‘Child’s Play’ is in Effect!
Anyone who says this franchise is crap can fuck right the hell off. Yeah, the latter installments are silly as all hell. Yeah, Curse of Chucky was a complete pile of crap. Yeah, there was a lot about the first one that was problematic. But all things considered, this is one of the best franchises in horror. Chucky is iconic, and it’s no mistake.
But before we talk about Chucky, let’s talk about the movie in general. There were a lot of problems if you think about it. The acting was terrible. It was bad even for horror. You know you done fucked up when the child actor is doing better than the adults. Sorry Chris Sarandon, you know I love you, but this clearly wasn’t your best work. The plot had tons of problems. Who in their right mind finds out a doll is alive then tries to convince the cops? While the movie respected the fact that he’s two feet tall and less than 20 pounds, every now and then it got sloppy. The premise was solid though. There’s something about possessed dolls that have been creeping people out since The Twilight Zone or The Trilogy of Terror.
Child’s Play brought the murderous genre out and gave it life. Since then we’ve had Puppetmaster and even Annabelle from The Conjuring franchise. This was all made possible by one little rubber doll with red hair. Chucky made the murder doll concept real.
Chucky was the perfect stealth killer. Who would suspect a harmless little doll? When he does get to killing, he doesn’t take a direct approach. Chucky sneaks up on you and slashes your leg, gets you down to his size, then finishes you off.
It really is a classic. Honestly though, it’s not exactly timeless. It’s pretty campy and really only for hardcore horror fans. It’s even riffable. Let’s face it, Brad Dourif really has fun with the roll.
Of course, Child’s Play is where I got the trope ‘Child’s Play Is In Effect.’ It’s extremely important to respect the size of the killer when the killer is a doll. It can be hard to take it seriously if you can just punt the doll across the room. That’s why stealth is so vastly important. Like the scene where Chucky gets the detective to flip his car. First off, how the fuck couldn’t the detective kick Chucky off the accelerator. Second, Chucky has the detective in the upside-down car, has his head spinning like a top, has him almost dead to rights, and yet he attacks head on. That’s not how the whole murder doll thing works. I understand that Chucky didn’t know he was starting to become human yet, but still, he could just get behind the detective and slit his throat.
The mythos of Child’s Play is actually kinda fascinating though. Chucky learned voodoo as a man so he could do things like slip his body in case of imminent death. There’s also the fact that Chucky clearly has human strength even though he has no mean to produce it. The supernatural element of Chucky being able to manipulate the ‘Good Guy’ doll is actually quite fascinating. If he gets a hold of you, it’s like a full grown man’s grip in those tiny little plastic fingers. But if he gets snagged by a bullet, he gets flung across the room like a 20 pound doll should be.
I mean, I don’t really understand how the powers of Dembella are supposed to work but they are pretty cool. I mean, Chucky kills his priest with a voodoo doll. That’s got to be one of the all time greatest kills in horror history. He snaps the guys limbs like twigs using the doll, then stabs it, finishing the priest off. Classic kill.
So yeah, for horror nuts, this is required viewing. For everyone else, honestly, you probably won’t like it.
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