Horror Child's Play (1988) 8/10

Jethro

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Joined
Jan 21, 2013
“His real name is Charles Lee Ray and he's been sent down from Heaven by daddy to play with me.” – Andy

Got to love a 1980s horror flick, and this one sure is a blast. Whoever the hell green-lighted the concept of a murderous doll going on a rampage must have been expecting to finish their Hollywood career serving quarter pounders. The whole concept sounds like it should be schlock, but director Holland nails the movie to the barn door, and serves up a nut ball flick just dripping in tension. Yo Zombie, if you want to know how to make a horror movie then slap this play pen in the DVD, and learn how to spell “tension”.

Detective Mike Norris finally takes down the notorious Lake Side Strangler Charles Lee Ray, but in a flash of lightning and with some voodoo incantation, Ray transfers his soul into the only available object, a Good Guy doll.

Enter the Barclays, mom Karen and six year old Andy. It’s the little guy’s birthday and the only thing he wants is a Good Guy doll. Guess we know where this is headed. Karen is on a limited budget, but manages to purchase a Good Guy from a street vendor for thirty bucks.

Andy is overjoyed with the dolly, but then things start going wrong, real wrong. Andy tells anyone who listens that it’s all his Good Guy doll Chucky’s doing. Of course no one believes him, until Chucky ups the ante as he deals out retribution left, right, and freaking centre. It’s up to Mike Norris and Karen to deal with the demon toy before Chucky can transfer his soul into Andy. A pretty tension-filled movie ensues.

Let’s get it on Chucky wants to play!

Holland gets his film out of the box with a pretty decent sequence that will have action fans throwing their bowls of Cheerios in the air with delight. Detective Norris is on Charles Lee Ray’s arse, and it’s not going well for the psycho. The voodoo incantation was a surprise twist, and the toyshop exploding was a hoot. This is how to get a movie started the right way. Get that action happening, throw in some visuals for us dudes and dudettes to hum to and you’ll have us signing up for the fan club.

The Director then takes time to build the movie up nicely – the doll under the couch was rocking – flesh out his characters, and get everyone’s blood pressure up a few notches. About the only thing missing was a spring-loaded cat, which I was half expecting in one scene. When Holland unleashes Chucky it’s a shock effect that had me nodding in approval, and I was totally on board the Director’s groove train during the final act of the movie. You tend to forget you’re watching a film with the absurd premise of a killer doll as things go from bad to freak-out for the Barclays.

Holland handles the whole Chucky thing well. Andy is cuddling the doll constantly, and the plastic one is almost as big as the kid here! We get glimpses of Chucky during the first forty minutes, but the Director knows he has one ace up his sleeve and holds off the Chucky-revealing till quite late in the movie. Fine job, and I was certainly liking what I was seeing with this aspect of Child’s Play.

The Good Guy doll is central to the whole movie and considering this was late 1980s the effects are pretty good. We get props used extensively, doll POV shots that had me grinning from ear to ear, and kids running around with Chucky masks on.

There are a couple of weaknesses involved in this flick which is why it’s not sitting here with a 10/10 rating. Some of the Chucky attack scenes are so dark that I had problems working out what was happening; some more attention to background lighting would have resolved that little black mark. Equally I just wasn’t buying into the Chucky taking down his voodoo-priest trainer scene. Strangely I had zero issues with the whole concept of the movie, but didn’t for a minute believe the voodoo doll plot device which comes out of left field.

Overall the movie rocks along at a good clip, has zero lag, and gets where it’s going without a miss-step going down. There’s some good situational comedy, one-liners coming thick and fast from evil Chucky, and action scenes which will have Michael Bay foaming at the mouth and screaming out for more. Besides a couple of cool explosions going down, we get the scene where it’s Mike versus Chucky in a car which provides more thrills and spills in five minutes than most genre movies can shoe horn in over their entire running time.

