Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Graeme’s Retro Classics! ‘Childs Play’


I spent a great deal of the Bank Holiday Weekend watching movies (yet still somehow managed to miss ‘Ironman’, I’ll get there yet!) Some were good (‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, more on that another time), others were not so good and some were so bad they were actually rather good. ‘Childs Play’ is one of those films and is a film with ‘Retro Classic’ written all over it…
If you had to make a list of all the iconic horror figures of the eighties, and early nineties, then Chucky the ‘Good Guy Doll’ would be right in there alongside stalwarts such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. He’s a cute little doll who would be a boy’s best friend if it wasn’t for the fact that he has the soul of a disembodied serial killer that wants to get back into a human body again. That human body belongs to Andy Barclay, who Chucky was given to as a Birthday present, whom no-one will believe when he says that his doll killed the babysitter…
‘Childs Play’ is one of those films that looks really dated (it’s twenty years old so that’s not surprising) and not as scary as it would have been back in the day. I think it also suffers from the hype generated from the whole ‘do violent movies encourage violence’ debate that arose from certain court cases in the nineties. I watched it for the first time, over the weekend, and couldn’t see what the fuss was about. It is a good movie (more on that in a bit) but it feels like a film that got caught up in the hysteria rather than a film that caused it. The premise is good and I liked what they did to make Chucky come to life (animatronics?) but there is something faintly silly about a woman having a fight with a toy doll… Having said that though, that’s partly why ‘Child’s Play’ is such great fun to watch. It’s obviously not taking itself too seriously :o)

At the same time though there’s something really sinister about a doll that’s alive, as well as evil, and that’s where the film becomes something that you have to keep watching as well as being something you can laugh at over a beer. For a film that doesn’t take itself that seriously, it’s actually really scary and full of moments that had me on the edge of my seat in suspense. I’m thinking about the scene where Andy’s mother makes the discovery that Chucky has been talking non-stop for the last couple of days but doesn’t have any batteries in him… I shouldn’t mention this (although I’m blatantly going to!) but a certain someone who shall remain nameless, who I’m married to, got so scared at one point that she managed to give herself a nose bleed! My wife’s education in horror is going to have to continue at an even slower pace than it already is…
As is only right and proper, Chucky steals the show with a mixture of snappy one liners and a great line in ‘creative killings off’ that had me looking nervously at the toys my neighbour’s children had left downstairs…
‘Childs Play’ is a film that isn’t actually as bad as everyone made out; a decent mix of horror shocks and laughs. ‘Retro Classic’ status is duly conferred for Chucky’s iconic presence as well as it being a great film to have a few beers to…

1 comment:

Dark Wolf said...

I always enjoy this movie and all the series by the way, because it relaxes me a lot and makes me laugh.