Child’s Play (1988)

Child’s Play
Director: Tom Holland
Writer: Don ManciniJohn Lafia, Tom Holland
Cast: Catherine HicksChris SarandonAlex VincentBrad DourifDinah ManoffTommy Swerdlow
Seen on: 3.9.2017

Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is being chased by the police, particularly Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon). He flees into a toystore where he’s shot. But Charles is versed in voodoo – and manages to transfer his soul into one of the Good Guy dolls on sale. Through some twists of fate, the doll ends up with Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) who got the doll for her son Andy (Alex Vincent). Just because he lives in a doll, though, Charles hasn’t left behind his murderous ways – and he needs an actual human body soon, before he turns into the doll he possesses.

When it was announced that they would show the latest “Chucky” film at the /slash Filmfestival this year, I knew I had to get started on closing that particular gap in my horror movie knowledge. Child’s Play, then, wasn’t bad, though the reason for the cult status of the series didn’t become apparent to me.

The first half of the film really managed to grab me. The set-up and the tension they built from it worked very well for me. Unfortunately they weren’t quite able to hold the tension throughout the second half and the movie starts to fall apart a little then.

Probably also because the acting wasn’t exactly great and the second half demanded more emotions from the cast. Though it isn’t all their fault: I’m usually less interested in the slashing parts of slasher movies – I prefer the tense build-up to the blood.

Be that as it may, Child’s Play definitely wasn’t as bad as other horror movies and it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Although the voodoo angle was extremely misguided and dangerously close to crossing the line into being outright racist (and sometimes crossing the line with gusto).

The animation and special effects were surprisingly well done – I really didn’t expect as much from a film that’s almost 30 years old. Even if I didn’t love the film, I enjoyed it enough to continue with the plan to watch the rest of the series.

Summarizing: Not all bad, but not great.


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