Child's Play (2019)

If anyone ever tells you that 1988's killer doll flick, Child's Play, is a classic, they're either selling something or batshit crazy. We're talking bring-back-straightjackets, triple the Thorazine, spools of drool nutso. It's not that Child's Play wasn't a worthy riff on the typical slasher jawn, it's just that it wasn't anything more than that.

Somehow, though, the little, homicidal kid's toy that could (kill) made enough money to warrant a sequel. Then it became kind of a cult classic, and the sequels kept coming until one day there were seven movies about the demented doll from aisle five. Eight movies, actually, if you count 2019's Child's Play, which you shouldn't because it's a remake/reboot of the original that could only be considered a sequel if you also consider the second twin born to be a sequel to the first.

The new version really only makes two changes to the original. Unfortunately, those two changes are so fork-in-an-outlet dumb that the reboot fucks itself hermaphrodite style from the get go.

In the original, the kid-sized doll kills people because it's possessed by the soul of a psycho serial killer. A serial killer trapped in a doll explains why the doll is going around serially killing people. It also gives the movie stakes. Will the killer find a way to get out of the doll and back into a human body, or will he be trapped as Chucky in doll form forever?

In the new version, a disgruntled worker in the Asian sweat shop that builds the Buddi Dolls erases one doll's AI safety protocols. Without the Three Laws of Robotics to guide it, the doll becomes an amoral creature that kills to make its kid "master" happy. Kiss motivations, stakes, and a good reason to root against the pint-sized Stab-o-Matic goodbye.

The new version also casts Aubrey "Happy 36th Birthday" Plaza as the mother of the soon-to-be-terrorized kid. Ol' Cinemavenger loves him some Aubrey! She's a gifted actress, she puts off an edgy vibe that sets her apart from the Barbie set, and she's so hot she is, in every way that matters, sex on a stick. Here, though, she seems as much like a 13-year-old's mom as LeBron James seems like an elf in Santa's workshop.

Child's Play. The one time Brad Dourif outperformed Mark Hamill.

June 26, 2020


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