In this “clever, playful thriller” (The New York Times), only six-year-old Andy realizes that Chucky is responsible for a spate of gruesome murders, including that of his unsuspecting babysitter. But the real terror takes hold when the deranged doll becomes determined to transfer his evil spirit to a living human being… Andy
The latter films in the Child’s Play franchise are so over-the-top and hilarious that people forget the first film is pure horror. It’s a similar situation as A Nightmare on Elm Street. Though Child’s Play didn’t go full-on slapstick comedy until Bride of Chucky in the Nineties, Child’s Play 2 would be a little less serious, a little more tongue-in-cheek, until we make the transition from horror film to comedy. Child’s Play is an iconic film about a Good Guy doll(My Buddy clone) possessed by notorious murdered Charles Lee Ray, who slowly comes to life and launches a killing spree on a quest to find his voodoo partner to put his soul back in a flesh-and-blood body. It sounds ridiculous, and you have things like the Puppet Master series to give you at least a little pause before committing to a “Tiny Terrors” type of flick, but everything comes together so perfectly in Child’s Play that it never ventures into that territory. It’s a scary movie, not a funny movie. Recently a new sequel was released titled Curse of Chucky, and it attempted to bring the franchise back from the goofy, and put the spooky back in. It worked for that movie, but let’s hope it spawns a couple of sequels.
Usually when it comes to the Child’s Play series, you have two camps. Those who adore the original trilogy, and those who love the goofier movies that started with Bride of Chucky. I happen to enjoy all of them equally, though each for their own reasons. The weakest entry in the series, in my eyes anyway, is Child’s Play 3. I’m not saying I won’t watch it when it’s on, but if I’m pulling them off of the shelf, it will never be a first pick. The original Child’s Play, though, is always what I opt for, in the case of having time for only one of the films. It feels like your standard horror movie, only with a ridiculous twist that Don Mancini and Tom Holland were able to execute quite effectively. Though not related to Halloween at all, Child’s Play fits right at home among all of your holiday favorites during the month of October. Something about Franchise films, even those that have nothing to do with the holiday, they’re like comfort food for the soul, especially during our favorite time of year. Chucky, Freddy, Michael Myers, throw those movies on repeat, and you’re sure to find yourself in the Halloween spirit.
As a home video company, it’s always hard to release a film to a format on which it already exists. Child’s Play was already available on Blu-ray, in several different incarnations. Several individual releases with varying cover art and collectible packaging, as well as a complete series box set. When Scream Factory gets the go-ahead on a new license, they have to put together an impressive enough package to warrant yet another dip into our wallets for a movie all of us have probably purchased at least three different times by now. They have to dig the cleanest, must usable print possible out to do a new transfer, they have to dig deep for the bonus content so that they can make as much of what was available on previous releases available, as well as gathering those involved in the production to produce and film all new bonus features. If it doesn’t “wow” potential buyers, they’re going to have a problem justifying the twenty-ish dollar initial asking price, even to the most hardcore collectors.
What Scream Factory has given us with this Collector’s Edition is the definitive edition of the film. Even if you already own fifteen different versions of the film in varying formats, you’re going to want to put this on your shelf if you’re a fan of the film. Featuring an AVC encoded 1080p transfer, the video bitrate flows at an average that fluctuates between 30 and 35 Mbps. In regards to the transfer, one thing you’ll immediately notice if you’ve already seen the previous Blu-ray version of the film is that it looks cooler, and perhaps a little grimier, but trust me when I say it’s an upgrade from the previous release. It’s a movie made in 1988, and there is no doubt in my mind that previous Blu-ray versions were digitally scrubbed quite significantly. It’s not that Scream Factory’s transfer doesn’t also exhibit signs of digital scrubbing, but it looks more like it should, as far as detail and the grain structure goes. You’ll have two audio tracks to choose from, both DTS-HD MA, one 2.0 and one 5.1. Those of us who actually saw this movie upon its initial release will be quick to choose the 2.0, though the 5.1 track does do the sound of the film justice. In all honesty, either way you go, you’re sure to be satisfied. This Collector’s Edition is a two Blu-ray disc set, with a wealth of bonus content, including old stuff as well as some all new behind the scenes retrospective documentaries and audio commentaries. See below for a full listing of the extras. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of Child’s Play is highly recommended for collectors and fans of this film. You may purchase your own copy by visiting their website, or your local physical store.
NEW 2K scan of the interpositive
NEW Audio Commentary with director Tom Holland
Audio Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and “Chucky” designer Kevin Yagher
Audio Commentary with Producer David Kirschner and Screenwriter Don Mancini
Select Scene Chucky Commentaries
NEW Behind-the-Scenes Special Effects footage from Howard Berger (60 minutes)
NEW Howard Berger: Your Special Effects Friend ‘Til The End – interview with special effect artist Howard Berger (40 minutes)
NEW Life Behind the Mask: Being Chucky – an interview with actor Ed Gale (40 minutes)
Evil Comes in Small Packages featuring interviews with Don Mancini, David Kirschner, John Lafia, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent, Kevin Yagher (24 minutes)
Chucky: Building a Nightmare featuring Kevin Yagher (10 minutes)
A Monster Convention featuring Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent and Chris Sarandon (5 minutes)
Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child’s Play Vintage Featurette (6 minutes)
Original Theatrical Trailer
Still Photo Gallery
RUN-TIME: 87 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
PRODUCTION DATE: 1988