Freaking dolls. If Chucky had a successor it would have to be today’s Annabelle, but that’s besides the point. As a kid, I think this is where my fear of dolls began. Released in 1988, “Child’s Play” follows a young and innocent Andy Barclay who gets more than he bargained for when he gets a surprise birthday present.
I was surprised by the amount of suspense that entails almost the entire first half of the movie. It keeps you guessing if a doll really can be a murdering psychopath until we actually do get to see Chucky come alive and scare the living feces out of us. As far as I’m concerned, all that suspense is worth it. Basically the origins of Chucky are explained through serial killer Charles Lee Ray, who ends up transferring his soul into a “Good-Guy” doll.
The rest of this story follows this not so good-guy doll pull on another string of murders that eventually result in our precious Andy becoming the prime suspect. Eventually it’s all up to Andy’s mother and a police detective to rescue Andy before Chucky transfers his soul into the little boy.
I’m not really sure if other films came before this one with a killer doll concept, but in terms of a story and characters, I loved the originality of this film. Out of all the horror franchises that I’ve seen, this is still my favorite one to date. Firstly I have to compliment whoever it is that designed the now infamous “Good-Guy” doll. It may appear friendly and cute to some but it really doesn’t look like anything I would’ve made my parents buy me at all.
I also have to compliment the young Alex Vincent for giving a terrific performance as Andy. For someone that young to be acting in a horror film, he did the best thing possible to showcase himself and portray just how an innocent little boy that’s getting haunted by a killer doll should be like. If he were looking back at his performance here, I’m sure he would be proud of himself.
Everyone else should get just as much recognition but the true standout in all of this, has to be Brad Dourif. I don’t think anyone else could’ve installed horror into a “cute” doll better than the individual that actually voiced it. A brash, word-cursing and aggressive voice-over performance by Mr. Dourif is just what was needed to make Chucky believable and obviously scary too. All my praise goes out to him as he can instill horror and even some humor with that Chucky voice to this day.
Even in its normal state I can remember that this doll still creeped me the hell out, so you can pretty much imagine my reaction as a kid once he came alive. If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out this little video treat…