Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif
Director: Tom Holland
Running Time: 87 mins
Child’s Play is an American film about a mother and son who become terrorised by a new doll, which appears to have been possessed with the soul of a serial killer.
The film that spawned the horror icon of Chucky the Doll, Child’s Play may be genesis for one of the most popular characters to grace the genre, but it’s hardly the most exhilarating horror film ever made.
Proving frustrating from the start with a slow-paced opening act that offers little tension, the film also struggles to excite when it comes to the more violent, darker section of horror action in the second half, delivering what is overall a rather underwhelming watch.
Differences in genre sensibilities and visual effects technology aside, there is also something rather outdated about the way that Child’s Play goes about its story. There’s one big reveal in the middle of the film that you know is coming, and the film tries to eek out some tension in getting you to wait for that moment.
However, director Tom Holland struggles to go beyond a handful of lacklustre scenes in which Chucky seems a bit off to the film’s two main human characters, and apart from the sequence in which the doll eventually shows itself to be evil, there’s really not much else about Child’s Play that’s genuinely exciting, or in the slightest bit scary.
As a result, the film is a bit of a damp squib throughout, lacking the tension, atmosphere or even excitingly dark violence of a great horror thriller. While it may have spawned an iconic character, this film certainly wasn’t the greatest debut for Chucky, and that’s why I’m giving Child’s Play a 6.1 overall.