Launched as an electronic companion for life, Buddi is a childlike toy made by the Kaslan Corporation. Interfacing with all of its other products, blue-eyed Buddi can control all of its owner’s digital products through the simple connection of friendship.
Working at a Chicago technology supermarket, single mom Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) knows all about Buddi. Dealing with demanding customers who talk all day about the prestige, robotic doll, she doesn’t hesitate when a defective one is returned to store. Twisting the arm of her supervisor, she brings it back home as a present for her withdrawn son, Andy (Gabriel Bateman). However displaying an independent mind of its own, this Buddi doll decides to rename itself as Chucky.
Watching Andy’s life from a distance, Chucky sees many things around that upset the young boy and as Andy’s newest best friend, red-eyed Chucky decides to do something about it…
… balances both horror and comedy to an entertaining effect.
Updating the 1998 original, 2019’s ‘Child’s Play’ is a highly competent device which balances both horror and comedy to an entertaining effect. Brought into line with how much technology rules our lives, Chucky’s new feature set is a delicious subtext to the dependency and assumptions made by modern society. By introducing Chucky as a broken doll with a blank set of values, his exposure to casual violence quickly underpins his growth into homicidal home assistant.
By visiting all of its macabre deaths on its adult characters, it is children who emerge from ‘Child’s Play’s’ mayhem as the saviours from the onslaught. With strong performances from Gabriel Bateman as Andy and a nicely unstated feminist nod from ultra-capable Falyn (Beatrice Kitsos), the younger actors are suitably not overshadowed by Mark Hamill’s deliciously twee voice as Chucky.
Shamelessly riffing with references to other films and shows, 2019’s ‘Child’s Play’ is a movie that makes easy work of what might have been a tricky update. Being suitably careful not to push its ironic tongue through its own cheek, this latest ‘Child’s Play’ mimicry of modern day violence easily pushes its above other recent demonic doll movies. Whilst not necessarily reinventing the horror wheel, 2019’s ‘Child’s Play’ is a update that successfully mixes both ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ with a watchable sense of irony.