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

childs play catherine hicks alex vincent chucky doll

Thanks Mom…I’m going to need at least two sequels and years of therapy to get over this

Killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is cornered and dying when he has an inspiration.  Using a voodoo ritual, Chucky has put himself into the body of a Good Guy doll.  Unfortunately for Chucky, the toy body he has taken is becoming human the longer he is in it.  Chucky’s only hope is transferring his soul into the body of the first person he told…a little boy named Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent).  Andy and his mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) thought that Chucky was just an ordinary Good Guy doll…unfortunately, the horror now is growing as Chucky seeks his revenge on those who wronged him.

Directed by Tom Holland, Child’s Play is a horror thriller.  The film initially faced a bit of controversy due to the focus on toys and children.  The film received mostly positive reviews and gained a cult following.

I loved Child’s Play.  I had a copy taped from cable and watched it over and over again.  The movie is solid, but also holds a special place since we didn’t have a ton of VHS tapes of horror movies.  Child’s Play actually holds up after all these years.

childs play chuck doll voodoo ceremony alex vincent

Next year I just want Legos…they only draw blood when you step on them

The story smartly builds a lot of suspense through some smart writing.  A goofy story about a possessed doll could have been a write-off, but the story has some meat and feels right because the characters feel natural…plus, an evil red-headed demon doll is always scary.  Imagine if He-Man attacked you or Greedo shot first?  It is one of those frustrating horror films in the fact it ends where no one will believe what happened.

The cast is sometimes good and sometimes so-so.  Brad Dourif is a scene-stealer as the voice of Chucky and follows in the footsteps of other horror “comedians” like Freddy Krueger.   For a kid actor, Alex Vincent is sometimes great (as a disappointed kid on his birthday), but also struggles in some scenes which is understandable since the dialogue is sometimes clunky.  Vincent actually does better than some of the adult actors like Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon who have troubles working with a threatening toy.  I do like the brief role of Dinah Manoff and Incredible Hulk vet Jack Colvin plays a doctor.

childs play burned chucky ending

Chucky…extra crispy

The movie excels by building jumps and scares.  The film smartly doesn’t show Chucky moving around a lot and often shows POV scenes of Chucky’s attacks.  Scenes like the batteries scene are great and skillfully put together.  Plus, I do love the burned Chuck doll.  I think one of my favorite scenes has to be a little kid taking the Chicago L to the slums with a doll with no one saying anything.

Child’s Play started a franchise.  The performance of Brad Dourif as Chucky and the one-liners and wisecracks made perfect sense for a sequel.  As the Child’s Play series progressed, it became more humorous and joke oriented.  It also lost a lot of the nuances of this film by showing Chucky a lot.  While the Child’s Play series does have some fun moments, this Child’s Play is still a standout.  Child’s Play was followed by Child’s Play 2 in 1990 which has only Alex Vincent and Brad Dourif returning.  The film also received a loose remake in 2019.

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/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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