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Child's Play (1988)

A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tommy Swerdlow ...
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Juan Ramírez ...
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Richard Baird ...
News Reporter at Toy Store
Ray Oliver ...
Dr. Death (as Raymond Oliver)
Aaron Osborne ...
Tyler Hard ...
Ted Liss ...
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Storyline

When Charles Lee Ray needs to get quick escape from cop Mike Norris, he takes his soul and buries it into playful, seemingly good guy doll Chucky. Little does he know a little boy by the name of Andy Barclay will be the new owner of him soon-to-come. Charles confides in Andy while he commits numerous murders. Once the adults accept Andy's story as truth, it's too late. Written by Kris Hopson <kris.hopson@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll wish it was only make-believe. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Brother  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$33,244,684 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, Don Mancini said in the original script, Child's Play (1988) was at first a satire on toy marketing and merchandising for children, before the idea morphed into a horror film instead. See more »

Goofs

When Chucky goes to see John, the voodoo man, he is sitting on John's counter. Between shots, one of the cupboards, above the counter, opens itself. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Norris: I got the strangler! Wabash and Van Buren.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Self-Esteem (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I'M HANGING
Written by B. Boyle
Performed by D.B. Night
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A modern classic

When people nowadays think of Chucky, the living doll, they think of the foul mouthed psycho doll complete with body modifications and a punky bride in a movie filled with funny one liners and black humor. However, when Chucky came to life almost 20 years ago, he was a real thrill that redefined the horror genre of the late 80s and spawned a series of imitators (some better than others).

Director Tom Holland crafts this very original tale written by Don Mancini, where a dying sociopath (Brad Douriff) uses voodoo to transplant his soul to an inanimate toy. Catherine Hicks plays Karen Barclay, a single mother who gets the possessed toy for her little son Andy (Alex Vincent), not knowing what is hidden deep inside the doll.

Despite its apparent cheesiness, Holland truly creates a haunting atmosphere filled with suspense by following the trick Steven Spielberg used in "Jaws". While we know from the very beginning that the toy is haunted, we never get a glimpse of what he can do and neither does the characters; only the young Andy knows the truth, but nobody believes him.

Unlike its current MTV-inspired incarnations, "Child's Play" starts a bit slow, but suddenly it turns into a suspense-filled roller-coaster with enough thrills to keep you at the edge of the seat. Holland directions truly makes the difference between a cheap B-movie and the classy film this one has become.

Brad Dourif makes a superb job and this movie started his now-legendary career in the genre. Catherine Hicks is a very good lead character, surprisingly realistic, thanks in part to the very well-written dialog. Chris Sarandon completes the cast as the detective investigating the mysterious murders surrounding Chucky and Andy.

The movie moves at a very good pace, despite its slow start; it has that 80s feeling and it is surprisingly violent for its time (it was released when rules were turning a bit stricter). It has great special effects and a very creepy atmosphere inside it's urban landscape.

While many reviewers consider a flaw the fact that Chucky's possession is not a mystery, I believe that a lot of the suspense is in the fact that we know that, but the characters don't. It is a very well constructed film in the end, and definitely better than its current sequels. 8/10


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