Child's Play remake trailer reaction

The Child’s Play remake trailer is here, and…it looks okay? If you’ve been reading my work here at /Film, you know I’m not a fan of the idea of this film. I’m a die hard Child’s Play franchise fan, and there was no need to launch a remake. For one thing, the original franchise is still going, with original creator Don Mancini at the helm. Why start over again?

And yet, if I’m being honest, I don’t hate what I see here.

Child’s Play Remake Trailer

First and foremost: this is more of a teaser than a trailer, so we don’t get a whole lot. With that in mind, it might be a little too early to judge how the film is going to turn out. But we can make a few assumptions based on what we see here.

This trailer once again confirms that this new Chucky isn’t a possessed doll – he’s more or less a robot, like the Terminator, or a character on Westworld. The opening shows us the high-tech Kaslan Corporation, who create the new Buddi doll (Buddi is the brand name, standing in for Good Guys, the brand name from the original movie). We also get to see Chucky being assembled, complete with an Iron Man-like ring in his chest (I think?).

Beyond the “Chucky is now a robot!” thing, the set-up appears the same. We have a mother (played here by Aubrey Plaza) giving her son the doll. The official synopsis says the gift is for the boy’s birthday, as it was in the original film. But later in this trailer, we see someone putting up Christmas lights. So maybe it’s a Christmas gift. In any case, what I’m most curious about here is Aubrey Plaza playing a normal person. Plaza has made her career playing oddballs, outcasts and weirdos. I’m almost positive this is the first “normal” role she’s had.

Meet the new Andy (Gabriel Bateman). He’s a lot older than the Andy in the original Child’s Play, and we can see in this shot, and several others, that he has some sort of hearing aid. This is a new development for the character, and a part of me wonders if they threw that in there because A Quiet Place, which also had a hearing impaired character, was such a hit. I wouldn’t be surprised. In any case, Andy’s first encounter with Chucky involves the doll scanning his face, likely imprinting on him. They’re really hammering home the “Chucky is a robot!” angle.

Brian Tyree Henry plays a cop character in the film, similar to Chris Sarandon’s role in the original. I like the composition of this shot – the lighting, the shadow, the faint glow of everything. And I like the covered dead body with what looks to be a knife sticking out of it. In short, I like that this film has some sort of visual style going for it. Henry is also a fantastic actor, so I’m interested to see what he brings to the film.

Our first real shot of Chucky. They’re keeping him mostly hidden, which makes me a little nervous. The early trailers for the Nightmare on Elm Street remake did the same thing with Freddy, and we all know how that turned out. And yet, I like that we can clearly tell Chucky is a physical prop here – be it a puppet or an animatronic. One of my biggest fears about this remake was that we’d get a CGI Chucky running around. And while I’m sure there’s some CGI somewhere in the movie, there will at least be practical effects as well.

Here’s that Christmas related moment I mentioned. Some poor sap putting Christmas lights up on his roof takes a possibly Chucky-related tumble. I always thought the first Child’s Play movie would’ve benefited from being set at Christmas – it takes place in Chicago in the winter to begin with, why not go all the way and throw in the holiday season? If this version is going full-Christmas, I approve.

Near the end of the trailer, characters in a toy store start to go crazy when the lights go out. This is another new angle I like: Chucky terrorizing lots of people. The original film kept things somewhat mysterious, and Chucky mostly remained in the shadows, only killing a few people. This remake looks to be upping the stakes, and having robo-Chucky go wild.

The trailer ends with one final nasty moment, as all horror trailers must. Aubrey Plaza is in serious trouble, as some sort of device is in danger of strangling her to death. First of all: Chucky, how dare you. Second of all, this shows that Chucky is getting creative with his kills. In the original movie, he mostly just stabbed people (or pushed them out of windows).

And finally, one last shot of Chucky – in the shadows again.

Overall, this trailer works. I still hate the idea of Chucky being a robot rather than a doll possessed by a serial killer. And just who the hell is voicing Chucky? We don’t hear him talk in this trailer, and Brad Dourif, who has been providing Chucky’s iconic voice, isn’t involved. Has the film hired someone to do a cheap Dourif imitation? Or will Chucky have a completely different-sounding voice? On top of all this, I’m not happy that Don Mancini, Chucky’s creator, has been cut out of this film completely. But Mancini is making a Chucky TV show, with Dourif once again providing the voice for the character. In the end, perhaps fans can take solace in that. If this Child’s Play remake ends up being a disaster, Chucky will continue to live on in his true form via the TV series.

Child’s Play opens June 21, 2019.

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