Movie Review: Child’s Play (2019) – Scream Factory 4K/Blu-ray combo

July 1, 2024

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Young mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza) has it tough all over. She’s moved to the city with her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) who is having a shit of a time adjusting to his new environs, she has a rather shitty boyfriend, and her department store job is a real drag… so a bummer convention through and through.

What is the hottest selling item at the store ol’ K-dawg toils away at I don’t hear you ask? Why the Buddi doll of course, a robotic best friend for children that our heroine manages to snag for free after blackmailing a member of the returns department.

Of course, Karen has no idea that this particular Buddi doll, Chucky by name, has had each and every safety protocol removed from it’s circuits by a disgruntled worker before he splats himself into the street pizza Hall of Fame.

After a bit of disinterest, Andy grows to really enjoy Chucky’s company, and even manages to befriend some neighborhood kids who begin to teach Chucky all manner of (fairly) innocent things that of course he takes to insane degrees of violence thanks to his messed up circuitry.

Soon it’s up to the kids to attempt to shut down that devil doll before the body count grows higher!

Did we need a reboot of Don Mancini’s long-running (hell it’s still going on TV at the time of this writing) killer doll saga? No.. no we didn’t… but fortunately this film is rather solid, so it’s definitely not a bust my cats n’ creeps!

For starters, the cast assembled here is top-notch. Plaza shines as the in-over-her-head single parent, and Bateman is sympathetic as the lonely protagonist, but the heart and soul of the picture comes from a top-shelf performance from Godzilla vs. Kong’s (and it’s sequel) Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Mike, a funny, lovable and erstwhile lawman who takes Andy under his wing.

Also up to snuff is the film’s gore, which is often used to completely ridiculous, often intentionally hilarious effect… which brings us to another positive; this film is not afraid to bring the laughs with the lacerations (as did it’s inspiration) which makes the entire affair a ton of fun to behold, especially the carnage-filled finale!

While not holding a candle to the original Chucky design, this version fits the tale at hand… but stripped of his supernatural origins and the genius of Brad Dourif’s vocal performance, he’s a tad less unique, but Mark Hamill (Star Wars, as if you didn’t know) wisely doesn’t tread the same ground delivery-wise, and makes this version of the character his own (and even gives him moments of pathos), and Chucky’s ability to interact with other smart devices leads to some quality set-pieces.

For my money the absolute best part of this fright flick is Andy’s gang of Goonies/Monster Squad pals who manage to traverse the minefield of murder and mayhem; this is a street-wise bunch who keep it somewhat together while engaging in classic childhood games like “Let’s hide the watermelon with a human face stapled to it from being discovered”… it’s dark for sure, but never anything other than delightfully ridiculous!

Adding to the good times to be found on this 4K/Blu-ray combo release from Scream Factory are some special features that shed light on the creation of the film.

Starting things off is a thorough walk through the pictures creation courtesy of an audio commentary from the film’s Director, Lars Klevberg which appears on both versions of the film.

Additionally, the Blu-ray disc contains interviews with Actors Bateman and David James Lewis (who plays Karen’s aforementioned boyfriend), as well as Production Designer Dan Hermansen, and a duo of behind-the-scenes featuretttes.

At the end of the day, 2019’s Child’s Play is a great re-imagining (I can’t believe I’m saying it either) of horror royalty, and while wholly unnecessary, it nonetheless forges it’s own path to immensely entertaining effect!



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