This new installment in the Chucky franchise offers a different origin story for the maniacal doll. Instead of the voodoo curse that sent the soul of a Chicago-based serial killer into a child’s toy that appeared in seven films (1988 to 2017), now there’s a more technological explanation.
Kaslan Industries is a huge company, like Amazon, that operates a sweatshop in Vietnam where AI-enhanced “Buddi” dolls are assembled. An angry, abused worker deliberately changes one Buddi doll’s computer-chip safety settings by deleting its moral programming (relating to learning and violence) before being thrown off the factory roof.
This defective, deranged doll (voiced by Mark Hamill) winds up stateside in a Walmart-like superstore, landing in the hands of a struggling single mom Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza), who gives it to her lonely, adolescent Andy (Gabriel Michael Bateman), who is coping with an auditory deficiency.
The ginger-haired doll seems all-too-eager to become Andy’s best friend/constant companion, helping him with his homework and joining him when he watches Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.”
Soon, that rogue smart-doll becomes out-of-control Chucky, who can connect to all of the other Kaslan Industry robotic devices: drones, cameras, modem software, TVs, automobiles, etc. – wreaking carnage everywhere.
Eventually, a local detective (Brian Tyree Henry), whose mother lives down the hall, becomes involved.
Based on the mean-spirited character created by Don Mancini (who is not involved with this re-imagined concept), the campy screenplay is credited to Tyler Burton Smith with Norwegian director Lars Klevberg (“Polaroid”) at the helm.
Odd coincidence: “Toy Story 4” was released on the same day; both are about living toys belonging to a boy named Andy.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Child’s Play” is a stylized, slasher 6, as the savage saga of the sociopathic doll continues.
Cast: Mark Hamill
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