If there’s one thing you can say about the Child’s Play films, it is that they went off the walls as time when on. As much fun as it can be to listen to Brad Dourif wax philosophical about killing people, the movies got too weird. As the movies moved further and further from the original Child’s Play from 1988, the stories about the killer Chucky doll made less and less sense. The first film really stands out as a good slasher with just enough supernatural stuff going on to be creepy. That film also set up an adult woman and a cop to fight the killer doll. The franchise seemed to lose its way as soon as Andy became the centerpiece of the franchise.
When news came that a reboot was in the works, many people questioned why it had to happen. After all, Child’s Play films have never really gone away. The character’s presence at the Halloween Horror Nights events at Universal Studios, as well as a seemingly endless run of straight to DVD and VOD sequels, has made the franchise extremely visible. However, with the castings of Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry looks to return the story to its roots. Today, we got the first trailer for the upcoming reboot, due out this summer (against Toy Story 4 in a perfect bit of counterprogramming).
The trailer shows Andy (Gabriel Bateman) as a much older kid, closer to the age of a preteen than a six-year-old. Plaza looks perfect in the role of Karen. Plaza has always been an actress who utilized her facial expressions to elevate her work. In this role, the focus on her eyes tells you everything about the genuine fear she’s communicating. Meanwhile, casting Henry as a cop feels perfect for this film. Imagining him as a skeptical cop just feels right, and given that 2018 was a banner year for Henry, he looks to continue that run here.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the film is that we see a new origin for Chucky. He seems to be a toy gone awry, not an evil serial killer possessing a toy’s body. Grounding the film should help sell the ideas, and hopefully cut back on the quippy comedy. Instead, Chucky’s origins now resemble that of Small Soldiers, a group of toys that believed they were meant to be actual weapons. Using faulty tech also resonates more with today regardless, especially given how integral technology has become for everyday life.
This one actually looks scary, which no film other than the original has really captured. It feels like its been a long time coming, and if the Child’s Play reboot can accomplish that goal, it might be a very successful summer counterprogramming (with a Blu-Ray release just in time for Halloween next year).