Monday, 29 August 2016

Child's Play (4 Stars)

This is the first in a series of so far six films about a killer doll called Chucky. At first it looked like it would be a film trilogy, the films being made in 1998, 1990 and 1991. Then two additional films were tagged on in 1998 and 2004. I watched these five films back to back a few years ago (before 2010 when I began this blog), and as far as I remember the fourth film was the best. Unlike other horror film series like "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" which grew stale and ran out of ideas as they continued, the Chucky films, as they are usually called, got better as they continued. A sixth film was made in 2013 which I still haven't seen, and a seventh film is planned for next year.

Six-year-old Andy Barclay loves the Good Guy cartoons on television. Now he wants a Good Guy action figure. It's two feet tall and it says three different sentences. All I can say is that when I was six I would never have asked my parents to buy me such a creepy looking doll. It would have given me nightmares standing on my shelf. But I suppose there's no accounting for taste.

Andy gets more than he bargained for. The doll is alive, and he tells Andy that his name is Chucky. How did it happen? A serial killer called Charles Lee Ray was on the run from the police. While holed up in a toy shop he was fatally wounded, but before he died he chanted a voodoo ritual which transferred his soul into the nearest object, a Good Guy doll. In his new body he carries on killing, partly to get revenge on those who wronged him, partly because it's just what he does. After the first few murders you don't need a reason to carry on. Or so they say. I can't verify it from experience. Chucky befriends Andy, but with an ulterior motive: he plans to transfer his soul into Andy's body, so he can start his life all over again.

Films about an unstoppable psychopathic killer are hardly original, but originality has never been essential to make a good film. "Child's Play" has acquired cult status among horror movie fans.

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