Child's Play 20th Birthday Edition

Tom Holland

BY Keith CarmanPublished Sep 8, 2008

The film that created both a new — albeit diminutive — serial killer and an enduring slasher franchise, Child’s Play tells the tale of Andy, a six-year-old boy desperate for a Good Guy, an almost life-size doll that reacts to children’s voices. However, his single mother can’t afford the toy. When she encounters a peddler who just so happens to have one on hand in a back alley though, she forks over the dough. Little does she know the doll was recently possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Chucky). Naturally, no one but Andy can hear Chucky talk and as misdoings, such as a murdered babysitter, unfold, the kid is blamed until eventually Chucky reveals himself to mom. It’s around this point Chucky realizes that if he doesn’t transfer his soul to Andy in time, he’ll remain a doll forever — unstoppable but a doll nonetheless. He torments Andy in an effort take over his body, the cops get involved and eventually Chucky becomes firewood. Child’s Play seems tame today yet circa its original 1988 release, it kicked up enough dust to spawn an endless series of sequels that characteristically degenerated into simplistic slash’n’dash, with most audience members rooting for the plastic icon. Watching this unaltered edition of the inaugural film, some of the intended tension and uneasiness of a cute child’s plaything turned evil is still engaging. Unfortunately though, because the flick is two decades old, there is little to flesh-out this birthday edition. There are no deleted scenes or what have you. No, we’re relegated to extras such as shrug-inducing commentaries from actors Alex Vincent and Catherine Hicks about who was or wasn’t on set, a few goofy voiceovers by Chucky remembering certain kill scenes and dated footage of filming the doll during featurettes. For those who maintain a fleeting fancy for owning Child’s Play, this version proves worthwhile. Enthusiasts who presumably already have it however will find nothing extraordinary to justify another copy.

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