Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Child's Play Reboot

I first became aware of the 80's horror movie - Child's Play - a little over a year before it made its way to the UK. I recall seeing a picture of the film inside Fangoria magazine and thinking I would like to watch it once it was released on video. 

Fast forward to the summer of 1989 and I got the opportunity I had hoped for. Pirate copies of the movie were available in the markets of Valletta, Malta and a person I had met on holiday bought the film along with other titles.

We had befriended the manager of the hotel we were staying at (the same manager I wrote about over the summer) and he allowed a group of us to take over the hotel's lounge to watch the film.

I can't recall my immediate thoughts. All I know is I didn't dislike it. I ended up recording the film on Sky and watching it many times as the years - and the VHS cassette - wore each other out.

I even watched a few of the sequels. However, I must have stopped somewhere along the line because - while writing this post - I noticed a handful of titles that I hadn't seen.

And - to be frank - I don't have any interest in seeing.

With that said, there is one Child's Play film I have decided to view.

Child's Play Reboot

In 2019, the original film in the franchise was given the reboot treatment. I noticed that it is on Netflix UK, so thought I would dedicate today's post to writing a little bit about my memories of watching the original movie and then sit down and catch the remake with the idea of writing a 'live' post while doing so.

Ten years ago today, I wrote a 'live' blog whilst watching Trick or Treat for the first time since I was a child. I found myself hitting stop and start on the DVD player to the point where I decided there and then that I'd never do the movie watching live ever again. I don't plan on doing the same thing here, but I might have to if I get overloaded with things to write about.

Anyway, I'm about to fire up the movie. Hitting 'Play' now...

- Okay, so it's started off with a CEO talking about his company. I suppose this is the firm that makes the dolls. Is this guy going to turn out to be an evil owner who wants to kill children just like Cochrane was in Halloween III? Watch this space!

- 48 seconds in and I've already started hitting the pause button. I knew I shouldn't have done it like this

- The new dolls are called 'Buddi'. In the original, I believe - nay, I know - they were named 'Good Guy' 

- It should go without saying the special effects of these 21st Century dolls are better than 1988

- Definitely 21st Century because Buddi's can interact with all your home appliances. Take that 1980s!

- It appears Kaslan makes the Buddi dolls in a factory based in Vietnam. One of the workers is being slapped around the head by what I surmise is his boss. In retaliation, the worker has overridden the safety protocols that are inside one of the chips that are used inside a doll. This is certainly different to the original Child's Play story because the '89 edition was about a man who possessed the body of the doll via a voodoo spell 

- The doll has been packed away and I suppose it's on its way to the good ol' USA to cause some trouble

- The young boy in this movie - who I suppose will end up being the doll owner - is named 'Andy' just like the kid in the original 

- Andy's mother, who works at a store, is now haggling with a colleague. She wants to take home a Buddi doll that has been returned to the store

- And she has it!

- We've just been introduced to one of the neighbours in the apartment block that Andy and his mother reside in. This man is an off-duty detective - Mike. If I recall correctly, in the original, the policeman ends up romantically involved with Andy's mother. They didn't live in the same complex in the original, though...

- Andy's mother has just given her son the doll. Business is now picking up!

- Andy wanted to name the doll 'Han Solo', but the doll just told him he prefers 'Chucky'. Fair enough

- They've just spent a few moments showing Andy and Chucky bonding. It kind of reminded me of the scene in ET when Elliott is showing ET toys and things in his room. I state this because, when I was looking up all of the Child's Play films before writing this post, I recall seeing something along the lines of the director taking inspiration from ET

- The bond is developing between Andy and Chucky

- Andy's cat has just scratched him. Blood coming out and Chucky is curious as to what the liquid is.

- I don't think this cat is long for the world. Chucky has just given it the red eyes for hurting his friend.

- He almost did! Andy stopped him from choking the animal. Andy has also told the doll that you cannot hurt people or animals. I suspect this rule will be broken, am I right!?

- Uh oh, Andy has told Chucky that the rule doesn't apply to his mother's boyfriend.  He wants the doll to scare the mother's boyfriend. I kind of like this twist that the doll is initially being corrupted - obviously naively - by the owner

- We now meet more of Andy's neighbours. They're closer to his age and surprised at the Buddi doll not working the way it is usually programmed. They want to help Andy with his plan to scare the mother's partner. And he does it. It's all recorded so the kids can play it back and laugh

- The group is now teaching Chucky how to steal

- They're showing him horror movies. This is certainly corrupting the doll. 

- Okay, now Chucky is walking around with a knife. He has accidentally sliced Andy's arm after his owner tried to stop him 

- The mother and her boyfriend are now watching an American football game. The latter goes to get something from the fridge and is spooked by Chucky playing back a recording of him being called an 'asshole'. This prompts the mother to confiscate Andy's toy by locking him away

- Uh oh, Chucky has escaped

- And he has killed the cat!

- Andy has now gone out leaving the mother and her boyfriend together. Have a feeling this isn't going to end well for the guy...

- The man was just scared by Chucky while he was going to toilet. He has just dragged the doll into Andy's room and threatened the boy. He's now saying 'I wish he could go away' out loud and Chucky is listening. 

- The boyfriend has driven off. I have a feeling Chucky is inside the car/van. He has now returned to a family home, so it looks like he is a bit of a player. He has fallen off a ladder while trying to fix Christmas lights from the top of his home. No sign of Chucky. Yet! Here he is. He has a lawnmower coming for the fallen man. Chucky has just let the lawnmower mow the guys head off. He has also said 'This is for 2Pac' before stabbing him. The Tupac thing refers to something one of Andy's friends was teaching him to do earlier in the film. 

