Notable Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif
When it comes to iconic slashers, one does not have to look much further than the "Child's Play" franchise. While "Child's Play" might not have seemingly found its audience when it first came out in the late 80s, the rise of villain Chucky from the film is a rather famous one leading him to be one of the biggest faces in horror history. For this review I am going back in time to revisit the classic slasher that started it all - the darkly comic and rather suspenseful "Child's Play."
Karen Barclay (Hicks) has her hands full as a single mother to the young Andy (Vincent) just making ends meet and being there for him. So when she finds that coveted Good Guys Doll from a back street peddler for cheap, she doesn't bat an eye at picking up the children's toy. Too bad this isn't your normal toy. His name is Chucky (Dourif) and he has a bone to pick with a few people...
By the time that 1988 rolled around, slashers were already a dime a dozen and most of them were already getting generic. The supernatural twist had already been done with "Nightmare on Elm Street" and the serial killer thread was about as tired as it was going to get. In comes an odd combination of the two with a killer doll twist on top of it (which wasn't all that original either seeing as Stuart Gordon's "Dolls" was released just the year before) and it comes off a relatively smart and high energy flick.
|...still fucking creepy.
One doesn't necessarily go into a "Child's Play" film though for the strong atmosphere and the impressive enough acting, particularly when we start talking about the sequels, so how does it work as a horror film? As a slasher, it's effective enough. The kills are remarkable diverse here with some strong stunt work occasionally used (the first kill has a lady flying out of a multistory window to her death) and the special effects are really effective here. Occasionally the person-in-the-Chucky-suit can be unintentionally humorous, but the other animatronic work and the death scenes can work much better than expected (even if some can be a bit of a stretch - including a shock therapy death that's rather forced).
|One of the moments where it looks a little too real for it's own good.
Written By Matt Reifschneider