Well, I have to continue with the backtracking but this time, it was not my fault….well, not directly. See, at the end of the year I mentioned that I needed to get a certain number of movies and my friends have been helping me do that. When I mentioned that I was getting pretty close to my goal, my friend Mark decided to give me an early birthday present of several movies, as he didn’t want me to over shoot my goal. So that is what brings us to today’s movie, Child’s Play.
The plot: Homicide detective Mike Norris is chasing after serial killer Charles Lee Ray in Chicago and manages to wound him. Seeing Charles get shot and the cops approaching, Charles’ partner Eddie takes off, leaving Charles to fend for himself. Charles breaks into a toy story and shoots at Mike, who fires back and hits Charles again. Realizing that he is dying, Charles swears revenge against Mike and Eddie, then tries to leave the store but crashes into a display of Good Guy dolls. Charles grabs one of the dolls and begins chanting a spell, transferring his soul into the doll. The spell causes lightning to strike the store, causing an explosion, and after Mike recovers from the blast, he finds Charles’ body. The next day, 6 year old Andy Barclay is making breakfast for his mom Karen and excitedly wakes her up so he can open his birthday presents. When he opens them, he is disappointed that he did not get a Good Guy doll but Karen, who is a struggling single mother, couldn’t afford to get one. While working her counter at a mall department store, Karen’s co-worker Maggie drags Karen out into the alley, where a street peddler has a Good Guy doll which he sells to Karen for $30. When they return to the store, they find their boss at the counter, who chastises them for leaving on an unauthorized break, then tells Karen she has to work that night as one of the ladies is sick. Karen leaves to pick up Andy from day-care and gives him the Good Guy doll, who says his name is Chucky. That night, Andy is playing with Chucky while Maggie is looking after him and a news report comes on saying that Eddie had escaped police custody. As Maggie tells Andy to get ready for bed, she finds Chucky in front of the TV with the news on and she grabs the doll and takes it back to Andy, chastising him for not listening to her. As she is reading a book waiting for Karen to get home, she hears something moving around and when she goes to investigate, she is startled by the phone ringing. After talking with Karen, who had called to check on them, but after she hangs up the phone, she checks something by the window only to turn around and be struck by a hammer, which knocks her out the window. When Karen returns home, she finds the police outside her apartment and rushes inside to check on Andy. Mike tells her what happened to Maggie and questions her about some footprints on the counter and says he already checked Andy’s shoes and they don’t match. Andy asks what is going on but Karen tells him to go back to bed but when Andy notices powder on Chucky’s shoes, he tries telling Karen and Mike but they don’t believe him. After getting rid of the police, Karen finds Andy talking to Chucky and Andy tells her that Chucky says his name is Charles Lee Ray but Karen thinks that Andy is just making up stories and tells him to go to bed. The next day, Andy takes Chucky with him to school but after Karen leaves them to go to work, Andy ditches school and heads to a rundown building, apparently being told where to go by Chucky. When they reach the building, Andy sets Chucky down while he uses the restroom and Chucky takes off for the building and enters it. Eddie is hiding out in the building and when Eddie hears a noise in the house, he goes looking around, shooting at where the noise is coming from. Andy, who had finished peeing and found Chucky missing, hears the shots and goes running to the house, calling out for Chucky. Eddie hears Andy and almost shoots him but stops himself and continues searching the house. Hearing laughter coming from the kitchen, Eddie heads there and shoots inside, causing the gas from the stove to ignite and blow up the house, killing him. Karen is called to the police station and Mike asks her about Andy and explains what happened. Andy is telling Mike’s partner Jack Santos that Maggie died because she saw Chucky moving and it scared her. Karen tries to get Andy to tell her the truth and Andy speaks to Chucky but Chucky simply says the generic lines the dolls are programmed with. Dr. Ardmore is called in and takes Andy to the psychiatric hospital for a few days. Karen takes Chucky home with her and grabs the box so she can get rid of it when she notices the batteries fall out of the box. After checking the doll and realizing there were no batteries inserted into it, she threatens to burn the doll if it doesn’t say anything and Chucky suddenly comes to life and attacks her. After biting her arm and causing her to drop him, Chucky leaves the apartment and Karen tries chasing after him but she loses sight of him. Heading to the police station, Karen catches up to Mike