Three decades ago, audiences around the world were introduced to a diabolical little doll with an unforgettable name: Chucky. The pint-sized, knife-wielding villain of the Child’s Play franchise was a red-haired menace that haunted the dreams of anyone with a toy collection and spawned a beloved series of horror movies that saw Chucky kill, die, get married, somehow have a child, die again, and possess human hosts that he forces to do his murderous bidding. Now, 31 years since the original Chucky terrified audiences, he’s been resurrected for the modern age.
Child’s Play will be relaunched this summer from Orion Pictures, and Chucky is getting a makeover worthy of Silicon Valley. Gone are the haunted toy stores with voodoo curses. (In case you’ve forgotten, the original Chucky was the result of a serial killer transferring his soul into a lifeless doll as he was on the verge of death.) They’ve been replaced with a doll equipped with artificial intelligence and a toy company — the creepy, reckless Kaslan Corporation headed up by company patriarch, Henry Kaslan (Tim Matheson) — focused on pursuing next-generation technology no matter the cost. Enter Chucky: Internet of Things-ready killer doll, furnished with military-grade sensors and a cloud-based software package.
This take on Child’s Play is a complete retelling of the original story, and the nods to growing concerns about modern technology, like artificial intelligence and always-listening devices, are welcome updates. From the first look — the shots of gleaming factory floors, monochrome research labs, augmented reality goggles, kids hypnotized by a brightly lit tablet — Child’s Play seems to be a tech-weary satire disguised as a horror movie, a conceit that gives the movie another nefarious layer. One thing is for sure from the trailer: This is not the Chucky we all met three decades ago. It’s something much smarter — and much more diabolical.