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Child's Play (1988)

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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.

Director:

Tom Holland

Writers:

Don Mancini (story), Don Mancini (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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739 ( 423)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Hicks ... Karen Barclay
Chris Sarandon ... Mike Norris
Alex Vincent ... Andy Barclay
Brad Dourif ... Charles Lee Ray / Chucky (voice)
Dinah Manoff ... Maggie Peterson
Tommy Swerdlow ... Jack Santos
Jack Colvin ... Dr. Ardmore
Neil Giuntoli ... Eddie Caputo
Juan Ramírez Juan Ramírez ... Peddler
Alan Wilder ... Mr. Criswell
Richard Baird Richard Baird ... News Reporter at Toy Store
Ray Oliver Ray Oliver ... Dr. Death (as Raymond Oliver)
Aaron Osborne Aaron Osborne ... Orderly
Tyler Hard Tyler Hard ... Mona
Ted Liss Ted Liss ... George
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Storyline

When Charles Lee Ray needs to get a 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 and 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:

No one believes the truth...or lives to tell it. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Brother See more »

Filming Locations:

Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,583,000, 13 November 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,244,684

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,952,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One abandoned concept was that one sign of Chucky turning more human the longer he spent in the doll was that the doll would grow stubble like Charles Lee Ray had when he was human. See more »

Goofs

The events of the film obviously take place in the middle of winter. When Andy goes to wake his mother up on the morning of his birthday, the living room is filled with sunlight, and he pulls the curtains in the bedroom open to let a great deal of light into the room. However, Andy's mother tells him "It's only 6:30 in the morning." Depending on the month, the sun would either just be rising or not yet have risen at 6:30am in Chicago, not shining as brightly as it appears to be. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

12 seconds were originally cut in the UK from the electrocution of the doctor to make the film suitable for a 15 certificate at the cinema and the video release featured the same print. These cuts were eventually waived for the 2005 DVD (rated 15). See more »

Connections

Remade as Vaa Arugil Vaa (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

End Credits
(Child's Play Theme)
Written by Joe Renzetti
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Best Horror Classic of 1980s
28 May 2019 | by hilaryswank2011See all my reviews

Child's Play (1988) is a social comment about consumerism. Andy(Alex Vincent)'s mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) makes a grave mistake in this film's beginning. The Good Guy doll is promoted in front of Andy while he watches the television, then his mother has to buy it to please her beloved 6 year old kid. The problem is that she buys the stolen item from the peddler. This is a film's socially realistic aspect in the fictional terror story. This is an inciting incident of the entire film. Chucky the killer doll which possessed by the evil spirit of Charles can get into the family of Andy. Then, Andy will be targeted as a replacement body for Chucky to be human. This is the core conflict of the drama.

Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) shoots the rubbery Charles Lee Ray/Chucky at the beginning. After the shoot fight sequence, Charles uses the Voodoo magic to get into the doll. This is a film magic. And the villain was well created by the Brad Dourif who also played the Damian Karras/ James Venamun in the psycho-horror The Exorcist 3 (1990).

Child's Play's Chucky is not hybrid of many monsters. It is only a possessed doll by evil. This simplicity is still effective and does not confuse audiences. Simplicity of the monster setting is typical and successful feature of the 1980s' horror classics. Only one narrative flaw of both original and reboot is that the vagueness of the Good Guy doll's ability to speak. It is mechanic function or something unnatural? This point is vague at the living room scene when Chucky requests Andy to watch TV news. The entire style of creating suspense is the same with JAWs (1975) and the Friday The 13th.(1980) which called minimalist approach to the creation of the suspense. This is also praised by Christopher Lee when he refers it on Rosemary's Baby (1968). This minimalist tradition is the core spirit of the horror classics. If you do not follow the tradition, the reboot will be a spooky house.

However Tom Holland's direction is something hesitated at the begining of the home sequence. As if he hesitates between fully exposition of Chucky's unnatural behaviours and just functional actions of a mechanically spoken doll. This vagueness is the border line between reality and fictional reality.

This film is originally a whodunit. Whodunit is a kind of plot to find a killer during the story. This element is weakened in both the original and the reboot. In Act 1, after Maggie Peterson, Karen's friend and Andy's babysitter 's murder sequence and Chucky's revenge on the traitor, rubbery partner Eddie Caputo, Andy is suspected by police and put in the psychiatric hospital. This plot is something unpersuasive and the weakest plot point.

The mid point is when Karen finds the Chucky's super natural status and decides to burn Chucky in the furness. This plot is critically persuasive when she finds Chucky moves without butteries. The Act 2 is Chucky tries to kill Mike for revenge, and gets John "Dr. Death" Bishop, Chucky's former voodoo mentor to know about how to turn into living human body. The goal of the antagonist is also clearly set up by the plotting.

After that, audiences are hooked and just need to follow the Chucky and protagonists battle for Andy. Act 3 is the final solution. Chucky wants to get into Andy's body. Mike and Karen try to protect Andy from the devil doll. Both the original and the reboot follow the three act structure.


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