“Child’s Play” (1988)

MOVIE REVIEW: “Child’s Play” stars Catherine Hicks (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 7th Heaven [TV series]), Chris Sarandon (Fright Night, Dog Day Afternoon), Alex Vincent (Child’s Play 2, Curse of Chucky), Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), Dinah Manoff (Grease, Empty Nest [TV series]), and Tommy Swerdlow (Howard the Duck, Real Genius). It is directed by Tom Holland (Fright Night, Fatal Beauty), and written by Don Mancini (Bride of Chucky, Cult of Chucky). When a criminal (Dourif) dies, his soul possesses that of a children’s doll. Now, he’s out for revenge on those who did him wrong.

I know, I know, it’s an odd time to review this flick, but to be fair I saw it before Halloween. I just haven’t gotten around to sit and write an analysis until now. So, what do I think of “Child’s Play,” the horror movie known to scare the living crap out of me as a kid? Granted, I never saw it growing up, but I did see a clip with Chuckie in it and had nightmares (even made me creeped out by dolls). Dolls coming to life with an intent to kill is no joke, my friends. Anything possessed is instantly more scary than most things in a horror feature, though what surprised me about “Child’s Play” was the fact that it wasn’t scary at all. Yep, you heard it here; from the guy who easily gets scared by them as well. In its wild, silly, and cheesy storyline, I only genuinely got scared of “Child’s Play” once (pretty much when Chuckie went to bite someone). You could say that this is a good thing, but I’d claim it’s quite the contrary. While I hate getting scared, I also don’t care for horror flicks that are just flat-out silly and stupid. Sure, there’s a place for them, depending on my mood, but I was disappointed to find that “Child’s Play” prided itself in outrageous, over-exaggerated explosions, a cursing doll, and terrible action sequences. Obviously, I laughed at quite a bit of these aspects, but still… I just don’t think I was the audience for it. There’s some charm with the story, for sure. The character of Chuckie is very iconic, the setting is gritty (and in the 80s), and the writers clearly had some fun making some silly explosions. They had to be some of the most crazy and nonsensical I’ve seen so far, with one building being demolished like an earthquake struck it, when in actuality it was a combusted gas stove oven. It was wild. Seeing Chuckie do a lot of things was weird, especially when he was helped by Andy, the idiot boy who would go to sketchy parts of town for the doll. It doesn’t take long for you to realize that this movie doesn’t try to be scary, but the big question that comes to mind, at least for me, is if it’s even good given those circumstances? I’ll put it clearly that I’ll probably never watch this again; at least I won’t go out of my way to. There’s nothing in “Child’s Play” that’s truly spectacular or innovative, besides the concept of a doll coming to life wanting to kill. Even with that, it’s still not an idea that leaves me wanting more, or even satisfied with what I watched. I was entertained with what I saw, don’t get me wrong. I laughed my butt off at various parts, but I wouldn’t consider any of it a fantastic viewing experience. “Child’s Play” is an iconic, throwaway horror film that serves to make funny use out of a doll who wants to kill. It has an audience, for sure, but I don’t think I’m apart of it. FINAL SCORE: 63%= Burnt Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Child’s Play” (1988)

  1. Pingback: November Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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