In a decade full of campy horror staples such as topless girls running from serial killers and parties broken up by razor-wielding psychopaths, it’s hard to take anything seriously. The 80s weren’t meant to be taken seriously. Arguably one of they most successful decades for horror, it was a fun, silly decade. Fun and silly should not be confused with not scary, however. Many may disagree with me, but I still felt scared throughout several of the campy horror films and I still am to this day. A film can be fun and also scary, but Child’s Play is not one of those films.
Released in 1988, just as the decade was coming to a close and making way for the much different 90s, Child’s Play is the story of a possessed doll named Chucky and his murderous ways. Andy, a young boy, receives a “Good Guy” doll for his birthday from his mom. Unbeknownst to him, the spirit of a serial killer is in his doll. Throughout the rest of the film, viewers watch as Chucky miraculously kills people three times his size and manages to travel throughout the city without being discovered.
I’ve now seen this film twice and it was about two more times than I wish I had. I hated this movie and this review is going to be pretty damn short. Let me just say on record: a chubby, red-headed doll is not scary. A moving and talking doll courtesy of horrible 80s graphics is not scary. Wooden puppets are scary, but dolls are not. Or, hell, maybe a doll could be, but not this doll. There is absolutely nothing frightening about Chucky other than his horrible hair and outfit. The entire premise of this film is just plain silly because it’s totally unbelievable that a two-foot-tall doll could kill several people. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a lot of shit watching these movies. A lot of shit. I believe people never die no matter how many times they get shot and I believe demons can haunt houses and that people can come back from the dead. But I don’t believe a possessed doll can wage war on humans. I just don’t.
Aside from the horrific graphics and completely ridiculous storyline, Child’s Play is an otherwise boring film. From beginning to end, it’s not interesting and at no point in the film is a real attempt made to suck the audience in. There is no energy from the cast, the writing or any other aspect of the film. I doubt even the creators of this film thought it was worth anything.
Somehow, this film spawned several sequels. Maybe it gets better? Well, you can’t get worse than a zero. I truly cannot find anything good to mention about this film other than its short runtime. There was nothing scary or suspenseful about it, but trust me, no amount of suspense could make that silly doll more than a horror joke.
If you liked Child's Play, you might also like Carrie, It and Sinister.