87 min., 1988
Written by Don Mancini/John Lafia/Tom Holland
Directed by Tom Holland
My rating: ★★★★★
You know that toy your annoying kid really wants and has been bugging you for, don’t get it!
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It’s Andy Barclay’s (Alex Vincent) birthday and all he wants for it is the new Good Guys Doll, which he loves so very much. The problem is that his mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) realized too late and didn’t have time to get him one. He’s upset about getting clothes (what kid isn’t) but mom has to go to work. While at work her friend Maggie (Dinah Manoff) tells her that a bum is selling the exact doll that she wants. Karen buys the doll and brings it home. Andy gets excited and starts to play with the doll that introduces himself as Chucky. Karen has to go back to work so Maggie says that she can baby-sit Andy. While baby sitting someone hits her with a toy hammer and falls out the window to her death. Who was it? Chucky or Andy? Oh and by the way, the night before all this The Lakeshore Strangler, Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), was shot by a toy store and tried to transfer his soul to a doll. Just thought you should know.
The acting is pretty split. You have Brad Dourif playing Charles Lee Ray and doing the voice of Chucky with complete dedication, and he makes Chucky extremely believable, even if the premise is kinda silly. Catherine Hicks does a split job with her role. There are times where you believe what she is going through, but then there are times where she just seems very flat. When she is trying to be serious it usually comes off as very overacted, but when she is scared, she really looks and sounds terrified. Then we have Alex Vincent who is pretty much monotone throughout the whole movie. The only time where he shows any real emotions is when he is punching Chucky because he won’t talk to anyone else and it just looks silly, but then there is the scene where he is trapped in a room and knows that Chucky is coming to get him. He slowly curls into a ball while crying and you actually feel bad for him, but then he goes back to his monotone acting and you forget all about feeling for him.
The effects stand the test of time pretty well, for the most part at least. There are scenes here and there that look silly by today’s standards, but most are forgivable. There are the animatronics that are used for Chucky and man those (again for the most part) look really cool. Towards the end when Chucky is walking down the hall the effects are just great, creepy and lifelike combine to make a great shot. Another thing that was really good was the use of the camera. The low angles and the swift movement really made it feel like you were looking through the eyes of Chucky instead of just being a bystander.
As a whole this is a real fun movie. It’s not necessarily scary, unless you are afraid of dolls, then it’s quite terrifying. A killer doll doesn’t usually register high of the scare meter, but adding the voice of Brad Dourif to the mix helps to raise the creepiness of the doll. If you are afraid of dolls then be forewarned that this will probably creep you the hell out, but if you aren’t then don’t expect to be scared in anyway. Other than the scares, it’s just a lot of fun to watch, especially when Chucky starts talking like a normal person and swears up a storm. Hilarious! It’s also great to watch some of the effects in action.Have You Read...?