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#41. Child's Play - Review

Child's Play "Chucky" bannerChild’s Play was one of my favorite horror films as a child. My cousins and I would incessantly have our VHS copy playing on a constant loop; to my mother’s displeasure I am sure. With a brilliantly straightforward premise, Child’s Play (or Chucky as we called it) effortlessly stabbed at the simple characteristics of childhood that we took for granted. Our toys, the objects that brought us enjoyment, and to an extent defined who we were (I mean come on, you can immediately determine someone’s personality by which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle they chose to play with. If anyone wanted to play with my Raphael figure, I knew right away we would not get along. Of course, I was always Michelangelo) were no longer safe. We trusted these dolls, figurines, and playthings to sleep by our sides throughout the night, to accompany us on long trips in the car, to have adventures with us in the bath. Child’s Play, for the first time, forced us to consider the idea that we may not be able to trust that which we held most dear - our toys. Voiced by the indomitable Brad Dourif, Chucky instantly jarred our psyche, put our fragile universe askew; for if we could not trust our toys, than who could we trust? Mom? Dad? Maybe not!Child's Play poster art

Unfortunately Child’s Play holds-up about as well as Zack Morris’ cell phone. It was a product of its time, and its time happened to be a decade fondly remembered with irrational nostalgic reverence: the 80s. Like so many other pop-culture icons from the neon era, Child’s Play is a silly film based on a very shallow, however convoluted premise.

Let’s see if I can do this in a single sentence. When serial killer Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into a doll to escape capture, he wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting family when the doll is given to young Andy Barclay as a birthday present. I guess that will have to do. The fun really starts when Ray, trapped inside the Good Guy doll “Chucky” (think of the My Buddy dolls from the mid-1980s) begins to track down those that double-crossed him, or generally pissed him off.

I will just go ahead and say it right now; this is a really stupid movie. I can appreciate its popularity and what it did for the horror genre, but I just barely made it through the entire film. While the special effects are actually pretty good, it is the nonsensical plot that just kills my enjoyment. It neither achieves the highs to make it a deserved classic, or the lows to secure it with cult status. I will always push horror fans who have never seen the film to watch it as a sort of history lesson, but I may never watch this film again, which is a bummer. 

Live, Nerd, RepeatClick the image above, the author recounts a pretty funny story involving his My Buddy doll and Chucky that many of us that were kids in the 1980s can all appreciate! Also, click the "share" button below to link Controller Unplugged and help get the word out! Leave any comments you may have about the film or the 80s or TMNT or anything else below as well.

Child's Play poster artChild's Play poster art

















Child's Play poster artChild's Play poster art





















Child's Play poster art

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