IS “CHILD’S PLAY” THE NEW ROBOT APOCALYPSE?
I was somewhat skeptical of what the 2019 remake of Child’s Play would deliver to modern audiences, but I gave it a chance, and I’m glad I did!
America’s favorite diabolical doll returned for its 2019 premiere of Child’s Play Friday, June 21. It delivered a thrilling, comical, and much gorier movie than the 1988 story created by Don Mancini and directed by Tom Holland.
Since this is a remake to an original movie, it is only fair I point out the differences:
- No “Damballa” voodoo chant will be heard
- Chucky is not a notorious serial killer who transports his human soul onto a ‘Good Guy Doll’ and urges him to transport himself back through an innocent child, but instead a mistreated Vietnamese factory worker intentionally messes with the safety protocol from the dolls and kills himself after being fired (this may be the first influence on the ‘Buddi Dolls’ observing the human world is a little too much)
- The new Chucky doll actually does love Andy — a little too much since he wants to kill anyone who hurts his new best friend
- Andy Barclay and everyone around him influences the doll since it observes its surroundings, and no safety chip means the doll does whatever he sees and hears
- Chucky develops a sense of killing after watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1982) so thank you Leatherhead for that impact
- Andy is a little older than the 1988 portrayal and has friends in this movie who help him try to kill Chucky (which happens in a toy store, not Andy’s home)
- Most importantly ... Andy has a smartphone!
Some psychological things I want to point out about this film is the ability of a soulless doll to be influenced by human behavior and develop a cognitive mindset of how people react to horror. For example, we see Andy’s friends Falyn and Pug watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and laughing at how Leatherface kills people. In this particular scene, the camera focuses on Chucky watching Pug laughing hysterically and you can almost hear the doll thinking “murder must make people happy.”
Chucky follows Karen Barclay’s boyfriend Shane home for his first murder, where we later find out Shane is a married man with children (uh-oh, Shane, you were already on Chucky’s bad list and immediately made it worse.) I did not expect this scene to be gory so if you have a sensitive stomach DON’T READ THIS!
Shane's wife asks him to take out the Christmas lights from the roof and while he’s doing so, he falls off a ladder, breaking both his legs (yes, we see the legs actually breaking). With no ability to move, Chucky starts running the lawnmower toward his head but stops it midway to stab him in the chest. Remember when I mentioned Leatherface’s impact on Chucky? Well, we see it come to life when Chucky places Shane’s decapitated head on Andy’s dresser with a gift bow on top.
Plenty of “Oh man, no!” and “Oh my god!” shouts were heard from the audience at the graphic, gory scene.
The murder that definitely made me squeamish was of Gabe, the creepy apartment superintendent. After Andy tears the battery off his Buddi doll, Gabe rescues him from the trash bin and manages to reprogram him. Every influence Andy had on Chucky prevailed and Chucky’s next victim was Gabe, who hung onto pipes after being attacked, but then hangs below an electric table saw. Chucky heats up the pipes so Gabe burns his hands and can no longer grab onto them, which cause him to fall over the electric saw, tearing his body apart.
One thing that gets pretty emotional is watching Mike Norris’ mother Doreen fall victim to Chucky. She takes a self-drive Uber to her bingo night but Chucky manages to control the car and crashes, then slitting her throat. She definitely DID NOT deserve that!
Chucky then programs the dolls in Zed Mart (what a smart robot) and traps everyone in the store for the Buddi 2 premiere, slashing throats with knives stuck to toy helicopters flying around the store.
Charles Lee Ray didn’t need any influence to go and murder people but for modern audiences, a robot apocalypse can be the new ‘Lakeshore Strangler.’ With modern technology and phone apps being the center of our worlds, it makes sense the 2019 plot focused specifically on that. So, move over zombies, evil robots are the new villains!