Child’s Play (1988) by Movie Reviews 101 – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

Next up for the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, we have Darren from Movie Reviews 101.

If you haven’t been there before, Movie Reviews 101 is an awesome site featuring lots of great movie reviews.  It also hosts the Opinion Battles. Recently, they also expanded to doing a podcast show called Fantasy Film Casting Podcast. Head over and show him some love. Let me pass it over to him for his review of Child’s Play.

Child’s Play (1988)

Child's Play

Director: Tom Holland

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay) Don Mancini, John Lafia, Tom Holland (Story)

Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif, Dinah Manoff, Tommy Swerdlow, Jack Colvin

Plot: A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic 80’s Horror

Story: Child’s Play starts as serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Dourif) is running from the police, just when he is about to be caught he performs a ritual to place his soul in a Good Guy Doll. We move to meet young boy Andy (Vincent) who wants his very own Good Guy Doll and today just so happens to be his birthday and his mother Karen (Hicks) doesn’t want to let him down.

When Andy gets his birthday present it turns out to have a mind of its own, well a mind of a serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Chucky wants to use Andy to bring his soul back into a human body and get revenge on the man who left him for dead Eddie Caputo.

Child’s Play brings us a new look at the horror slasher genre with the killer being small because during the 80s we had your Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers who were imposing figure but the Chucky doll is something you would never see coming. The story does have the idea that it doesn’t need to be as serious as other slashers but most importantly this isn’t a comedy which later in the franchise is becomes. Having the innocent character in Andy not understanding how serious the Chucky threat it really helps the story unfold and instead of having a damsel like screaming teenager we get a strong single parent having to defend their child against the evil. When it comes to 80s horror this one sometimes gets overlooked but it really does give us one of the most entertaining horrors of the era.

Actor Review

Catherine Hicks: Karen is the single mother of Andy, she works long hours to make sure he gets the basics but when his birthday comes around she must find a way to get him the Good Guy Doll. When she finally gets her hands on one it turns out to be possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray. She must fight off the killer doll to protect her son. Catherine gives us a strong performance in this leading lady role of horror.


child's play

Chris Sarandon: Mike is the police detective that is trying to figure out who killed a close friend of Karen’s. he previously hunted down Charles Lee Ray and was the man that got the fatal shots in while he was on the run. Chris is good but really only just a basic cop performance for this film.

Alex Vincent: Andy is the young boy who wants his own Good Guy Doll, when he gets one for his birthday it just so happens to be possessed by a serial killer and no one wants to believe him when he starts believing Chucky is killing people. Alex gives us a good performance for a young actor.

Brad Dourif: Charles Lee Ray/Chucky (Voice) Charles Lee is a serial killer that performs a ritual to keep his soul alive before he dies. His soul ends up in a Good Guy Doll where he gets to continue killing from beyond the grave as he desperately searches for a new body for his soul. Brad lends his voice to the psychotic doll that will now become stuff of legends.

Support Cast: Child’s Play doesn’t have the biggest supporting role with most being the victims of Chucky.

Director Review: Tom Holland – Tom gives us a good horror that will be the beginning of one of the most iconic film franchises of horror history.

child's play

Horror: Child’s Play gives us horror that brings the horror within our home with the killer being a toy you would give your child.

Settings: Child’s Play uses mostly the home setting to show how it would be like for the family to let a toy come into the home that could be a killer showing how it is an everyday moment in the lives.

Special Effects: Child’s Play has great effects to create the animatronics behind the Chucky doll on his killing spree.

Suggestion: Child’s Play is one I would like to think every single horror fans would have seen once. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Chucky Doll is a great addition to the horror genre.

Worst Part: Supporting characters are pretty much just disposable.

Kill Of The Film: Eddie

Scariest Scene: Chucky’s first communication with Karen

Favourite Quote: Chucky ‘Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?

child's play

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Beginning of a franchise

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar To: Puppet Master

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $33 Million

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: Something’s moved in with the Barclay family, and so has terror.

Trivia: The Chucky films have always been accused of inspiring violence in children. One case linked to the series was a gang in Manchester kidnapping and murdering a 16-year-old girl. While they tortured her, they forced her to listen to recordings of the gang leader repeating the catchphrase “I’m Chucky, wanna play?” Director Tom Holland has always defended the first film from these accusations, stating that viewers of horror movies could only be influenced by their content if they were unbalanced to begin with.

Overall: Stand out horror that brings the horror into any parent’s home


child's play

Christmas Marathon: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

NightmareBeforeXmasDVDBoxarA Tim Burton Classic.  I wasn’t really sure if I should have put this with Halloween or with Christmas, but seeing as I didn’t get a chance to see it during Halloween. I decided to put it into my Christmas marathon.  I’m a huge Tim Burton fan so if there was a movie for every event in my life to see one, I would put one in.  Although, do I really  need a reason to put a Tim Burton movie in the Blu-ray player? Honestly, not really.

So for Christmas, we have this beautiful flick:


Director: Henry Selick

Writer: Tim Burton (story)

Cast: Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Sarandon, Ken Page

This sets in Halloweenland.  Halloween has just passed and everyone’s job there is to be scary to the max during Halloween.  Jack Skellington, the Pumpking King is tired of always hearing screams, instead he wants to look for something different.  That night, he walked with Zero, his ghost dog, in the forest and he walks up to trees with different doors on them.  One of the doors shaped like a Christmas tree attracts him and he falls into a colourful bright town which he learns is called Christmas Town.  This is where Santa Claus lives with his elves and prepare for Christmas.  He discovers all their traditions and tries to bring it back to Halloweentown and be the new Santa Claus.  If you haven’t seen it, then you’ll just have to watch it to see what happens.

This movie is filled with songs and music.  The stop-action animation is absolutely stunning.  The concept and the story is amazingly fun and entertaining.  You wouldn’t expect any less from a story thought up by Tim Burton and his stories.  Who else would think of bring Halloween and Christmas together? Actually, as I was watching it this time around, its the first time after I finished reading through a book about Tim Burton’s art/concept art that I bought from the Tim Burton exhibit a few years back, I appreciated this even more.  Jack Skellington’s expressions had so much variety.  The characters all had such detail.  Its a beautiful movie in general.  I just love everything about it. The voices, the music, the story, everything is so perfect.

I own the Collector’s Edition of this movie so with it, there was also a reading of the original poem from Tim Burton and it was based on.  That was narrated by Christopher Lee and supported with Tim Burton’s art in the background.  That was really fun to watch.

Whether you choose to watch this for Halloween or Christmas, its a must see.