Child's Play (2019)
As a child due to multiple traumatizing experiences, my sister put me through with the character I was terrified of Chucky. Even walking past a picture of him would send me into a panic so it is safe to say that I never sat down to watch the now iconic Child's Play movies. Yet as this one came out now not being a young child I decided to see what all the hype was about and finally sit down to see Chucky on the big screen. Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) is a hardworking mom trying to create the best life for her and her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman). Andys birthday is coming up and as a gift, she decides to give him a Buddi doll which has been returned to the store she works at after reportedly not operating correctly. Buddi dolls are all the rage being able to connect with nearly all electronics and having a great AI built into them. Quickly Andy realizes that something is different about his Buddi doll who gains the name Chucky and learns that there is something sinister and dangerous about Chuckys desire for friendship.
Even though I haven't seen the previous Chucky movies I do understand the basic premise of them and I will say as a reboot I think this film does have some good ideas. Instead of a serial killer inhabiting the doll its a rogue AI obsessed with being Andys best friend which I think is more interesting. The build-up is more engaging as you slowly see Chucky gain more and more violent tendencies at least on paper. Also having Chucky be able to control other electronics can lead to some more creative deaths. Sure neither of these ideas lead to much but at least from an idea standpoint as a reboot there are some good ideas here. Keeping with the few positives I have surrounding this film I will say per usual Aubrey Plaza is great. She always brings so much to any project she is in and her character of trying to find happiness not just for her son but also herself after the tragic loss of her husband is easily the best character arc in this entire film. Her son played by Gabriel Bateman is also not terrible. He certainly doesn't add much to the film or is a standout in really anyway but compared to some of the other children actors in the film he is at least competent from a performance standpoint and even shows some good emotion when needed.
From there though we get to my negatives, one of the biggest being the script. This is one of the worst scripts of the year easily, there are so many horrible lines that completely ruin the scenes they are in. I understand part of this movie and this franchise is playing into the comedic aspects of the plot and trying to be so bad that it's funny, but these scenes fail to find any humor and just end up being bad. Even past the quality of the dialogue, I find the plot of this movie to just be bland and boring. As I mentioned it has some interesting ideas but they do nearly nothing with them, everything feels like this film is just going through the motions which made the film feel dull and boring. It was far from scary and it was far from funny, failing at both ends there is really nothing left for me to care about or enjoy. I think part of the issue with the horror is with Chucky himself, sure the general idea of a doll is scary and there are moments when his design works such as him standing in the corner of a dark room but when in light or with any close up his design really bothered me. It looks so unnatural and just isn't scary, there are even scenes in the film where they look at his face and try to claim that it is scary but that never connected with me at least which is saying something considering how terrified of Chucky I was. I also think Mark Hamill was a bad choice to voice him, it always sounded out of place and never really blended with what we were looking at. Also when it comes to the comedic lines he is given it lacks the charisma necessary to pull them off.
Overall as far as this version of Child's Play there was really nothing here I enjoyed. It is a bland horror movie that feels like hundreds that have come before it. This had potential but dropped the ball big time. Maybe if you are a huge fan of this series you can gain something from this, but if not I really cannot recommend this film on any level.