Retro Horror – Child’s Play (1988)

A child named Andy and a doll coming to life when nobody is watching! No I’m not talking about Toy Story, I am of course referring to the infamous Chucky from Child’s Play. The start of a very successful franchise. Friends til the end! Read on for my review.



A dangerous killer known as ‘The Strangler’ played by Brad Dourif is mortally wounded and chased into a nearby toy store after a botched job. His partner in crime does a runner and with his last breath ‘The Strangler’ enacts a voodoo ritual which transfers his soul into the body of a kid’s doll. Believable? No! Entertaining? Hell yes!


Less is More

Child’s Play triumphs by having a slow reveal of our animated villain Chucky. Fleeting glimpses of movement in the background. Blink and you miss it movements off camera and the sense of ‘is he real or is it in Andy’s head? All help to build tension in the first act of the movie. Andy also plays a pivotal role in early scenes and it helps that the child actor is quite adorable and innocent. The helplessness of a child who nobody will believe is a theme they could have played off of more but that’s only a minor gripe.


Voice Acting

The star of the show is of course Chucky. Expertly voiced by Brad throughout. His gruff voice, crazy plastic facial expressions and over the top one-liners make him an iconic star. You’ll find yourself smiling uncontrollably as this animated plastic doll wreaks havoc all around. There is never a dull moment when Chucky is on screen and the action sequences are both hilarious and impressive to watch.


Supporting Cast

Catherine Hicks & Chris Sarandon also both put in convincing performances throughout. They manage to react realistically in each surreal scenario which helps to keep the audience invested even when the plot goes off the deep end. The car scene with Chucky attacking Chris Sarandon’s detective deserves a particular mention as he manages to sell the scene convincingly even though it’s more funny than frightening.



On paper, this movie should be a complete flop. Voodoo magic, animated dolls, death by toy hammer, over the top facial expressions, crazy plot threads and a sinister killer ‘good guy’ doll should spell out disaster. However, it all comes together surprisingly well. Child’s Play is an entertaining film throughout and definitely one worth a watch. It has that special something that not only catapulted an iconic villain but also helped launch a very successful movie franchise. Check it out if you haven’t already!



What did you think of Child’s Play? Which is your favorite in the series? Who would win in a fight, Chucky or Annabelle? Let me know in the comments below!


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