Child’s Play (1988)

childs play 1988 movie poster chucky
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great design on Chucky, fun script

Some dated FX

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Child’s Play

Studio: United Artists

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): November 9, 1988

MPAA Rating: R

child's-play-chucky

Thanks Mom…I’m going to need at least 2 sequels for my character to get over how screwed up I am from this gift

Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is a bad man who is on the run from police, abandoned by his men, and dying from a gunshot.  Using voodoo magic, “Chucky” manages to transfer his soul into a popular Good Guy doll.  Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) wants nothing more than a Good Guy for his birthday and when his mother Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) finds a homeless man offering one for a deal she takes it, but the Good Guy might be the worst present Andy’s ever received.  Now Chucky is in Andy’s home, and when people begin to die, no one believes Andy could be telling the truth about his best friend Chucky.

Directed by Tom Holland, Child’s Play is a horror thriller.  The movie was fairly well received upon its release but there was criticism from parents to did not like the idea of a kill toy.

child's-play-chucky-attack

Dammit Andy! Next time you’re getting Legos like Iike I planned

I had to see Child’s Play when it was released.  The idea of killer dolls always freaked me out.  From Night Gallery to Trilogy of Terror, the horror of a plaything seeking revenge terrified me.  Imagine if He-Man decided to fight back…or Greedo took the opportunity to shoot first?  With Child’s Play you get a rather primal fear combined with a relatively strong story.

The story is rather typical in the “killer doll” genre, but Child’s Play has a lot of fun playing with the idea of a creepy killer befriending a kid.  The movie falls into a classic “no one believes me” storyline, but unlike a lot of movies that use this, it doesn’t bother me as much with Child’s Play…Andy is framed and it distressing, but it is still is fun.  It is the type of horror movie that ends with the question of how anyone would explain what went on without someone being institutionalized.

child's-play-chucky-burnt

Seriously Andy…you’re starting to piss me off!

The cast is rather decent for the movie.  In the world of child actors Alex Vincent plays a believable kid in Andy and has some great scenes where he really captures the essence of childhood.  Brad Dourif breaths life into Chucky (literally) and his wisecracks and swearing rivals Freddy Krueger (and A Nightmare on Elm Street takes a similar tone with its storytelling).  Chris Sarandon and Catherine Hicks play the adults who question why Andy could be lying about the murders, and Dinah Manhoff plays the unfortunate first victim of Chucky.  Jack Colvin of The Incredible Hulk gets the Chucky shock treatment as well.

The movie gets by with practical effects and no real aged effects (except the bad lightning storm stuff).  Chucky is genuinely creepy and scenes where he’s burned to a crisp or the classic reveal of his true identity to Catherine Hicks still get great jumps…and with the practical effects it ages decently instead of a CGI Chucky.

Child’s Play continues until today, but the original is still the best.  The first three movies take a rather serious approach but Chucky’s one-liners get more and more prevalent.  The movie “relaunched” in 2013 with Curse of Chucky which featured a cameo and return of Alex Vincent to the story.  A remake-reimagining of Child’s Play was released in 2019.  The series continued with Child’s Play 2 in 1990.

Related Links:

Child’s Play 2 (1990)

Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Bride of Chucky (1998)

Seed of Chucky (2004)

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Child’s Play (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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