Child's Play

By Brett Mullins

Released: 1988

Directed by Tom Holland

In a last ditch effort to escape from the police, a serial killer enacts voodoo to transfer his soul into a doll. It just so happens that this brand of doll is the most popular item of the holiday season. The doll ends up in the hands of a young boy who becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders.

Child’s Play is not so much a horror film as it is a strange and somewhat comical tale. The opening scenes of the film produce doubts as to the quality of the continuity and the storytelling; however, by the conclusion, there is a sense of closure from the rather wild explanations of the events. This is refreshing since a lesser film would have had the serial killer’s soul inexplicably transferred to the doll (think Jack Frost).

A large portion of the film is focused on the interactions between the child, Andy, and the doll. This builds an atmosphere of suspense, because the audience knows Chucky, the doll, will eventually come alive and begin the slashing. This tension feels as if it is straight out of a Poe-esque short story.

The acting is quite sub par with the exception of Alex Vincent’s performance as Andy. This is unusual, because child actors are generally the ones that hinder the film.

Child’s Play is a unique take on the genre that leaves room for improvement for similar titles to come.

Rating: 6/10

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