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Child's Play

Lean, mean and hilariously dark, CHILD'S PLAY is an entertainingly fast remake of the original 80's horror classic.

If you're going to reboot Chucky, here are some strong choices to make it work:

Cast Mark Hamill as the voice of your murderous doll. A long way from Luke Skywalker here, Hamill has a blast swearing and singing his way through a bloody trail of victims.

Cast Aubrey Plaza (Ingrid Goes West) as an overworked, unsuspecting Mom who buys Buddi for her latchkey son. She's believable and delivers jet black humor with style, giving a much better performance that the material requires.

Drop the original story about the spirit of a serial killer inhabiting a doll and update it to 2020, with a frustrated programmer taking all the filters off the doll's programming. The fact that the same company services everything else from self-driving cars to your automated vacuum provides plenty of murder weapons from start to finish.

Cast a good young actor, Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out) as Andy, so you grow to like him before his treasured little buddy goes on a Manson spree.

Have Bear McCreary (Godzilla King of the Monsters) write a scary music score that manages to inject a little humor into the jump scares.

And keep the whole film to a brisk 90 minutes, so there's either a laugh or a bloodbath every few minutes.

I laughed quite a bit at that damn Buddy doll. The effects keep him moving well and Hamill switches deftly from sweet to damn creepy so often you dont know quite what to expect.

It's R rated fun (if you like this sort of thing) and I defy you to not get freaked out by Hamill's rendition of a very twisted "Your Best Buddi" song. If I ever hear those opening notes, I'm running as fast as I can.

CHILD'S PLAY gets a B.

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