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Child's Play
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Child's Play (1988)

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Plot Summary:
"When serial killer Charles Lee Ray is mortally wounded in a police shoot-out, he uses a voodoo spell to transfer his soul into Chucky, a "Good Guys" doll. Andy receives the doll as a birthday gift, and Chucky soon resumes his killing spree. However, Charles doesn't want to be trapped in the body of a doll forever. His only escape would be to transfer into the first human he revealed his true identity to... which places Andy in mortal danger."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 03 February 2004 My Rating: out of 5


I remember being 6 years old and hearing my friend talking about this film that he had seen about this doll 'Chucky'. Someone else piped up and started talking about all the cool deaths and how it was really scary....I was intrigued.

At lunch time my friends and I walked along to the local video shop and stood in awe of this huge cardboard cut out of the box art for the film.

I pleaded and pleaded and tricked my dad into renting it for me by telling him it was a comedy with a few bad words providing it's 15 certificate. My dad took me to rent it in the City and when we got there, there was a rack full of copies and a Chucky doll hanging on the wall above them.

That weekend my mum and sister sat down with me to watch it and we were terrified!!

When the Lakeshore Strangler or Charles 'Chucky' Lee Ray, is shot and cornered in a toy store he uses his knowledge of the black arts to transfer his soul into the body of a good guy doll. With his dying breath, he promises to kill his partner who betrayed him, and the cop who killed him.

Meanwhile little Andy Barclay is celebrating his sixth birthday with his mum Karen. Andy longs for a good guy doll as he is an only child with no father, and longs for a best friend.

Unfortunatelty he doesn't get one, that is until his aunt Maggie spots a peddler selling one in an alley behind Karen's work.

That night Andy meets Chucky for the first time and that's when the terror begins!!

Tom Holland followed up 'Fright Night' with this excellent film that terrified the world and made Chucky a horror icon.

The cast are excellent especially little Alex Vincent, and the film really captures the spirit of the 1980's.

Chucky was excellently brought to life (by the amazing Kevin Yagher who created the Freddy Krueger make-up) and truly scared me as a child (I was so annoyed to see him wisecracking in 'Bride of Chucky', although his one liners are excellent here).

Hugely popular, this little film spawned three sequels and the fourth is currently in pre-production. Whilst the film is now a little dated, it is still effective and a personal favourite!

Reviewer: Ben Aslett @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5

'Hi. My name's Chucky, wanna play?' One of the numerous memorable lines from a somewhat underdog of a film. Child's Play is a film that isn't supposed to be taken too seriously; after all, it is a film about a killer doll on the loose. Who is going to take that seriously? Having said that, this film wasn't supposed to be taken at face value anyway.

The first thing you notice about Child's Play is it isn't your standard formula; it takes a slightly different approach. There is no deranged, masked killer with a troubled childhood. Just a guy that has been reincarnated in a doll. As that is the case, it makes this film a little harder to review because it has broken the mould. Although Chucky isn't your average killer he is still just a creepy.

The camera plays a sinister role in the unveiling of Chucky in the early going. The threatening shots of Chucky's innocent face - how could such a tranquil and seemingly simple doll be a killer? If you thought that then you haven't watched enough horror films. Always expect the unexpected. The beginning of the film spends time building the suspense. I mean you are not really going to think that a doll can be a killer are you? Believe it. In fact Chucky has got to be one of the best movie killers around. For a three footer he kills a lot of people anyway.

Speaking of three-footers, we have Andy. Innocent Andy. All he wanted was a 'Good Guy' doll. Then when he gets one it tries to kill him. Well, in my opinion it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Not being a great fan of kids myself I always respect them in movies. That's because nine times out of ten they do a very good job at acting. Well there is always an exception. Alex Vincent, the actor who played Andy, has to be one of the most annoying child actors I have come across. I'm not sure whether his character was supposed to be that annoying but he was. The first thing you notice is his whiny voice (I suppose, to be fair, most year olds have a whining voice). His character is extremely self-centred and a blatant sod. I know it's not nice to pick on kids but this one really bugged me. As for Katherine Hicks who played Karen, she did the task in hand very well. She played the character with the heart needed to be a genuinely caring mother, even if it was to an annoying brat of a son.

One of the best parts of the film is when we see Chucky come alive for the first time. Karen threatens to put Chucky in the fire then BAM. Chucky's head spins round. Quite a shock I can tell you. Then when she closes in on Chucky to check the batteries we now realise that we got a psychotic doll on the loose.

Although this film is more tongue-in-cheek than most horrors, it still remains very dark and ominous. Most of the setting is at night. The final showdown is in the poorly-lit apartment with a storm brewing. Chucky's demise sees him being burnt, leaving him in a rather black-looking state. This is used effectively to portray that Chucky isn't as comical as he makes out to be.

A nice touch is when Chucky gets shot. As he was a doll a bullet wouldn't affect Chucky that much. Every time he was shot he was blow backwards in slow motion. This made the audience feel that it was causing more damage than it was. It was done very well and gave a different approach to Chucky's final demise. In the last battle this technique was used very well and it was probably that which made the ending as good as it was.

For a film with a difference they don't get much better than this. Brad Dourif's voice was the perfect choice for Chucky and it is nice to see a killer who isn't quite human. Although Chucky is a doll he still packs a punch and a scare too. Gore is limited but that goes unnoticed. This is a great film, although it may be over-shadowed by its more famous third sequel, Bride Of Chucky, it is still a must-watch for all horror fans.

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