I figured that while doing a Halloween Watch it was only right that I don’t only watch children and family friendly films. I should watch something that is actually scary. Now, I’m not particularly a fan of horror movies. I’ve only seen a couple: Jennifer’s Body which wasn’t particularly good and Devil which people tell me wasn’t good but scared the living daylights out of me because I was already scared of lifts. Since then I’ve always sort of avoided horror films. I’m not someone who enjoys being scared, creeped out perhaps, but actually scared? No, thank you.
Child’s Play intrigued me, though. After Coraline, I was already thinking about the way film uses dolls as a horror device. I’ve never been someone who is scared of dolls but rather someone who understands why other people are. As someone who isn’t afraid of dolls I felt this would be a good film for me to attempt because it’s not playing on a fear I already have.
Beginning this film, I had to laugh slightly at the fact that the little boy in it is called Andy. As a 90s kid who grew up with Disney and Pixar the idea of Andy and toys that come alive is already pretty ingrained into me although I’ve certain Toy Story’s Woody and Buzz didn’t commit a string of murders.
The film starts with this crazy psycho killer who is shot by a police officer and does some sort of chant to put his spirit into a Good Guys doll because all this is happening in a toy store and he wants revenge. Whether it’s this starting, the fact that the information says Andy knows his doll Chucky is the killer but no one believes him or just the fact that I am watching this in broad daylight but I didn’t find the first murder particularly scary. It was horrific and it was sad but scary I didn’t particularly find it. I enjoy things that use suspense and the unknown which this doesn’t use. It’s different.
However, that is not to say this film is friendly or easy to watch. There are often close-ups on Chucky, specifically his baby blue eyes which are somewhat scary. Baby blue eyes have a suggestion of innocence to them, as does Chucky’s chubby childlike face. Andy’s Mom’s disbelief coupled with Andy being taken away from her is heartbreaking and there’s a cleverness to playing on the heartstrings when also using horror. It’s a different type of fear to be scared because a doll is committing murder and because they are taking your son away from you and Mrs Barclay incorporates the two well.
Mrs Barclay is forced to believe what is going on when Chucky comes alive in her hands when she threatens to throw it into the fire. That scene is scary, probably scarier in a dark room rather than one streamed with sunlight, but scary none the less. Once again it probably would’ve been scarier had there been suspense rather than it being something that was obviously going to happen.
The car scene not long later hits with surprise because the Police Officer isn’t expecting it and for some reason neither was I. I should’ve been, it was what had been lead up to but I didn’t see Chucky coming until the moment he had wires around the officer’s neck. Seeing the car crash and Chucky shot only to get back up again, I have to wonder how to stop a doll.
Oh shit. Okay, now I’m intrigued. Not scared but more like horrified. Not so much because Chucky killed John with the Voodoo, although the use of working Voodoo does add a level of terror to the film, but more because of what John told him before he died. The fact that this puts Andy is another level of danger. If Chucky is successful this is going to be a lot worse than just killing the poor kid.
I’m having issues with the fact that they put a 6 year old child in a cell. A lonely small cell on his own. That’s just wrong. Oh it’s so sad. I understand why they don’t believe him, but he’s a young kid and he’s scared. Even if you don’t believe him you have to understand that he believes it and help him don’t lock him up.
We then follow Karen and Mike (Andy’s Mom and the cop) as they rush home to try and get to Andy before Chucky does. They are almost too late but they manage to save him. And there is something very satisfying about hearing Andy say ‘this is the end, friend’ before setting Chucky alight. There is something delightful about seeing Chucky go up in flame.
Oh shit. Okay. Clearly I’ve not watched enough horror films because I thought there’s only a few minutes left that must be it but then comes a very innocent Andy’s voice saying “Chucky’s gone” and we have moved straight past creepy into utterly terrifying. A fucking burnt melted plastic being coming after them. Then it still continues after the head has been pulled off. Nope nope nope nope.
I am noping the fuck right out of this one. Hi I’m Chucky, wanna play. Nope nope nope. But also, I wish the second and third were on Netflix because I’ve got this sort of car-crash curiousity about it and I want to see more.
This evening, I might watch another Halloweenie film but it will be something family friendly.