and anticipation. With only Polaroid from earlier this year to his name, the Norwegian filmmaker is someone to watch. (B)

The Verdict:

Child’s Play is a true sinister surprise. Leaning on character and poignant themes instead of blood and body count, the reboot enters a slim group of solid modern attempts on classics. While not the best reboot of the last 20 years, it’s in the top five. And at the end of the day, this remake isn’t playing around. Child’s Play is now playing everywhere, from Orion Pictures.

The Grade: B+

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Fan of the Child’s Play series? Agree the reboot is more than worthy of the iconic name? Let the other terror toys know what you think in the comment section below.