Monday, October 30, 2017

Movie Review: Child's Play

The classic horror film birthed the iconic character Chucky that haunted children and told a pretty decent spooky story. When the escaped convict Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is shot in a toy store, he performs a ritual that transfers his soul into the creepy looking Good Guy doll. Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) is a young boy obsessed with the Good Guy show and he really wants a doll for his birthday. His mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) manages to buy one in the back alley and brings it home to her excited son. Karen's friend Maggie (Dinah Manoff) notices strange noises that night when she watches Andy and is hit in the head with a hammer sending her flying out the window. Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), the same detective who shot Charles Lee Ray, treats Andy like a suspect and hits on Karen.

Karen notices that her son is acting strange and talking to the doll. Listening to the odd instructions whispered by the doll, Andy takes Chucky to an abandoned house. Chucky turns the gas on and blows up his partner in crime in an explosion. The cops find Andy nearby the explosion and take him referring him to the psychiatrist Dr. Ardmore (Jack Colvin). Karen takes the doll home and is about to throw it out when she finds the batteries still in the box even though it has been talking all this time. Karen threatens to burn Chucky and it comes alive biting her on the arm and escaping. Karen tries to convince Detective Norris that the Chucky doll is alive but the cop does not believe her. She heads off to a dangerous neighborhood to find the man that sold the doll to her and Norris follows.

Karen confronts the homeless man who sold her Chucky but is attacked until Norris helps her. They discover the doll came from the burned down toystore where Norris shot Charles Lee Ray. Norris is still skeptical but the Chucky doll attacks him in the car nearly killing him before it runs off. Chucky heads to Dr. Death (Ray Oliver) and learns more about his condition through voodoo torture. Chucky needs to take the body of Andy so he heads to the psych ward where Andy is locked up while Norris and Karen are one step behind. Andy manages to escape but Chucky kills Dr. Ardmore making it look like Andy. 

Andy returns home pursued by Chucky and the boy and the doll fight as Norris and Karen run up the stairs. Chucky attacks them all until Karen traps the doll behind a fireplace grate and Andy sets him on fire. The doll takes forever to kill taking bullets from Norris and Karen and even choking Norris's partner. A shot to the heart finally brings Chucky down and this movie tells a sort of complete story though we know in hindsight that this was only the beginning of a major franchise.

Chucky is not a scary film in comparison with horror movies today but it is an enjoyable watch with a steady moving plot and an iconic villain. It is not lost on writer Don Mancini and director Tom Holland the comedy of a little doll running around terrorizing people and is used effectively to add humor to the gruesome scenes of torture by the doll. There were solid performances from most of the cast but Alex Vincent as Andy and Brad Dourif doing the classic Chucky voice really stand out. I look forward to recapping this series as we move closer to Halloween as there is a new movie that went straight to video and it's Halloween soon. 

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