johnlink ranks CHILD’S PLAY (1988)

Oh FearNet. How I hate you so oft. I was all ready to come home and go to bed, and you tempted me with a high definition version of CHILD’S PLAY. I know I’d seen some of the original film on TV, but had never fully knocked that particular 80s horror staple off my list. You had me at hello FearNet, you had me at hello.

If you somehow don’t know, this is a film about a murderous doll. And it was considered quality enough to spawn several sequals.

I watched CHILD’S PLAY (1988) on 12.15.09. It was my first complete viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAIN THE SAME.

FILM

There is virtually nothing of merit to talk about in this section. I mean, really, this is a motion picture about a doll that kills people. There is nothing thematically worth taking from this film except, maybe, to ensure you always check that your talking toys actually have batteries in them when they talk. The puppetry wouldn’t be bad for a kids’ movie, but lacks the ability to be truly scary. The low angle POV shots could have been cool, but are not because they don’t have any substance. The slo-mo scenes look even more fake then their real time counterparts. The scene when Chucky first confronts the mother is somewhat creepy, but lacks the sophistication of it’s horror movie cousins. I know this is supposed to be campy, it isn’t to be analyzed as ‘film’, so I’ll stop trying. SCORE: 2

MOVIE

So if this is camp, it is about the atmosphere and the kills, right? Well the atmosphere is rarely anything beyond eye-rolling. The kills are mundane and lack creativity. As I mentioned, the scene with the mother was okay, and the scene in the car was somewhat amusing. The electrocution was laughable, in both good and bad ways. The rest, cliche ridden junk. The highlight for me in this movie was seeing a copy of Fireball Island in the toy store window and being taken back to one of the great board games of my youth. I also did have a My Buddy as a kid, and I remember there being a close resemblance and that freaked me out a bit. So, I guess, if you are eight it can be somewhat scary. Oh, and why in the end, when Chris Sarandon has a good hold of him after the botched body-jump attempt, does he just toss Chucky aside. You FINALLY GOT HIM YOU DUMBASS. That is all. I give up. SCORE: 3

ACTING

I hate to knock a kid, but the boy in this is horrendous. But he was maybe six when it was shot, so I blame the director more than the kid. The mother, Catherine Hicks, is somewhat okay. The detective, despite being played by THE PRINCESS BRIDE’S Prince Humperdink, is bland. There is plenty of mundane to go around. The only reason this is not a two is that Brad Dourif really embraces the voice of Chucky with vigor. Love to hear me some kid-doll f-bombs. SCORE: 3.

WRITING

Unmemorable. No really great lines to at least give it that special pop. Cliches abound, and predictability is the norm. Nothing about this movie surprises. I know the formula was being formed in the 80s when this came out, but it certainly does not help its watchability now. SCORE: 1

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 2; MOVIE: 3; ACTING: 3; WRITING: 1

2+3+3+1+0=9

FINAL SCORE: 2.25

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~ by johnlink00 on December 15, 2009.

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