Posted on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 by Fred Topel
Ahead of SyFy’s panels for the Television Critics Association, the cable channel announced the Chucky television series, based on the Child’s Play horror franchise, had been given a straight-to-series order. /Film has been following the Chucky TV series for a couple years, from creator Don Mancini’s comments after the last film Cult of Chucky, to executive producer Nick Antosca talking about the show last year at the TCAs. So it’s nice to see the series get a home. Read More »
Most toys don’t have the ability to scare the hell out of you, but when it comes to the demonic doll Annabelle and the possessed buddy Chucky from Child’s Play, they won’t stop “playing” with you until you’ve taken your last breath. And if you’re brave enough to bring them home, you can add them to your collectible shelf, thanks to Mezco Toyz and their new detailed collectibles for each terrifying toy. Check out the real Annabelle doll and detailed Child’s Play figure below. Read More »
This week’s physical media round-up brings home your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. You’ll also have a pleasant time at a midsummer festival, and hang out with not one, but two creepy dolls. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.
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Sometimes, the cinematic stars align, and release similar-minded movies in theaters at the same time. Case in point: this summer, in the span of a week and a half, cineplexes were haunted by several sentient toys. The remake of Child’s Play and Toy Story 4 both ended up on movie screens the same exact day. And a few days later, Annabelle came home with Annabelle Comes Home. But how do these movies about living playthings stack up to one another? And what do they want from us?
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There’s a reason why the term “movie magic” exists. Movies depict worlds outside out of our mundane reality by stretching deep into the far corners of our minds and extracting experiences we would otherwise never know. Monsters are brought to life in order to haunt our dreams and, if effective, linger decades later with spin-off films evolving into a beloved franchise. A large part of movie magic is conducted by those behind the camera: production designers, composers, costume designers, and of course, special effects artists.
This certainly applies to the new Child’s Play, which offers a modern take on the iconic horror series while also being decidedly old school with its practical killer doll.
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Dolls can be inherently creepy, particularly ones made to resemble us. From their glass eyes and rictus grins to their stubby fingers and obvious maliciousness, dolls suggest a soulless reproduction simply biding their time until they can strike at our kneecaps or steal our breath while we sleep. They’re empty vessels, and while we can ostensibly fill that hollow void with the emotion or action of our choosing – aggressive combat tactics for our Barbies, deciding what tactical gear to pack for our G.I. Joes – each of us has thought at one point or another that our dolls might have ambitions of their own. The movies have been confirming that theory for years.
Some horror fans enjoy slashers, others love creature features, and a small contingent like seeing pint-sized inanimate dolls come to life and begin slaughtering anyone within reach of their tiny hands. Okay, maybe the contingent isn’t that small as movies about killer dolls are often good fun and occasionally creepy. This month is a big one as two of the sub-genre’s heavy hitters are returning to theaters – Child’s Play is a reboot of the popular seven-film Chucky franchise, and Annabelle Comes Home is the third film about the dead-eyed doll that was first introduced to viewers in The Conjuring (2013).
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It should come as no surprise that Toy Story 4 topped the box office this past weekend. However, what is surprising is that the acclaimed sequel from Pixar Animation opened significantly lower than the studio projections heading into the weekend.
In its opening weekend, Toy Story 4 raked in $118 million, which would be a strong opening for any movie. But Walt Disney Pictures saw the sequel making around $140 million or more heading into the weekend. The number is still enough to give it the best opening in the franchise (without adjusting for inflation), and the third largest opening weekend of the year. But could this be a sign of audience fatigue when it comes to sequels, reboots and remakes? Read More »
Bear McCreary has grown to be one of the most prolific composers in the business. His work on The Walking Dead, Playstation 4’s God of War, and Outlander all cemented his talents for the silver screen, television, and vast world of gaming. This year alone, he scored Happy Death Day 2U, The Professor and the Madman, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, most recently, the remake of Child’s Play. McCreary possesses the innate ability to fluctuate between genres and create potent melodies that allow audiences to fully immerse themselves into worlds of intergalactic warfare, monsters, and period dramas.
I spoke with him this week about Child’s Play and his tactile, whimsical approach to scoring one of the most uniquely creative horror scores ever composed.
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“E.T. on acid” is how director Lars Klevberg initially imagined his Child’s Play remake. Klevberg, known for his short film Polaroid and its unreleased feature-length adaptation, wanted to bring a healthy dose of Spielberg and Amblin to his horror remake. The influence shows, most noticeably when Andy (Gabriel Bateman) and Chucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) are on their own.
Klevberg is probably more referential of Spielberg than the entirety of the original Chucky franchise. He didn’t want to make another horror remake that coasts by on nostalgia, which there’s not much of in Child’s Play. As Klevberg told us, he wanted to make his own Chucky. In addition to the challenges of filming the iconic character in action, the director told us about the movie’s Amblin references, his love of Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition, and more.
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There’s a great gag in the 1992 Simpsons Halloween episode Treehouse of Horror III. It happens during the segment “Clown Without Pity”, which involves an evil Krusty the Clown doll attempting to murder Simpson patriarch Homer. The problem is resolved when a repairman arrives at the Simpson residence, takes one look at the back of the doll, and proclaims: “Yep, here’s your problem. Someone set this thing to evil.”
Sure enough, on the dolls back is switch with two modes: GOOD and EVIL. It’s a quick, silly throwaway joke that works perfectly in the comical animated world of The Simpsons. And the makers of the 2019 Child’s Play remake apparently liked it so much they decided to steal it to create their Chucky. Because the new Chucky isn’t a doll possessed by a serial killer. It’s just a doll that someone set to evil. How lazy can you get?
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