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The One-Line Summary: Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), a serial killer known by his alias “Chucky” is shot by a detective (Chris Sarandon) in a department store, but uses voodoo to transfer his evil soul into a “Good Guy” doll, which ends up exploding the store and sending the child-sized doll into the hands of a tramp who sells it to Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks), a windowed mother buying a birthday gift for her young son Andy (Alex Vincent), only to learn the doll is possessed and on a murderous rampage.
The Two-Line Blurb: Directed by Tom Holland, Child’s Play is a clever bit of horror fun that never truly scares but gleefully runs amok with the tropes and traditions of the genre as it bang-on delivers solely because of its great production and an unwavering commitment to creating a truly malicious character in the form of Chucky, a doll come to life that, if mishandled, could have left this story unremarkable, but as is, works impressively well. Held up by solid performances, the silly plot, in the hands of this talented crew, is like a game of how far can it bend before it breaks, and the audience gets all the rewards as the concept of a boy telling everyone his doll is alive and no one believing him makes for some contrived but wholly satisfying fun.
The Three-Line Set-up: This moment is about discovery as Chuck begins to see just how powerful the voodoo is and what it means for him the longer he stays in the body of the doll. At first, it seemed he was invincible while his murder spree gets blamed on little Andy, who ends up being institutionalized, leaving Chuck free to continue the carnage. The problem is, he’s starting to change and in fact, he realizes he can bleed, even though his skin is plastic.
The Four-Line Moment: Chucky drops in one Dr. John (Ray Oliver), a voodoo witch doctor who trained Charles in the art of the black magic, but is shocked at the transformation and the dark agenda his pupil has taken. Horrified at what he’s turning into, he exclaims that the reason he is feeling this way and why his wounds bleed is that the longer he remains trapped in the shell of a doll the more human he will become. Chucky demands the doctor tell him how to be free of the curse, and while the doctor initially refuses, the voodoo doll Chucky has in the shape of the doomed man makes learning how a lot simpler. In a ghastly sequences that sees Chuck menacingly break bones and stab a heart, we see just how cold-blooded the little doll truly it, but also learn the first step in how he might be defeated.
The Five-Word Review: Playing with Chucky is fun.