Blu-ray Review: Child's Play / Cert:15 / Director: Tom Holland / Screenplay: Don Mancini, John Lafia, Tom Holland / Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Douif / Release date: Out Now
For most people Child's Play needs no introduction. Since its release in 1988, and with the subsequent sequels the homicidal doll has garnered fans of all ages, (often notoriously when those fans are youngsters). It's easy, however, to forget just how effective this horror film this was. Thanks to this budget priced but feature packed Blu-ray release we can fall for its charms once again. Wanna play?
Charles Lee Ray (Dourif) is a murderer pursued by detective Mike Norris (Sarandon) into a toy store where, dying, he manages somehow to have his soul transported into that of the popular 'Good Guy' doll, a large, red headed monstrosity that no self respecting kid would really want. Precocious Andy (Vincent) wants one, however but mother Karen Barclay (Hicks) can't afford it. That is, until she finds a street peddler with one to sell. When Andy's babysitter is killed and he blames the doll, Norris gets involved in the case and the death toll increases.
What is apparent from re-watching the film after so long is how much the humour in the later films has diluted the nastiness of the original doll. Chucky became a Freddy Kruger style horror icon, and while the film is not overly scary (unless you have a doll phobia), it is still very creepy and has aged rather well considering its budget and '80s feel. The HD version on the Blu-ray is taken from the 20th anniversary edition released in the States a couple of years ago, and looks great, and the extras from that edition have made it over the pond, too. A great addition to any horror collection, and if you shop around you can pick it up for as little as £6.99.
Bonus Features: Two commentaries, the first with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks, and Chucky designer Kevin Yagher, the second with producer David Kirschner and writer Don Mancini. A third one has Brad Dourif in-character as Chucky but for a few selected scenes only.
Evil Comes in Small Packages is a three-part making-of that runs for 25-minutes. A follow-up focuses specifically on Chucky titled Making of a Nightmare. A Monster Convention is an interview panel shot on video (and as such not HD quality) at Monster Mania 2007. There's also a contemporary featurette/EPK.
Trailers and a photo gallery, plus some very lame Easter eggs round up the packed disc.