Horror movies have tackled numerous themes and makers keep coming up with new ideas. But what happens when robots and technology meets a serial-killer doll? Well, Chucky (1990) meets I, Robot (2004) in this new instalment of Child’s Play.
Child’s Play follows introvert kid Andy (Gabriel Bateman) as he moves to a new city with his mother. As an early birthday present, Andy gets Buddi. Buddi is this all-new interactive toy that can sync to all electronics as well as become your child’s best friend. Andy’s Buddi (Mark Hamill) starts acting strangely, but Andy is already too attached to his new best friend to get rid of it. Will Andy realise what his new best friend is capable of before he loses everyone he loves?
The concept of the plot is Chucky with technology instead of a serial killer’s spirit possessing a doll. Instead, Chucky is created when an ex-employee disengages all the safety measures in one of the Buddi dolls as an act of revenge, which is definitely more plausible than a possession. The film also follows that with several situations where it would be easy for the Buddi doll to misconstrue matters and act in defence of Andy. For the violence, a silly but very graphic horror movie is where Chucky gets his “inspiration” for all the violence in the name of making Andy happy.
The filmmakers have covered their bases for making this film plausible, but unfortunately, Chucky is just silly. The doll is not really scary at all with weirdly mechanic expressions and cartoonish eyes turning red; it is not even that advanced when it comes to technology to be scary from that aspect. The filmmakers wanted to update and refresh the franchise, but hopping on the technology-is-evil bandwagon is not enough for a revival.
Instead, the filmmakers rely on gore to horrify audiences, and there is a lot of it with several people being cut up, ground, and maimed viciously and graphically.
For the acting, Gabriel Bateman did a good job with his performance and somehow managed to only stand on the edge of the cliché cliff with his cliché character. Bateman also managed to keep his reaction from being over the top (as is the case in many horror films) and instead had several sincere and emotional scenes that had audiences easily sympathising with his character. The voice of Chucky, Mark Hamill could have been scarier in the normal Chucky voice scenes as well as the ones were he was being evil but, chose to go a subtler route.
If you are already a fan of Chucky or you like to laugh at horror movies, and you don’t mind the gore violence, then maybe this is for you.