When it comes to horror icons one savagely psychotic doll comes to mind in the form of Chucky, and now the horror classic that is Child’s Play is about to arrive back in cinemas and there are plenty of screams to be had.
After receiving a special toy for his birthday from his mum Karen (Aubrey Plaza), Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman) learns that there’s something terribly wrong with the doll and soon their lives are threatened by it’s murderous appetite.
Director Lars Klevberg gets his hands on the killer doll and he has the responsibility of re-imagining this freakish horror film for a whole new generation. And this director doesn’t disappoint with a film that is packed out with originality, violence and plenty dose of comedic hijinks. Where Chucky was once a doll possessed by the spirit of a deceased mass murderer, this brand new concept sees him as a rogue piece of A.I. hardware come to life, possessed with a psychotic need to be the best friend of the young Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman) no matter who gets in his way. Right off the bat, this new approach to Child’s Play really hits you with how original it all is, and this new concept also gives Klevberg and his team plenty of room to stretch when it comes to the freakish violence that they can throw up on the screen.
Taking on the mantle of the Buddi doll named Chucky is Hollywood legend and performer extraordinaire Mark Hamill…and he’s an absolute riot here as the killer Buddi doll. Known by many as a master voice performer, Hamill once again applies his considerable talents behind the microphone to create a character that is both savagely scary and horrendously funny all at the same time. While this freakish robotic creature sure loves to throw a knife around and is more than happy to maim anyone that he sees fit, Hamill injects into Chucky a bizarre and outlandish humour that will have you laughing in the most inappropriate of moments. Not only does it relieve the tension when necessary, but it also leaves your guard down as an audience member and it’s there that the frights really come at you. Hamill also gets to allow his wonderous singing voice to come to life here as well, and the tender, if the uneasy melody of the ‘Buddi Song’ is something that has to be felt.
Starring alongside Hamill in the film is Aubrey Plaza, and Hollywood’s resident deadpan actress really changes things up here as she takes on the role of a mum. Stuck in a dead end job and seeing an idiotic boyfriend, Plaza’s Karen Barclay is a mum who is just trying to do right by her son Andy, who is portrayed by exceptional newcomer Gabriel Bateman. Together these two really feed off of each other and their ability to sell a sense of growing paranoia really adds to the frenzied nature of the whole film. All of this comes to a head in the film’s climactic third act and as Chucky’s obsession with Andy becomes dangerously murderous, imminent disaster comes for the Barclay’s.
When it comes to horror cinema I’m always looking for the unexpected, and this certainly arrives here in Child’s Play. With the inventiveness that the film applies to the horror and death scenes, and the addition of some very funny outbursts and comedy, you really get a great mix up here that really takes you by surprise. While I can’t go into specifics without leading to spoilers, I will say that Child’s Play really does something different with Chucky’s maniacal killing spree, and the film just seems fresh in the way that it applies all of the death and destruction up on screen. Along with the traditional splatter of the slasher genre, there’s also a good amount of suspense here as well, and Chucky really goes for it with plenty of ghoulish jump scares that will have you leaping out of your chair.
Child’s Play delivers a whole lot of horror fun to the big screen and you’ll be guaranteed to be screaming thanks to the performance of Mark Hamill. Watch it if you dare…
Image: Roadshow Films