Catherine Hicks (Karen) just owns the screen. She’s on throughout, and emotes like there’s no tomorrow. A fine performance from a talented actress. Chris Sarandon (Mike) seems to save his best for horror flicks, and once again turns in a strong stint to highlight his genre cred. Love the guy; hope he gets a part in the sequels. Alex Vincent (Andy) was slightly wooden in places, but given he was seven when the movie was made, we can forgive that. Finally a movie where the kid isn’t obnoxious and the movie makers aren’t playing up the cute factor. Vincent rocks along with a heck of a lot of screen time, and holds it together pretty well.

Special mention of genre fav Brad Dourif (Charles Lee Ray); the dude gets limited screen time at the start of the movie, but snarls off his Chucky lines like a berserker. No one else could have added the menace to the Chucky jive like Dourif did.

For a 1980s horror flick there is no T&A surprisingly. The producers are going straight for the core market and no one gets nekkid. Where’s porn star Barbie when you need her!

Joe Renzetti knocked my socks off with an above-average score. The soundtrack is hitting all the right notes throughout the movie and matches exactly what you are seeing on the screen. An outstanding heightening of tension, and an excellent experience. The audiophiles amongst our readers should go get the CD today.

I had forgotten just how good Child’s Play was. The whole premise promises to serve up a schlock movie to beat all schlock movies, but in director Holland’s hands we get a classic, which ladles on the tension like a French Chef on speed. I was rocking to Holland’s beat from go to whoa, and was getting my fair share of chills and thrills. They just don’t make movies like this anymore, which is a crying shame. Child’s Play was a personal favourite way back when, and the movie didn’t let me down when I sat down to get my Chucky fix this time round. I had a blast with the whole thing, and am itching to hit the play button just once more.

If you like 1980s style horror then Child’s Play is a requirement to round out your viewing pleasure. The movie has a hell of a lot more going for it than I remembered, though it is let down with weak lighting in places. You get explosions galore, big bad Brad proving why he’s respected in horror circles, and a surprisingly effective villain going down. Go rent the movie, slap it in your player, and get ready to have fun times at central high. Chucky is waiting, and he wants to play.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
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“His real name is Charles Lee Ray and he's been sent down from Heaven by daddy to play with me.” – Andy

Got to love a 1980s horror flick, and this one sure is a blast. Whoever the hell green-lighted the concept of a murderous doll going on a rampage must have been expecting to finish their Hollywood career serving quarter pounders. The whole concept sounds like it should be schlock, but director Holland nails the movie to the barn door, and serves up a nut ball flick just dripping in tension. Yo Zombie, if you want to know how to make a horror movie then slap this play pen in the DVD, and learn how to spell “tension”.

Detective Mike Norris finally takes down the notorious Lake Side Strangler Charles Lee Ray, but in a flash of lightning and with some voodoo incantation, Ray transfers his soul into the only available object, a Good Guy doll.

Enter the Barclays, mom Karen and six year old Andy. It’s the little guy’s birthday and the only thing he wants is a Good Guy doll. Guess we know where this is headed. Karen is on a limited budget, but manages to purchase a Good Guy from a street vendor for thirty bucks.

Andy is overjoyed with the dolly, but then things start going wrong, real wrong. Andy tells anyone who listens that it’s all his Good Guy doll Chucky’s doing. Of course no one believes him, until Chucky ups the ante as he deals out retribution left, right, and freaking centre. It’s up to Mike Norris and Karen to deal with the demon toy before Chucky can transfer his soul into Andy. A pretty tension-filled movie ensues.

Let’s get it on Chucky wants to play!

Holland gets his film out of the box with a pretty decent sequence that will have action fans throwing their bowls of Cheerios in the air with delight. Detective Norris is on Charles Lee Ray’s arse, and it’s not going well for the psycho. The voodoo incantation was a surprise twist, and the toyshop exploding was a hoot. This is how to get a movie started the right way. Get that action happening, throw in some visuals for us dudes and dudettes to hum to and you’ll have us signing up for the fan club.

