Just a few days ago I watched Polaroid, a movie that I found to be gloriously bad, in the most hilarious way imaginable. Lars Klevberg directed Polaroid, and he’s also responsible for the Child’s Play remake we’re about to discuss. Obviously, my expectations for this remake were kind of similar to the ones for Polaroid: a horror flick so unrepentantly awful that I would just laugh at it.
In fact, ever since the first images of “the new Chucky” became available, horror fans got mad and thought the Child’s Play remake would have sucked. Most of these fans were likely very fond of the 1988 original film, which is a classic at this point and a rather iconic flick in pop culture. Personally, I enjoyed the original Child’s Play, though I don’t consider it to be a very good film overall.
Yet, upon watching the 2019 remake, I do have a newly found appreciation for the 1988 original…
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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Let’s stop beating around the bush: the new Child’s Play is one of the worst horror movies Hollywood vomited out in the last 20 years… at least! It’s the most miserable I’ve been in a theatre the whole year, the kind of movie you truly want to run away from as fast as the characters do with Chucky on screen!
The story follows the one in the 1988 movie rather closely, although some major changes have been applied. Since Child’s Play isn’t in theatres worldwide yet (it’ll be out two days after the date this review will be published), I won’t give away the importance details: let’s just say that, in this remake, Chucky has been sort of programmed to be evil and not to have boundaries. It’s basically just a killing robot, in the veins of the Terminator (Good Lord…).
Why is this flick so bad, then? Well, for starters the concerns prior to the movie release were totally warranted: CGI Chucky looks godawful. The computer-generated effects in this poorly made attempt at a movie look like they haven’t been rendered at all. Here, Chucky looks like the first draft by a rookie, or even an intern, who had no idea what they were doing. Granted, he is animatronic in some scenes, when major movements aren’t required. It looks bad as an animatronic too, the design was just poorly thought out.
The doll feels weightless throughout the entire, painful runtime: he clearly isn’t there, which is made evident by the fact that every character in the movie gazes at the emptiness when they are supposed to look at him.
This brings us to another dreadful aspect of Child’s Play, the acting. As one would expect from Hollywood, the child actors are atrocious, including the main character who Chucky “befriends”, Andy. Take the kids from Stranger Things, or even from It: Chapter One: the child actors in this movie are the polar opposite of the ones in the movie and show I just mentioned. However, the adults don’t do much better, with their stilted line delivery and wooden mannerism.
Certainly, it didn’t help that the script, written by first-time screenwriter Tyler Burton-Smith, didn’t give them any directions. None of the actors is given anything to work with, their characters are either hollow as hell or braindead. In fact, the script as a whole is lazy, extremely stupid and filled to the brim with plot holes so huge I could notice them all on first viewing.
Yet, the new Child’s Play is very manipulative, utilising every trope imaginable to make the audience experience brief moments of tension: jump-scares (obviously often fake), “this-character-is-about-to-die” music, loud and obnoxious noises when nothing is actually happening, and so on.
From a technical standpoint, this remake is clearly devoid of any creative flair. The camera-work is basic, albeit competent enough; the cinematography is flat and dull; the sound-design is either sloppy or over-the-top (specifically during the stabbing scenes); the colour palette is typical and uninspired.
Also, this train wreck could have been saved by some gruesome killings, since it’s rated R (for some reason), but every attack, every scene of graphic violence is shot through annoying shaky-cam that makes it impossible for you to enjoy the gory content. It’s just so lazy and infuriating!
Speaking of aspects that made me mad, I want to point out one specific scene: the three main kids are sitting on a couch watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986), one of the best sequels ever made. Specifically, the movie shows us these kids witnessing the most graphic and violent parts of that sequel. And what do the kids do? They laugh! I absolutely despise the decision to show such a classic in your movie and take the piss out of it, as though your shitty remake is better than an undisputed great sequel! The filmmakers should be ashamed of this sequence, let alone the whole embarrassing movie they made to capitalise on name recognition!
Despite my utter hatred for the new Child’s Play remake, there are some aspects to this movie that aren’t total waste. Aubrey Plaza’s performance as Andy’s mom is rather solid: she has good screen presence and she manages to be very likeable, aside from some dumb decisions she makes. Yet, Mark Hamill’s voice acting is fantastic. He voices Chucky and, in doing so, he doesn’t make us miss Brad Dourif’s iconic performance.
Besides these tiny positives I can credit the movie for, the new Child’s Play is a colossal misfire. I’d rather pay six times to watch The Curse of La Llorona in theatres (my previous worst moviegoing experience this year), than sit through this Child’s Play again. You can check it out if you want, though I would avoid wasting your money for the ticket and for the projector you would want to smash once you watched this atrocity against cinema.
Child’s Play 3/10
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