The Daily Horror Movie gets creepy with “Child’s Play”

Alex Pelham

For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether you prefer ghosts, zombies or stark explorations of the human condition, we’ll be featuring horror films of all flavors. Check back every evening for the movie of the day. Today, “Child’s Play” gives us a killer doll for all ages.

Why do we find dolls so terrifying? Perhaps it's because of that relaxed expression on their plastic faces. They seem so calm, but there’s always the possibility of a devilish personality lurking behind those motionless eyes. Tom Holland's "Child's Play" confirms just how monstrous these figures can be when no one is looking.

"Child's Play" centers on Chucky (Brad Dourif), a serial killer who, after being fatally shot, uses voodoo powers to plant his soul in a doll. He ends up in the hands of young Andy as a birthday present, and eventually decides to force his soul into Andy’s body to avoid being stuck as a doll forever. The pint-sized psychopath racks up quite a body count along the way, and scores creativity points for his methods of killing.

"Child's Play" is especially scary because its use of POV shots, the camera briskly scurrying across the ground, makes the audience wonder if it’s Chucky or Andy committing the murders. This greatly builds up the tension in the film during every death sequence. When the true killer is revealed, remarkable animatronics really make Chucky come to life. The doll’s flailing limbs and glassy eyes are even more terrifying as he plows through victims.

Though to be honest, Chucky shouldn't be as intimidating as he is portrayed. "Bride of Chucky" and "Curse of Chucky", the fourth and fifth entries in the franchise, prove this by turning him into a black comedy antagonist. Yes, he kills people in those films, but the deaths are played more for laughs.

I was frightened of Chucky at a young age by just seeing a movie poster that featured him. Perhaps it was because I had a closer proximity to toys when I was younger and held a greater appreciation for them. Still, Chucky can be frightening to adults as well; his scorching red hair and chilling cackle are terrifying no matter how old you are. Added is the fact that, for a doll, he is incredibly mobile. Imagine a mad toddler armed with a kitchen knife skirting between your legs.

"Child's Play" warns you to not underestimate a threat because of its small size. It also reminds us that Chucky wasn't always that goofy villain that cracked one-liners better than skulls. He is a truly evil creation designed to express our fear of inanimate objects. Think about that next time you pass a toy shop and see a puppet glaring at you through the window.

If you are one of the very few people who would love to be one of Chucky's victims for Halloween, I suggest purchasing a replica Good Guy Doll to carry around with you. Then, you can get creative in expressing whatever misfortune he's inflicted on you. I'd invest in a lot of blood.