Child's Play (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Child's Play (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By: ,
Written By: Don Mancini, John Lafia, Tom Holland (X)
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 14, 2001
United Artists


Catherine Hicks
as Karen Barclay
Chris Sarandon
as Mike Norris
Alex Vincent
as Andy Barclay
Brad Dourif
as Charles Lee Ray
Dinah Manoff
as Maggie Peterson
Tommy Swerdlow
as Jack Santos
Jack Colvin
as Dr. Ardmore
Edan Gross
as Friendly Chucky/Kid ...
Alan Wilder
as Mr. Criswell
Raymond Oliver
as Dr. Death
Ted Liss
as George
Michael Chavez
as Bellevue Patient
John Franklin
as Walkabout Chucky
Michael Patrick Cart...
as Kid in Animated Comm...
Ed Gale
as Chucky
Neil Giuntoli
as Eddie Caputo
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Child's Play

Critic Reviews for Child's Play

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6)

Making a good horror-thriller, or even a good horror-comedy, is not child's play, as this schizoid film all too unfortunately proves.

Full Review… | November 2, 2014
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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

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
Georgia Straight

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

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

Child's Play Quotes

– Submitted by Josh D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by John B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Lucas N (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jay H (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Child's Play on our Movie forum!