Child’s Play Remake: Will Resurrecting Chucky Yet Again Pay Off?

Chucky near flames in a scene from the film 'Child's Play', 1988.

A Child’s Play remake resurrecting the killer Chucky doll is due for release in 2019.

The 1988 original - directed by Tom Holland (Fright Night, Tales from the Crypt) - is a bona-fide classic of eighties horror cinema, spawning a flood of sequels and remakes which have taken the franchise into numerous strange directions. Twenty years after the first, the series found itself taking a very different tone and approach with the 1998 horror-comedy Bride of Chucky. It was a refreshing twist on the killer-doll sub-genre, and remains a fan-favourite thanks to Jennifer Tilly’s delightful plastic companion Tiffany. Seed of Chucky, the film’s 2004 follow-up, wasn’t quite so well-received, and pretty much left the franchise dormant until 2013’s Curse of Chucky, which took the films back to basics but did little too reinvigorate the character.

Four years later, they gave the character another shot. 2017’s Cult of Chucky proved to do little, and most agreed that the franchise should call it quits and discontinue anymore flavourless entries. As with most horror classics, the films just keep on coming until they’ve lost any sense of enjoyment that the original had. So, inevitably the time comes for someone to say “hey, forget sequels, let’s go with a straight up remake”; and here we are. Unlike the recent Halloween revival, Child’s Play (2019) looks to be a straight remake, although the plainly titled Halloween did in fact feel like one for the most part. 

Alex Vincent and Christine Elise speak onstage at Child's PlayAlex Vincent and Christine Elise speak onstage at Child's Play

It will be directed by Lars Klevberg, a Norwegian filmmaker whose debut-feature Polaroid is also set to premiere this year. Interestingly, the role of the child’s mother will be played by Aubrey Plaza, who has impressed recently with roles in Ingrid Goes West and An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. Hopefully this won’t be a misstep for the talented actress.

Creator of the original character Don Mancini has expressed his disinterest in the project and is reportedly not involved; this is certainly a little worrying. However, it may just be that he feels it has run its course, along with many others. Rather than being called “Good Guy” dolls, they are now “Buddi” dolls, a new brand of smart-toys. It’s likely to be a straight-up remake with a few modern tweeks and twists, but perhaps Klevberg has a few tricks up his sleeves bringing the antagonist to the screen once again.

That’s not all. There is also Luis Serrano’s Charles, which is set to star the recognisable red-haired killer doll. This will mark his feature-debut, so it’s hard to know what to expect; what we can expect, however, is a year of Chucky, for better or worse.

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