11:00 am EDT, June 20, 2019

3 reasons to watch the original ‘Child’s Play’ before the remake

Chucky reboot Child’s Play hits theaters this weekend, but we’ve got three reasons for you to stay home and watch the original before you see the remake.

When it comes to remakes, you can depend on Hollywood to leave no stone unturned — or in this case, leave no movie without a reboot. Their latest, opening in theaters this weekend, is Child’s Play. Originally released in 1988, Child’s Play is a horror flick about a single mother who unknowingly gifts her son a large toy doll named Chucky who just so happens to be possessed by a serial killer. Things don’t go too well, to put it mildly.

While the reboot shares the same name as the original film, that’s unfortunately one of few shared things this reboot chose to keep. Original franchise creators Don Mancini and Brad Dourif were not included or involved in the creation of this reboot, a disappointing fact for many fans of the original franchise. The new film will star Aubrey Plaza, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky.

While there’s always room for reinterpretation, movie fans shouldn’t miss out on watching the original Child’s Play before experiencing the new one. In fact, more than most reboots, it’s imperative that you see the original first. Here are three reasons why you should watch the original Child’s Play before seeing the reboot.

Brad Dourif

child's play

Let’s get one thing straight: To love Chucky is to love Brad Dourif. Dourif, one of the original creators responsible for bringing Chucky to the screen, served as the voice of the foul-mouthed, murder-prone doll for all seven installments of the franchise. It’s Dourif’s voice that helped make Chucky the iconic character we know today. His strength as a voice actor gave Chucky an undeniable charisma and an unforgettable attitude, bringing dimension to a character that might have otherwise been, literally, a prop.

The strength of Dourif’s performance as Chucky in Child’s Play not only helped bring the character to life, but also helped sell the story to audiences — his commitment shaped the look and feel of Child’s Play, helping to inform the wacky, tongue-in-cheek style that accounts for the success of the film and its lasting legacy in the horror cannon. The fact that the series is being rebooted without Dourif — not just as a performer, but as a creative voice behind the film, is an obvious and disappointing misstep. That audiences might be introduced to a Chucky not voiced by Dourif is a shame, but it’s not too late! Check out the original Child’s Play now so you don’t miss out on the genius of Dourif’s Chucky.

Practical effects

The proliferation of CGI in movies today has led to an unfortunate erosion of practical effects. Most big budget films nowadays rely heavily on CGI — not just for large set pieces, but for even the smaller details of a movie. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with CGI, nothing can quite replace practical effects. George Miller’s 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road is proof enough of the significant difference between practical effects and CGI. Practical effects are far more effective in making things feel real and grounded. So, it’s no wonder that the original Child’s Play committed so strongly to practical effects.

The original Chucky doll in Child’s Play pioneered the use of complex animatronics, requiring three puppeteers alone to move the face. The sheer craft and skill on display in Child’s Play was pioneering to say the least, making it more than just a great horror movie. Child’s Play wouldn’t work as well as it does without a Chucky that uses practical effects. While the reboot promises to deliver an animatronic doll, the studio already stated that Chucky’s eyes (at the very least) will be CGI’d in. Based on what we’ve seen in trailers, it’s hard to believe they just stopped with the eyes. Whereas the original Chucky felt like a doll that anyone could buy at a local toy store, the new Chucky looks like he’s been run through the facetuner a few too many times. Despite advances in technology over the last 30 years since the release of the original Child’s Play, the new Chucky looks more fake than ever before. Don’t let this new age Chucky be your first foray into this wonderfully wacky world.

Launched one of the best horror franchises ever

child's play

The most obvious reason you should see director Tom Holland’s (not to be confused with Spider-Man actor Tom Holland) 1988 film Child’s Play before you see the new one is that it’s damn good. More than that, however, is how it helped kick off one of the most fun and successful horror franchises of all time. When we talk about great horror franchises, there are those predictable (albeit completely accurate) choices like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th. Child’s Play, however, kicked off a much different kind of horror series.

Whereas most popular horror franchises pit protagonists against an iconic villain, Child’s Play operates much differently. Chucky is both the protagonist and the villain of his own story. The world of Chucky is so ridiculous and off the rails that it’s truly incomparable within the horror cannon. Child’s Play isn’t just a weird horror movie, but it’s the start of one of the weirdest franchises of all time. Embrace that weirdness by watching the original Child’s Play before, not after, you see the new one.

The original 1988 ‘Child’s Play’ is streaming on Amazon Prime until June 30, 2019

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