Child's Play (1988)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Child's Play seems to have been concocted by a parent who went berserk after standing in line for hours on end to purchase a Cabbage Patch doll in the early 1980s. The film opens with serial killer Brad Dourif taking refuge in a doll factory. Dourif is killed by the cops, but not before he has invoked a voodoo curse which transfers his soul into one of the dolls. That particular doll, nicknamed Chuckie, is unwittingly purchased by Catherine Hicks for her son Alex Vincent. Several murders occur shortly thereafter; all evidence points to Alex, who insists that his cherub-faced doll is responsible. Detective Chris Sarandon, the man responsible for Dourif's death, doesn't swallow Alex's story, but he agrees to investigate because he's sweet on Alex's mom. The slasher-flick ending of Child's Play would seem to have settled Chuckie's hash for good and all, but guess again--the film spawned numerous sequels.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

Cast

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
Juan Ramírez
as Peddler
Edan Gross
as Friendly Chucky/Kid in Animated Commercial
Alan Wilder
as Mr. Criswell
Raymond Oliver
as Dr. Death
Aaron Osborne
as Orderly
Ted Liss
as George
Michael Chavez
as Bellevue Patient
John Franklin
as Walkabout Chucky
Michael Patrick Carter
as Kid in Animated Commercial
Ed Gale
as Chucky
Neil Giuntoli
as Eddie Caputo
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Child's Play

All Critics (34) | 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
Variety
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

[A] clever, playful thriller.

August 30, 2004
New York Times
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… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-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… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

½

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
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

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 Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

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