The Director then takes time to build the movie up nicely – the doll under the couch was rocking – flesh out his characters, and get everyone’s blood pressure up a few notches. About the only thing missing was a spring-loaded cat, which I was half expecting in one scene. When Holland unleashes Chucky it’s a shock effect that had me nodding in approval, and I was totally on board the Director’s groove train during the final act of the movie. You tend to forget you’re watching a film with the absurd premise of a killer doll as things go from bad to freak-out for the Barclays.

Holland handles the whole Chucky thing well. Andy is cuddling the doll constantly, and the plastic one is almost as big as the kid here! We get glimpses of Chucky during the first forty minutes, but the Director knows he has one ace up his sleeve and holds off the Chucky-revealing till quite late in the movie. Fine job, and I was certainly liking what I was seeing with this aspect of Child’s Play.

The Good Guy doll is central to the whole movie and considering this was late 1980s the effects are pretty good. We get props used extensively, doll POV shots that had me grinning from ear to ear, and kids running around with Chucky masks on.

There are a couple of weaknesses involved in this flick which is why it’s not sitting here with a 10/10 rating. Some of the Chucky attack scenes are so dark that I had problems working out what was happening; some more attention to background lighting would have resolved that little black mark. Equally I just wasn’t buying into the Chucky taking down his voodoo-priest trainer scene. Strangely I had zero issues with the whole concept of the movie, but didn’t for a minute believe the voodoo doll plot device which comes out of left field.

Overall the movie rocks along at a good clip, has zero lag, and gets where it’s going without a miss-step going down. There’s some good situational comedy, one-liners coming thick and fast from evil Chucky, and action scenes which will have Michael Bay foaming at the mouth and screaming out for more. Besides a couple of cool explosions going down, we get the scene where it’s Mike versus Chucky in a car which provides more thrills and spills in five minutes than most genre movies can shoe horn in over their entire running time.

Catherine Hicks (Karen) just owns the screen. She’s on throughout, and emotes like there’s no tomorrow. A fine performance from a talented actress. Chris Sarandon (Mike) seems to save his best for horror flicks, and once again turns in a strong stint to highlight his genre cred. Love the guy; hope he gets a part in the sequels. Alex Vincent (Andy) was slightly wooden in places, but given he was seven when the movie was made, we can forgive that. Finally a movie where the kid isn’t obnoxious and the movie makers aren’t playing up the cute factor. Vincent rocks along with a heck of a lot of screen time, and holds it together pretty well.

Special mention of genre fav Brad Dourif (Charles Lee Ray); the dude gets limited screen time at the start of the movie, but snarls off his Chucky lines like a berserker. No one else could have added the menace to the Chucky jive like Dourif did.

For a 1980s horror flick there is no T&A surprisingly. The producers are going straight for the core market and no one gets nekkid. Where’s porn star Barbie when you need her!

Joe Renzetti knocked my socks off with an above-average score. The soundtrack is hitting all the right notes throughout the movie and matches exactly what you are seeing on the screen. An outstanding heightening of tension, and an excellent experience. The audiophiles amongst our readers should go get the CD today.

I had forgotten just how good Child’s Play was. The whole premise promises to serve up a schlock movie to beat all schlock movies, but in director Holland’s hands we get a classic, which ladles on the tension like a French Chef on speed. I was rocking to Holland’s beat from go to whoa, and was getting my fair share of chills and thrills. They just don’t make movies like this anymore, which is a crying shame. Child’s Play was a personal favourite way back when, and the movie didn’t let me down when I sat down to get my Chucky fix this time round. I had a blast with the whole thing, and am itching to hit the play button just once more.

If you like 1980s style horror then Child’s Play is a requirement to round out your viewing pleasure. The movie has a hell of a lot more going for it than I remembered, though it is let down with weak lighting in places. You get explosions galore, big bad Brad proving why he’s respected in horror circles, and a surprisingly effective villain going down. Go rent the movie, slap it in your player, and get ready to have fun times at central high. Chucky is waiting, and he wants to play.
I think the 2nd film had the gal from Logans Run, not sure but I think so.... a738aef18d333ad9eff52e19e282c708.jpg
 
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