‘Child’s Play’ is defective

Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, and Chucky in Child’s Play

“It stinks.” – Jay Sherman

Wrong. This was the first thought that occurred to me when watching Child’s Play 2019 and it stayed the whole time. Nothing about it was right. Not in regards to the 1988 film, not in regards to modern reality and sensibilities, not even in regards to its own logic. 

The latest in technological wonders is Buddi (Mark Hamill), a small robot who can talk, walk, play music, turn on the television, search the web, make video and sound recordings, and so on. It’s been really successful, with a new version due for release soon.

So right off the bat we have a huge issue in that something like this in current year is not going to resemble a Good Guy doll in this slightest. This type of device would be designed to be futuristic and sleek, fitting right in with the smartphones and TVs it interfaces with. Ashley Too is how this kind of thing is supposed to look. The model this time is redesigned a bit too and it’s far from an upgrade. It’s just really awful looking and makes you long for the original.

Department store clerk Karen (Aubrey Plaza) works where these things are frequently sold and are preparing to receive the newer models. When a customer returns an existing one for being defective – little do they know it actually had the failsafes removed by a disgruntled employee at the Vietnamese sweatshop where these things are made – she takes it home for her son (Gabriel Bateman). 

Andy’s aged up to a teen here, another change not in any way for the better. It seems to be just so he can swear at and talk back to his mother. Also in the mix are mom’s abusive boyfriend (David Lewis) and troubles with bullying peers. It’s like they looked at the first act of the Rob Zombie Halloween and said “This, but edgeless and even more cliched.” 

Now we start to get into Chucky’s motives and demeanor. As this version is a blank slate AI and not Charles Lee Ray, it should not have any personality or goals. But eventually, he somehow gets to behaving like classic Chucky. The laughing, taunting, one liners, all of it. This of course should not be the case in this new context, and is clearly only here out of obligation. Without being a serial killer by trade or needing a new body, what (mostly, since he does show a propensity for violence earlier on) makes him a murderer is watching Texas Chainsaw 2 with Andy and his friends. I wonder what his behavior would’ve turned to if they’d watched pornography instead.

There’s such a mess of more contradictions and nonsensities. Everyone is aware from the start that Chucky can talk and move around on his own, but disbelieve Andy when he tells them that Chucky did this or that. One character should know all that has been happening, but apparently doesn’t when it’s convenient for the plot. The musical score with its young child toy sounds is not only incredibly intrusive, but does not fit seeing how the story is no longer about young children or toys.

Not even the name makes sense here. The original Chucky doll is called that because that was his actual name as a human. This time it’s just randomly spurt out by him as a sign of malfunctioning when Andy tries to give him a different name that sounds nothing like it (as sly an in-joke though that was). Again, this is really only here because it has to be. 

But worst of all, this gives the franchise a black eye when the original series is still going strong. New movies from Don Mancini and with Brad Dourif in tow have been trickling out the past couple years, and they have plans for more (a Syfy channel show in development at present). I can only hope that these official projects won’t now be derailed or that this film won’t be held against them by the public.

The 2019 one had absolutely no business being a Child’s Play movie, or even being made at all. Toss this on the scrap heap.

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