As the Pretty Much Geeks’ unofficial horror geek, I was delighted to go along to an advanced screening of Child’s Play – a sort of reboot for the modern era of the 80’s black comedic classic (which admittedly I don’t think I had even seen in its entirety).
This film had all the required ingredients for a horrifically funny film – Aubrey Plaza, a doll that kills people voiced by the incredible Mark Hamill and a trailer that made it clear that director Lars Klevberg wouldn’t be pulling any punches. Getting to hold and have a photo taken with a life size Chucky replica before the movie simply added to my excitement.
This 2019 reboot followed a pretty straightforward albeit ridiculous storyline. A disgruntled employee takes the safety restrictions out of the latest AI toy for kids (think Google Home in terrifying doll form) as a middle finger salute to his poor working conditions. Naturally this altered doll ends up in the hands of child protagonist Andy Barclay and proceeds to make our sides split (and the sides of those he slashes) in a wonderfully over the top black comedy.
I am delighted to say this film exceeded my cautiously optimistic expectations. Black comedy can be a tricky thing to do well – often they rely too much on comedy and lose the horror elements or the jokes fall flat. Thanks to the stellar direction of Lars Klevberg combined with the amazing writing of Tyler Burton Smith (both relatively new Hollywood filmmakers) this films ticks all the right horror boxes and provides amazing laughs along the way.
A word of warning: This film is not for the faint-hearted. It is extremely gory, however this is never an overused trope of this particular slasher and so it is almost like a reward for the sick and twisted in the audience whenever Chucky does attack. The build up of the story isn’t too drawn out and we are rewarded with some hilarious jokes along the way which is all incredibly well paced.
The tone is absolutely perfect and has some pretty creative cinematography for films buffs along the way. For a film driven by child actors, Child’s Play manages to avoid poor acting due to it’s amazing casting choices, particularly in its lead actor Gabriel Bateman, who doesn’t let his age get in the way of his ability to carry the role with conviction.
Child’s Play does exactly what it says on the box. Although there aren’t a huge amount of surprises in terms of storyline, it delivers exactly what it promises, and fans of previous Child’s Play films and horror comedies alike will be thrilled with the latest installment to the horror franchise.
Like Black Mirror on crack.
– Ashton Brown