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Child's Play (1988)


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 5
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 265,934



Movie Info

Thanks to a voodoo curse, the spirit of a serial killer possesses Chuckie, an innocent-looking child's doll which proceeds to go on a killing spree. The doll's owner, a young boy, must stop Chuckie and prove that he is not the killer in this popular and fast-paced, if familiar, slasher.

R (adult situations/language, violence)
Mystery & Suspense , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
Don Mancini , John Lafia
In Theaters:
Aug 14, 2001
United Artists


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Critic Reviews for Child's Play

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (10) | DVD (17)

Fun withers in stretching the thin material to feature length.

Full Review… | October 21, 2008
Top Critic

Holland's sure handling of the suspense and shock moments lends the film a sharp and scary edge.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

[A] clever, playful thriller.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Director Tom Holland keeps things moving without rushing them. Unfortunately, Child's Play gets a little ugly at the end.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Child's Play is a cheerfully energetic horror film of the slam-bang school, but slicker and more clever than most.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

With equal portions of frolic and fear, Child's Play is a hilarious hair-raiser that is highly recommended for horror fans.

Full Review… | February 14, 2014

It's no surprise that this strange, unique, demented picture spawned a whole series of follow-ups; it's just a shame their increasing gaucheness mostly deters people - including myself - from going back to where it all began.

Full Review… | October 29, 2013

Never really amounts to a great horror movie.

Full Review… | October 1, 2013
Cinema Crazed

The things that redeem the film, at least slightly, are Dourif's nasty, insinuating vocal performance and Kevin Yagher's design of the Chucky doll itself.

Full Review… | July 5, 2011
Antagony & Ecstasy

It's nothing wildly original, but it is pacey and entertaining when it gets going.

Full Review… | October 21, 2008
Empire Magazine

It does, however, have some decent scares, a lot of good lines and a memorable villain.

Full Review… | October 21, 2008

Is anyone ever going to make a really good movie about toys coming to life to kill people?

Full Review… | October 21, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

With humor taking a backseat to good, old-fashioned suspense, Child's Play is an impressive horror highlight of the late-'80s film scene.

Full Review… | October 15, 2008

'Child's Play' is one of the scariest movies ever.

Full Review… | September 27, 2008

Insidiously effective.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

While the sequels may have gotten progressively more campy, I'm pleased to note that the original Child's Play holds up just as well as I'd hoped. (And the new DVD rocks.)

Full Review… | September 10, 2008

I'm sure Child's Play was far from the only film of its era sold as one of the great scareshows of all time.

Full Review… | September 8, 2008
Slant Magazine

Even after twenty years, Child's Play shows no ring rust. The little flick plays just as well now as it did in its heyday.

Full Review… | September 5, 2008

An inadvertently silly but effective shocker. Director Tom Holland definitely knows how to spin a scary yarn.

March 4, 2006

classic horror

April 16, 2005

A gem, with one of the best "sudden reveals" ever committed to celluloid

September 9, 2004
New Times

It is not funny enough to be a comedy, but not scary enough to be a horror, either. It does, however, star a malevolent talking doll, which scores a lot of points in my book.

Full Review… | July 10, 2004

Audience Reviews for Child's Play

Child's Play is one of the cheesiest horror flicks of the 80's, but damn does it know how to entertain. With laughably original dialogue, some decent acting, a twisted doll, and a possessed plot line, Child's Play is just a fun movie. I was a bit disappointed and I did expect to actually be scared, but the film is far too cheesy to be a classic. Yes, it is known as a horror classic, and I can see how, but the fact that I can laugh during it, definitely makes it not worthy of calling great. It has it's thrills and chills, and when it does it's pretty freaky, but overall, Child's Play is just well made above average film.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


I must be a bit twisted - I love this one, it always makes me laugh. Just can't take Chucky seriously. It is a really good horror, though.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Child's play follows a young boy named Andy who obtains a "Good Guy" doll for Christmas from his mom and discovers that this doll he got for Christmas may be doing things that are causing suspicion in the household after the murder of his aunt.

Child's play is one of those movies that the acting is nowhere near perfect in a horror movie such as in "Psycho," but I would come to expect worse from a movie involving a doll that kills people

But overall the best performance, like in most slasher films, is the slasher in general, Brad Dourif as Chucky. Dourif does a magnificent job at making Chucky both a hysterical character and even a tad creepy character. The other actors do decent jobs as well. The child who plays Danny does a good job and Catherine Hicks does a decent job as well as Danny's mother who's trying to cope with all this chaos going on. Chris Sarandon does a exceptionally good job, which you may remember Sarandon from Fright Night and Nightmare before Christmas. Overall, decently acted but nothing spectacular.

Child's play is pretty light on effects for a horror movie but when that doll comes to life the effects actually look pretty decent, and by that I mean two levels up from a Muppet. The effects do look cheesy compared to the movies now but the effects make the film enjoyable and at least pleasing to sit through and even after the doll is burned up the effect looks pretty good, especially when parts of him start coming off. Even if it was meant to be scary or not.

Overall Child's play may not be one of the best horror movies I've seen and it definitely is goofy compared to a lot of other horror movies at the time, but it does a decent job at setting up the story early on and the acting is pretty good for a movie with this goofy of a premise. While this film does fail bad at trying to be scary it at least is enjoyable and entertaining for any fan of these kind of films. So overall I'd give this movie a watch if you have the time for a cheesy but enjoyable film, even if it isn't that scary.

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

It's almost unreal how a movie based off a killer doll can have such a cult following. Chucky is definitely well remembered in terms of horror killers. The series itself is somewhat disjointed, but the first movie is easily the best. Child's Plat revolves around a boy named Andy who recieves a possessed doll as a birthday present from his mom. The doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer who transferred himself there and now he wants his soul in Andy's body. The set up for the movie actually is quite clever. The situation is clear, concise and simple. It also sets up for some pretty suspenseful scenes. The thing about the movie is that the scarier parts of the film are in the first half and the more entertaining parts are in the second half. Chucky is voiced by Brad Dourif and he's great in the role. He's scary, angry and even funny in his role and that makes Chucky a likable murderer. (That sounds weird) The used for the movie is a puppet and getting it to move involved using animatronics. The effect of the moving doll looks awesome and it's a relief they didn't bother with the early stages of CGI. One problem with the movie is that it would've been better if it played with the audience. I would've liked to see the movie make us wonder whether the doll really is killing people or if it's young Andy and he's just a really psychopathic 8 year old. The climax of the film is also somewhat dissapointing, but it was still watchable. With the combined efforts of well built suspense, really good acting from the cast, a well paced story and great special effects, it makes for a good horror movie...until the sequels come along.

Tyler Robertson
Tyler Robertson

Super Reviewer

Child's Play Quotes

Charles Lee Ray:
Oh god I'm dying.
– Submitted by Josh D (21 months ago)
Well, John, it's been fun, but I gotta go. I have a date with six-year-old boy...
– Submitted by John B (2 years ago)
Karen Barclay:
I said talk to me, damn it. Or else I'll throw you in the fire. [Chucky comes alive]
You stupid bitch! You filthy slut! I'll teach you to fuck with me!
– Submitted by Lucas N (2 years ago)
It hurt. It hurt like a son of a bitch, it even bled!
– Submitted by Jay H (2 years ago)
Fuck you.
– Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
Hi Mikey!
– Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)

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