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Child's Play


Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, David Lewis, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson. Voice: Mark Hamill

Director: Lars Klevberg

Eighth time round for the malevolent doll known as Chucky. This one is more of a revamp than a sequel, although the doll, here initially called Buddi, but soon renamed Chucky and rebranded as a dodgier version of Alexa, still has the same agenda as his predecessors: kill! kill! kill!

This malfunction is down to an assembler in Vietnam who, fired for daydreaming, takes the doll on which he's working and removes its 'safeguards' and 'violence inhibitions', which, one imagines, would hardly be standard settings anyway.

The doll, sensibly rejected by its first American owner on grounds of weirdness, is taken home by supermarket worker Karen (Plaza) and falls into the hands of her young son Andy (Bateman) - presumably not the one from the Toy Story movies - whose only previous companion has been his cat Rooney.

The feline is clearly doomed (pets are always the first to get it in horror films), especially when it scratches Andy, as is his mother's sleazeball lover Shane (Lewis) who, unknown to her, has a wife and children on the side.

And it isn't long before the maladjusted doll has gone full psycho...

Lots of slice-and-dice follows before the inevitable final confrontation between Andy and Chucky, while Andy's Mom stands by bound and gagged (by a doll with plastic fingers?)

However, if you think you'll like this, then you probably will. It is, at the end of the day, a Chucky movie, even if a little better-made and thought-out than some of the previous seven, with an explosion of gore in the final reel. And the kid is especially good.

Where next for this particular franchise? Chucky vs Annabelle perhaps. And more of that lethal female very soon...

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Vertigo (Orion/MGM/United Artists). Colour by deluxe.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 20 Jun 2019