Child’s Play ***

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“Child’s Play” is one of those movies that manages to balance a fairly freaky story with a lot of dark humor. It also exploits some peoples fears that their toys come alive during the night and perform general mischief. Think of “Toy Story” but if it was not aimed at children.

Watching this movie years later I can appreciate the craft that went in to making it back in 1988. The story follows a possessed doll that goes on a murderous rampage. The visual tricks the creators used to bring the doll to life include animatronics, depth perception and dressing up children for the split second shots. You can pretty much tell the difference between them all but it was refreshing to see over straight creating these shots with computers.

The film was followed by a slew of sequels, as most successful horror movies are, but I appreciate the original the most. There are funny moments when Chucky, the killer doll, makes his first full on appearance on screen before he is tossed in to a fire place. There are also moments of sheer terror as when the doll is creeping around the apartment in the backgrounds of shots. These days horror has been reduced to over the top violence or being shot with a camcorder. If you want a taste of better times then “Child’s Play” is a good place to start.

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