Friends to the End
Director: Lars Klevburg
Released: June 2019
Plot: A mother gives her 13-year-old son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.
When I reviewed the original Child’s Play film, I felt it was surprisingly good for a film about a doll possessed by a killer moments and had a fantastic performance by Brad Dourif, so when I heard about the remake I wasn’t overly surprised after all we are treated to a lot of remakes lately. After seeing the new film, I’m actually surprised just how glad I am that they did and just how good the changes to the plot turned out.
Unlike the ’80s version, this time it’s a piece of malfunctioning smart tech this time that has taken over from black magic as the cause of the troubles, with the familiar plot soon taking over as Andy (Bateman) and his Mother (Plaza) become the unfortunate recipients of a tainted buddy doll.
Grounding the film in reality by getting rid of the magic and replacing it with tech for me is an upgrade, not only does it increase the scare factor by making the events more likely but also it’s enjoyable to watch the corrupted doll learn through observing the people it interacts with and the films they watch. Increasing the tension as the Chucky doesn’t start off evil but instead gets gradually worse, rather than in the original when he’s always evil.
Mark Hamill’s is one of the best voice actors working today and again he brings his a-game for the iconic character, giving a doll so much personality and menace. Shining as Karen, it was a treat to see Plaza play a more serious role than what I’m used to, while Bateman does well to hold his own as the focal point of the film.
One aspect of the film that I found to be not as strong as in the original is the look of Chucky, who this time around looks more creepy from the start and makes you wonder who would buy that for their child, least in the ’80s edition the doll started off looking like a toy not a device from a Blackmirror episode.
Although this is technically disconnected to the other films in the franchise and it would be strange to have two going at the same time, I really do hope they can go somewhere in the future with this film because there is a lot more potential to be explored, after all, a doll that can control drones and smart tech is much scarier than one that can’t.