Film Review: Less Black Magic, More Black Mirror Succeeds in 'Child's Play'

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CHICAGO – There are some fears in this world that seem irrational to us. Like a fear of clowns or the fear of using an elevator. Horror films are at the core of some of these fears, with the truly great ones creating new things to fear. The “Child’s Play” franchise may have had its roots in psychopathic soul transfers, but the update focuses on the ghost in the machine.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

There is nothing that can ever or will ever come close to replacing Don Mancini’s iconic “Child’s Play” saga, and luckily this reboot doesn’t even consider trying. Even the worst of the films were absolute products of their time. The poorly-aged humor and very early-2000s narrative aesthetic clearly mark each of them, like a cinematic brand etched into each installment. For better or worse, this cinematic universe has reached cult status, especially in its own mind. No sequel or reboot of the original premise could have done the material any justice, but this new “Child’s Play” doesn’t repackage our old friend, but does a complete rebranding. While it chucks the original black magic for a black mirror approach, it ends up creating a justifiable timeliness for this killer reboot.

An injection of new blood is exactly what was needed to jump-start this new iteration of “Child’s Play”, and we get that with a filmmaking team that can mark this as their feature film debut. Director Lars Klevberg and writer Tyler Burton Smith both work together to create a new horror film that combines different genres and past story ideas together to create a contemporary tale that exists well within the world we currently live in. Not to be confused at all with creating something completely new because let’s face it, this Chucky movie doesn’t come close to breaking the mold. What Tyler Burton Smith does instead is take a look at the current state of childhood in the age of technology and social media, and molds a monster out of that.

“Child’s Play” opened everywhere on June 21st. Featuring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Beatrice Kitsos, and Ty Consiglio. Directed by Lars Klevberg. Written by Tyler Burton Smith. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Child’s Play”

child's play
Photo credit: Orion Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Child’s Play”

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