Child’s Play (1988)

dir. Tom Holland

It’s incredible that Child’s Play became such a famous, successful franchise, seeing as the inaugural instalment just feels like someone’s idea of a joke. The spirit of a serial killer possesses a doll, Chucky, and lives out its malevolent impulses though it. It’s dumb. Of course it’s dumb. But Child’s Play plays it pretty straight, with all the tingly creepy music, over-the-top screaming, jump cuts, and fraught chase scenes one would expect from a movie genuinely trying to scare its audience. By the time Chucky is going full-on Rasputin, with no manner of violence seeming able to kill him, the audience is probably more in cries of laughter than of fear.

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