Child’s Play

Year: 2019
Production Co: Orion Pictures
Director: Lars Klevberg
Writer: Tyler Burton Smith
Cast: Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, Tim Matheson, Brian Tyree Henry

In the original Chucky, the murderous doll was driven by the soul of a nasty criminal who'd entered its body. This time, the 'Buddi' doll is part of a smart home ecosystem that goes haywire and becomes another Promethean figure of human-created intelligence not understanding human morality and turning on us.

It's not the smartest or most original premise for a movie in this day and age, but it's still the best thing about this remake, because there's absolutely no artistic merit in any other aspect of the film or from the creative departments that worked on it. The direction is asinine. The script is awful. The plot makes no sense. The cinematography is dull. The acting is abysmal. It so stupid it's only good to laugh at, and it barely reaches those depths.

The only surprising thing to learn about it is that Aubrey Plaza can be old enough play a mother (and despite a gag about how she was a teen mother I didn't buy that either).

There's a brief opening coda where a factory worker somewhere in Asia is unfairly fired for his job performance. Before throwing himself out of a window he exacts final vengeance by disabling the safety controls in a Buddi doll (the latest product from a giant corporation that makes home technology) before it goes out for shipping to America.

Designed to attach itself to a child owner and be a friend for life, that particular doll finds its way to preteen Andy (Gabriel Bateman) who lives with his loving but struggling single mother Karen (Plaza).

With its safety restraint disabled, the Buddi doll (which takes to calling itself Chucky) soon becomes Andy's best friend, but it takes too literally to protecting him, maiming and killing anyone or thing it perceives to have hurt or mistreated its best friend.

It leads to a slightly amusing subplot about Andy and two of the weird friends he makes in his apartment block having to retrieve a severed human head, but everything else that goes on veers between dully cliched and outright stupid.

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