Child's Play

30 Movies in 30 Days: Child’s Play

Child's Play

Photo courtesy of Carl the Critic. Check him out on Hub Pages!

This was not chosen as a schlock film. I’ve actually been curious about the Child’s Play series for a long time, ever since I saw a VH1 special all about the “rules” of slasher movies. I owe a lot of my fascination with horror to that TV special. I guess you never really know how impressionable kids are, especially if they’re loners who like to wear black all the time.

The gist: You think it’s about an evil doll. But that’s only part of the story.

Chucky is the name of the terrifying doll, but it’s also the nickname of the evil dude inhabiting him. He’s referred to as a “strangler” on the fake news report, which is so 1980s it’s hilarious. He also has ridiculous clown hair. This guy is not interesting. But then he decides to use voodoo magic to put his soul into the body of a doll…

…and as Chucky, this killer is boss. He gets into the apartment of a single mom and her adorable kid, and predictably starts murdering fools just because he can. But his prime targets are his former crime partner and the cop who shot the fatal bullet. The most devious part of Chucky’s plan? He’s willing to use the adorable kid to enact his revenge.

What I “learned”: I’m absolutely letting my kid watch horror movies. I personally feel that they empower kids and take away the mystery of danger. Also, the child character in this film becomes remarkably lethal over time. He starts as an innocent child, but realizes over time that Chucky doesn’t care what happens to him as long as the right people end up dead. By the end, he’s the one trying to kill Chucky. Very rare for child characters in horror films. I have no qualms about exposing my kid to scary movies because I believe it makes them brave.

That being said, I’m not showing my kids this film until they’re freaking fifteen years old. I was genuinely frightened for this fictional child’s well-being. Not that the kid’s acting was particularly good. He is portrayed as being alone in his peril, where no adults believe him and virtually no one is coming to his rescue. No kid should be exposed to that too early.

See this movie if you like: Unique villains, campy horror, or if you’re a fan of The Shining. There’s lots of interesting camera work that hearkens back to that film. It also uses the space and floorplan of the apartment in such a delightful way. It makes me excited to see Halloween, which I’ve heard uses space in the same way.

Avoid this movie if: You don’t like horror movies that incorporate humor. Chucky is a great slasher villain because he is a criminal, not necessarily because he’s mystical. He’s a criminal! But that also means he’s more likely to crack wise. So if you’re not for humor merging with horror (and I totally understand if it’s not your thing), you probably won’t like this movie.

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