- Andy's neighbour, Mike, is one of the detectives on the case. Chucky has cut the face of the mother's boyfriend and given it to Andy. The young boy is mortified! He has just showed his friends the face and they're just as surprised. They've wrapped the face in gift wrapping. The mother has asked where it's going and they've lied to her by saying it's for the lady down the hall. The lady is also known as Mike's mother! 

- The three friends have now pulled the power out of the doll and have thrown him away down the garbage chute

-  Not so fast! A man throwing the rubbish away from the apartment complex now has the toy and has now powered him up

- Mike and his colleague are at Andy's home and have told the mother about the death of her boyfriend 

- Andy has now found his way to the Mike's home and is eating dinner with the detective and his mother. Chucky is still in the room where the janitor has left him and he is able to see Andy at the detective's home through a security camera. The detective's mother has called Andy her 'new best friend'. This must have made Chucky jealous. I'm sure she's now on Chucky's list!

- The janitor has now refreshed the doll. He's bound to be the next kill once Chucky gets free. 

- Yep. He is next. Chucky has just stabbed him in the legs!

- And the balls!!

- Chucky has now forced himself on a new person in the apartment block by putting himself inside a Buddi Doll box and left himself outside a house. It's the same kid who taught Chucky to say 'this is for Tupac' with the stabbing motion. His name is now 'Chode'.

- 'Chode' has just popped up at the store where Andy's mother is working. Andy knows it's Chucky, but the other kid disbelieves him. They've got into a fight. 

- All of the youngsters, apart from Andy, are now playing video games with Chucky standing around motionless. Andy has hacked into the doll from an app on the new owner's phone and can see Chucky going for a knife. Eeeeek. 

- Uh oh, Chucky is going for the detective's mother. Remember she said she was Andy's new best friend?! She's just entered a driverless car and is 'on route' to her destination. Andy is trying to stop her. from leaving but she doesn't know what he's calling out to her. She had reached the bingo hall but the car is speeding off. It has stopped in front of Chucky who is controlling the car with his lit up finger (another ET symbol). Chucky has told her 'Andy is my best friend' and has made the car crash into another vehicle in the parking area. She's still alive. For now

- Doreen has been murdered by Chucky

- Andy has now told his mother about Chucky. She doesn't believe him that Chucky has followed Doreen. She now wants to know why Andy has Omar's phone. 

- I burst out laughing when I realised the kid's name is Omar. The reason why is because one of the kids in the Malta group that watched the film at the hotel in 1989 is/was named Omar!

- The detective has found his mother, Doreen

- Andy had now smashed up his televisions in his home after seeing his friends on the screen talking about disbelieving him about Chucky and considering that Andy is actually the killer. The mother sees Andy smashing up the TV. I suppose she now believes he's got issues as well

- The original two friends of Andy are now believing in him after checking out Omar's phone and seeing Doreen's murder that was recorded onto the app for the Buddi doll

- The detective has been told about the face of Andy's mother's boyfriend being found inside the wrapping paper. Just by his expression alone, we know he thinks Andy did it

- Back to the store and they're doing a launch for the Buddi 2 doll. Andy's friends are aware that Andy is in danger (Chucky is there) and they've appeared with weapons

- The detective has popped up and arrested Andy

- Chucky has just killed the guy from the store who was dressed up as a Buddi doll. Blood everywhere

- Andy has now been handcuffed to a shopping trolley while the detective checks on the other death. Lights have been killed. I wonder who caused it?! Chucky has now sent a bunch of toy drones to attack the people in the store using his finger sensor

- A drone has killed the detective. So much for him being the romantic interest in this version of Child's Play!

- Chucky has made more of the Buddi dolls corrupt 

- The kids are trying to escape, but Chucky has kidnapped Andy's mum. He has left his friends and gone back into the store to save her. 

- Andy is walking around the store and a toy police car has just driven up to him. It has a sound that says 'dead or alive, you're coming with me' from the first Robocop movie 

- The boy has found his mother, but Chucky has hit him over the head. There's a lifting device that's moving up that will hang Andy's mother. Chucky is on top of the boy, about to stab him, when Andy starts singing the Buddi song. It has thrown Chucky for a loop...

- Andy has hit Chucky with the police car and ha now climbed up some shelves and is trying to use a chainsaw on the rope that is holding his mother by the neck... He has cut it with a knife.. and now Chucky has been stabbed by Andy

- Eight minutes left, this is not the end

- And it really isn't. Chucky just came back. Just like in the original when we thought it was over. Only this time he went for Andy as he was singing the Buddi song. Just as he is launching himself at Andy to attack him, the doll is shot. It's Mike! He isn't dead. Yet? He utters the words 'this is the end' which is a reference to the original movie because Andy says 'this is the end, friend' when he kills Chucky in the later scenes

- Andy's mother has pulled Chucky's head off

- There is a scene with Andy's mother and the detective both beside each other on stretchers. Andy's mother pats the detective on the shoulder. I'm going to count that as a tease of a relationship!

- The kids are now hitting the remains of the Chucky doll and have thrown it into a burning bin. 

- The final scene is of a bunch of Buddi dolls in their boxes with the CEO of the company voiceover saying that they've recalled the Buddi 2 dolls temporarily. The eyes of one of the dolls turns red just before the credits began

- I reckon we're gonna get a scene after the credits, so I'm going to sit through this... 

- There wasn't an extra scene

I liked the 21st Century take on the Child's Play story. I especially liked the idea that - even though the doll's programming had been tampered with - it was groomed to be bad from things Andy - and his friends - taught it. 

As mentioned above, the special effects are superior to what I can remember from the original.

With all that said, if I had the two films in front of me and I had to choose which one I'd rather watch again, nostalgia would win that battle. 

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