Like most horror icons, Chucky has been through the fiery gates of cinematic hell by ways of countless sequels and idiotic plot points. For those that are unfamiliar with his origins, Chucky was. established as a welcoming and all the more terrifying addition to the catalog of Hollywood killers with his unique appearance and calculated precision with his work. Instead of focusing on the less than adequate sequels, “Child’s Play” should be looked back and admired.
The plot is very simple as it moves forward in a relatively fast paced manner. When a serial killer is at death’s door, he uses voodoo in order to send his soul into a Good Guy doll known as Chucky. The doll later finds its way home to a single mother and her six year old son Andy.
Low camera angles give the point of view of Chucky in a way that feels less of a visual aid and more of throwing the audience into the psychotic shoes of Chucky. The movement is capture intelligently as the camera moves with a slight unevenness to resemble footsteps. The combination of quick camera shots, use of a costumed actor and an animatronic make for a truly compelling visual representation of the character. No one shot lingers long enough to faulted the believability of Chucky.
The animatronic itself moves very much like an actual mechanical doll as Chucky attempts to fool the family. The full reveal is quite terrifying as practical effects bring Chucky to life with a full range of expressions and movement. There’s something about the clean rubber face morphing from innocent to evil in a flash that really works; leaving chills down your spine.
The suspense within “Child’s Play” is perhaps one of the best aspects of the film, second that to only the practical effects. Much of the film relies on this as we don’t actually see Chucky move around and terrorize the household for half of the film. Though we know that the doll is already housing the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray we sit back in anticipation as we await the full reveal. As good as the suspense works, one could only wonder how the film would have played out if the possession was showcased in the first scene.
“Child’s Play” seems to be one of the more forgotten franchises of horror, which is saddening given how great the first film is. Currently a television series and remake are in production which is exciting for horror fans who have long awaited a new film that captures the essence of the original and give us another reason to hate dolls. Until then the original will suffice as a worthy horror flick, especially for those who have never seen it.