Child’s Play (1988)

It may come as a shock that I’d never seen the original Child’s Play. In fact, I’ve only seen Child’s Play III before this; the rest of the series was something I just never paid much attention to. Having now seen the original, I wonder if it would at least be worth finishing off the original Child’s Play trilogy portion of the series.

Is anyone not familiar with the plot of the first Child’s Play? A serial killer is fatally wounded by a detective but manages to use voodoo to transfer his soul to a doll, which then comes to life to get revenge. The doll then discovers it is slowly becoming human and must transfer itself into the body of a six-year-old boy or else be trapped forever. Unfortunately for Chucky, the detective and the boy’s mother both discover the truth of the doll and how to kill it. What follows is a struggle between the diminutive toy and the forces of good.

What I really love about this movie is the use of a faux first person camera at times to show Chucky’s view, similar to other killers but much lower to the ground and moving considerably faster than one would think. He’s a squirrly little bugger, and he’s quite well-versed in finding ways to kill people, ranging from knocking them out windows (how does he do that when he’s two feet tall?) to stabbing voodoo dolls to electrocution via shock therapy. At the time it didn’t seem so weird, but now thinking back on it, it’s actually sort of surprising just how varied the deaths are.

As for the cast, Brad Dourif is wonderful as the voice of Chucky. Chris Sarandon is, of course, superb, and Catherine Hicks is believably terrified of a doll. I have friends who find the boy, Alex Vincent, more than a little annoying, but I actually didn’t think he was so bad; I’ve seen way, way worse in child actors, and it was the kid’s first role, so I’ll let this one slide.

Beyond that, I don’t really have much to add. This one’s well known enough to be called a classic of the slasher genre, and Chucky is synonymous with horror movies in the way that Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers are. If you are somehow completely unaware of the original, go watch it. As for why I’m including it when I haven’t included the main films for the likes of Freddy, Jason, and Michael…eh, it’s my blog. You’ll live.

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