Child’s Play (Orion /Universal Pictures UK)

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There are two potential schools of thought when it comes to horror remakes.

1. Don’t.

2. Hmmm…probably don’t.

The first school of thought is reasonable. We’ve been burned, people. As a person who’s currently half way through a self-imposed Halloween movie marathon which has recently featured the 1999 re-up of House On Haunted Hill – I can confirm; we have been burned.

The second school of thought comes from the very occasional exceptions to the rule. Things like The Thing (2011), Evil Dead (2013), and Fright Night (2011), that make us think “Hey, this isn’t so bad, I liked this film, I’ll watch a version of it that might feature an iPhone losing signal”. Sure, we don’t need this remake in our life, no one actually needs to do this, but sometimes the director nails it, or nails some semblance of it, or uses the original story to nail something else, or at the very least includes enough nods and original Easter eggs that we can forgive them, simply for trying.

I’m happy to be able to report that Child’s Play 2019 has been nailed. Not least of all because the original is so ridiculous and fun and impossible to take seriously, but in its own right, it ticks all the boxes that an 80s horror remake in 2019 should. It’s still gory, it’s still dumb, and it’s still Chucky.  This is a slightly different take on the original story – there’s no Voodoo-savvy Brad Dourif serial killer trying to possess the doll to keep his spirit alive, but rather in this version, a depressed and suicidal toy factory worker tinkers with a Buddi doll (voiced by a very creepy Mark Hamill) before boxing it up and throwing himself off the roof.

Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation, Legion) is still a single mum trying to do her best for her son Andy, played by Gabriel Bateman (Annabelle, Lights Out). All he wants is a Buddi doll, and she gets him one – the possessed one of course. The one that starts offing people who disagree with anything Andy says, as well as controlling every electrical appliance in the house. As the bodies start piling up, Mum and the policeman assigned to Andy’s case start to realise that all is not what it seems with Chucky, and Andy teams up with the other kids in his building, Stranger Things style, to put a stop to his murderous (and mildly hilarious) rampage.

This year’s Child’s Play has exactly what you need – laughs, gore, jump-scares, a gang of teenagers no one believes, and toy store drones with razor blades on their propellers.  Sophie Francois

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