It's the Booze Talkin: Not sold on a new Chucky for Child's Play remake!

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Who loves Chucky? When it comes to the many popular horror franchise characters, the little doll with a mean streak has always held a special place in my heart. Now truth be told, the series hasn’t always worked for me. Yet I still adore this vicious little monster and his creative ways to kill. And who can forget his lovely gal pal Tiffany? The two make for a very special genre pairing that has managed to charm audiences in a goofy and occasionally gory way.

While the myriad of sequels aren’t always perfect, I truly enjoy most of the films on some level. In fact, I was pretty excited to see the series continue with both Curse of Chucky and to a lesser extent, Cult of Chucky. But instead of continuing with the characters we already know, we are about to see yet another remake with the upcoming CHILD’S PLAY.  While I was curious, let’s just say that I may have lost a bit of that thrill thanks to the recent trailer for the new film.

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Remakes are constantly referenced in this particular column for good reason; It seems nearly every major horror film gets one. And to be fair, this is not always a bad thing. There have been a few intriguing new versions of classics including last years SUSPIRIA, which I personally loved. However, generally speaking, remakes rarely live up to the feeling we had the first time around, and it can get frustrating for fans who tire of yet another recycled storyline. However, if the filmmakers can bring something fresh and exciting to the property, it can be very satisfying. And on the rare occasion that a brand new take on a familiar property works, it is because the folks behind the film have a real passion for whatever character or story they are trying to bring to life. Money grabs usually aren't the ones that truly excite genre fans.

This brings us back to CHILD’S PLAY. For me, the original film directed by Tom Holland and written by Don Mancini, John Lafia and Holland was a special one. Starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky, the introduction to a wicked little toy is more than just a bit of a horror classic. While the kills are certainly tame compared to the sequels, it works on tension, chills and a slight bit of humor. It is a simple story of a young boy getting a brand new “Good Guy” doll. Unfortunately the one he gets is possessed by a nasty serial killer named Charles Lee Ray. The simplicity is the key here. A mother and her son must fight this evil toy with the help of a heroic detective - played by Sarandon. Frankly, it is a bit of a fluke that Charles’ soul ends up in a young boy’s “best friends ’til the end” plastic shell. It just happens thanks to a little voodoo magic of sorts.

It's the Booze Talkin' Child's Play, Chucky, AITH, Arrow in the Head, JoBlo.com, horrorAnd now, this summer, instead of a straight sequel, we are getting a brand new updated tale. The new film, directed by Lars Klevberg with a screenplay by Tyler Burton Smith, appears to have a few things in common with the first. However, just from the short minute and a half teaser, it seems that we are getting a more high tech version of Chucky. In fact, the opening gives us a look at the company behind the cool new toy and just how they manufacture and package it. To be fair, this may be a very small portion of the new film. And maybe it is just an interesting way to start things off. If it is a major part of the story, I’m fearful that it may take away the magic of the this particular franchise by modernizing this villain too much. It’s very likely that we will see Chucky become the killer doll we all know and love in a very different way, but I wonder if this high tech approach will be nearly as satisfying.

Aside from the goofy theme song playing, and the montage of a toy factory creating the dolls, the film itself appears to not offer much that is new. Presumably a mother and son - this time played by Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman - are now dealing with this terrifyingly psychotic play pal. While a couple of images seem to promise a few gorier kills, there is nothing that is terribly enticing here. Now to be fair, this is only one teaser trailer so we could all be pleasantly surprised. Yet what they are trying to tease us with looks a bit uninspired and lame. Aside from a good cast - the same can be said about the talent in the 1988 version - not much has me excited to see Chucky back on the big screen. In fact, so far this just seems like a lackluster studio remake without Brad Dourif! I mean, come on, it was Dourif who made this horror villain so damn much fun. And with the actor returning for a Child’s Play series, I find myself more intrigued by that.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we aren’t quite sold on the CHILD’S PLAY remake. This clearly isn’t a final word considering we’ve only seen one short trailer. I'm sure there could be a ton of cool things in it that we have yet to witness. The problem is what we have seen is less than stellar. It appears to be just another cheap attempt to bring back a horror icon in hopes to reinvigorate the franchise.

Of course it would be great if it ends up being a treat of a film, but what they’ve offered hasn’t sold me thus far. And at this point, being a massive fan of what Brad Dourif brought to the role, I’m not terribly thrilled to see what this mischievous mini-monster is capable of with a modernized take. Will CHILD’S PLAY be a playdate worth going on? Or is this going to be just another uninspired attempt at the mighty box office dollar? It may be too early to tell, but so far I’m not convinced. Chucky may be back, but are you ready to welcome him with open arms?



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