Child's Play (1988) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
MGM || R - 87 minutes - $24.99 || September 15, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-09-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Tom Holland
Writer(s): Don Mancini (story), Don Mancini and John Lafia and Tom Holland (screenplay)
Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif


Theatrical Release Date: November 9, 1988


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • Select Scene Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Before Chucky was making erection jokes and worrying about having a 'confused' son, he was killing people.

During a brawl with the police, Charles Lee Ray is shot and is on his last few breaths of life. He makes a quick decision to spout-off a voodoo curse that will put him in the object he is touching - which just so happens to be a Child's Play doll. The scene cuts to a young boy who (dressed way too much like a Child's Play doll) begs his mom for one for his birthday. Since they are expensive she passes...but soon finds an opportunity to score one from a peddler for only $30. Little Andy is thrilled to finally have a friend but soon things to start to happen that causes people to think the doll just might be alive.

Alright, the plot is thin. A human being trapped in a doll is nothing know but Brad Dourif really brings the character of Chucky to life. His voice fits perfectly and he generally seems like he enjoyed the (mostly) off-screen roll. The same can't be said for the rest of the cast. Andy, who is in the movie the most, has that annoying young kid sing-songy voice where after a few minutes you just wish Chucky would off him.

The special effects are... interesting. A good chunk of the film is shown through Chucky's point of view, so anytime he has to use his hands its pretty clear its not a doll. Same goes with anytime Chucky walks. Given the time period the film was made, It's a given you won't see a CGI Chucky (thankfully).

It seems like a pretty big part of my generation never even saw the first Child's Play and only knows Chucky from his newer films like Bride of Chuck and/or Seed of Chucky. In those, much like Freddy Kreuger from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, he was a bit more comedic and made too many jokes. He was not really a 'killer' but more or less just a guy trapped in a doll who make a few wise-ass remarks before slitting your throat.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and Designer Kevin Yagher

Commentary with producer David Kirschner and Don Mancini

Commentary with Chucky - Select scenes have commentary from Chucky (in character). It's fun to watch, but far to many empty spots.

Evil Comes in Small Packages (25 Minutes) - Split into three different featurettes, this is a pretty in depth look at the entire production of the film. Some of it is touched upon on the featurette below, but a good chunk is all-new info.

Building the Nightmare (10 Minutes) - A pretty good look at some of the work that went into Chucky to make him.

Also included is a theatrical trailer, Vintage Featurette (6 Minutes), Photo Gallery and a quick discussion at the Monster Convention (5 Minutes) from 2007.

There are also several easter eggs where if you scroll down the features menu and then try and go back up you will highlight a picture that when clicked has a freaky CGI Chucky that tells you what you are about the watch.

Topping off the set is a Bonus DVD Copy of the film with all the special features. Seems like an odd inclusion but since the MSRP was not jacked up because of it, free is certainly great.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Child's Play is presented in 1.85:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Most films of the 80's look soft and this holds true with Child's Play. It's a marginal improvement from last yearís DVD (you can tell with the included copy) and it appears no DNR/EE was applied. If you are still rockin' the original DVD (full screen) I would suggest an upgrade, but if you have last yearís DVD the difference may not be worth it.

MGM has included an English 5.1 DTS MA track for this release. It's a pretty low-key track with almost everything happening in the front speakers. Dialog sounds fine and this is a perfectly acceptable track for a 20 year old film.



.::OVERALL::.

While the film is not really scary, itís still a decent little 80's horror flick that spawned numerous sequels and many copycats. The first may not be the best (the second is, followed by Bride. I ignore Part 3 and Seed altogether) but I still found it an enjoyable 85 minutes. The video and audio are average for a 20 year old film and the Blu-ray is pretty damn loaded.