One of the riskiest parts of putting a review of any movie out there is how much it depends on the subjective view of the one writing the review. That being said you might want to buckle up because we were absolutely not impressed with the newest Child’s Play, aside from it's ability to inspire a new line of scary masks and movie masks. Well, that’s partially true. We actually think it’s a great horror movie and deserves all the respect due to a great addition to the genre. When it comes to considering its place as part of an honored franchise, however, we found it left a little to be desired. Both things can be true, hear us out.
Child’s Play As A New Horror Film
Let’s get this straight before we begin, this movie is absolutely a great addition to any horror fans collection and we’d be dirty liars if we said anything else. The cast really works well together and the idea that we could wind up with an AI Enhanced distant cousin of Teddy Ruxpin going berserk is present and topical. The relationship between mom and son is a little wanting, but we think that’s just part of the delivery the creator of this film was going for.
Thankfully the kid has Detective Mike Norris to lean on, a neighbor in their apartment building who takes the kids warnings a little more seriously. My Buddy Luke… we mean the “Buddi” doll has a menacing voice that is positively bone-chilling thanks to the inclusion of Mark Hamill as the voice actor for it (It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a long term fan). The way he plays off the dolls attempts to please the child that is its master is perfection itself.
An AI Empowered Doll misinterpreting the signals it receives from its “master” and causing horror and mayhem is a great plot for any horror film.
Child’s Play As Part Of The Franchise
Except, hold up a minute there son, that may be a great horror plot, but it isn’t Chucky. Chucky was a doll, and things got weird because it was a doll. Robots are meant to walk and talk, and that loses some of the horror right from the start. It's the vile acts he commits that bring us back to that, but too little too late for a Child’s Play movie.
We also need to pay attention to the fact that there were other themes being explored in the early Child’s Play that can’t be reiterated when the villain is an AI. The original story followed the path of an already twisted human making pacts that went sideways, and always striving to get back into his human form. This isn’t a Chucky Movie… It’s Isaac Asimov meets Arthur C Clarke in a next generation horror movie showdown. Entertaining, but not what we came to see.
In the end, we’ll leave the final assessment of the movie up to you. We personally feel that it loses something as a Child’s Play film, but as a new type of horror film following new themes, we feel it has an immense amount of potential. It will be interesting to see where the inevitable sequels take us, and whether it retains the same charm as the older Child's Play films, as well as where the new Child's Play TV series takes us.