before he leaves and tries to tell him about Chucky, showing the bite on her arm as proof but he doesn’t believe her. Karen decides to find the peddler and ask where he got the doll but the peddler tries to rape her until he is stopped by Mike, who had followed Karen. Mike has the peddler answer Karen’s question but when he learns that the doll was from the store that Charles was killed in, he freezes up. Mike tells Karen back home but Karen wants to keep looking for Chucky and asks where Charles Lee Ray used to live. After Karen exits the car, Mike drives off only to be attacked by Chucky as he is driving, eventually causing him to wreck. As Mike is trapped in his car, Chucky continues to try and attack him but Mike manages to shoot him and Chucky runs off. The next day, Karen goes to Charles Lee Ray’s house to look around and is joined by Mike, who tells her he pulled Charles’ file and that Charles spent a lot of time with a man named John so they go to see him. At John’s house, Chucky shows up and asks about why he is bleeding and John tells him that the longer he is in the doll, the more human he will become. Chucky asks John to help him and John refuses but Chucky grabs a voodoo doll of John and tortures him with it, and John is forced to tell Chucky that he has to switch his soul with that of the first person that he told of his true nature. Chucky laughs at the fact that he gets to be a 6 year old again and stabs the voodoo doll to kill John. Karen and Mike get there and try to save John but he tells them to save the boy and says that if they kill the heart then Chucky will die. At the psychiatric hospital, Andy sees Chucky approaching and tries to warn Dr. Ardmore but Dr. Ardmore doesn’t believe him. When Chucky steals the keys and enters the room to possess Andy, Andy manages to escape and goes to hide but Chucky finds him and attacks him. Andy manages to get away but Dr. Ardmore grabs him and tries to sedate him but Chucky attacks him and kills him with a shock therapy machine. When Mike and Karen arrive at the hospital, Jack tells Mike what happened and that Andy had escaped. Mike asks Karen where Andy would go and she says home so they head there. At the Barclay’s apartment, Andy tries to hide but Chucky gets inside and eventually finds him and knocks him out. As Chucky starts to cast the spell, Mike and Karen arrive and stop him. Chucky cuts Mike’s leg and runs off, and Mike goes after him but is attacked again. As Chucky goes to kill him, Karen shoots him but when her gun jams, Chucky chases after her. Karen manages to trap Chucky in the fireplace and as she braces the grate, Andy lights a match and throws it in, setting Chucky on fire. As Karen goes to tend to Mike’s wound, Andy gets the first aid kit but notices Chucky’s body is gone. Chucky goes after Andy but Karen manages to shut the door, though she is stabbed by Chucky when he tries to get in. Karen eventually grabs Mike’s gun and fires at Chucky, shooting his head and arm off. Going back to check on Mike, they are surprised when Jack shows up and he calls an ambulance but when they try to explain what happened, he doesn’t believe them, showing them Chucky’s burnt head. Suddenly, Chucky’s body bursts through the ventilation and attempts to strangle Jack but he manages to throw it off and Mike shoots Chucky in the heart, finally killing him. Jack and Karen help get Mike outside, then Karen goes back to get Andy, who looks back on the body of Chucky as he closes the door.
Child’s Play met with mixed to positive results from the critics, holding a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics liked the tension and pacing in the movie, but some felt the ending was cluttered. When the movie came out, there were a lot of protests surrounding the movie as some people felt that it would incite violence among children. The movie would become a box office hit, earning $44.2 million off of $9 million budget and would go on to spawn numerous sequels.
You know, when I first saw this movie I felt like it was kind of silly but watching it now, it’s still kind of silly but I can appreciate the story better. The acting in this movie was pretty good, with Brad Dourif doing an excellent job voicing Chucky, while Catherine Hicks (Karen) and Chris Sarandon (Mike) were also good. I will say that Alex Vincent (Andy) was actually pretty creepy with his acting, in that you could almost believe that he could be a child sociopath. The story was interesting and I liked the idea of it but while it started out fairly original at first, it wound up kind of being just another slasher movie at the end. The special effects were ok but there were times where it was too hard to take the doll seriously as it was too wooden. The end part with the burnt out doll chasing after them actually reminded me a little of Terminator, which actually did make the end scenes more enjoyable for me, as opposed to what the critics thought. Not the greatest horror franchise out there but the original movie can still be an enjoyable horror movie to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5