Like the remake of Pet Sematary, I’d been hearing a lot of complaints about the new Child’s Play reboot. Curious as to where all the ire was coming from, I decided to investigate fan opinions and see what was turning them off.
First, I ran a survey to see just how many horror heads were really put off by the idea of a reboot.
I’d like readers to keep in mind that the sample from the following survey was taken from horror fans specifically and does have a level of fan bias. Questionnaires of those surveyed were strictly from individuals who were NOT going to be seeing the movie. It should also be noted that the sample size fell short of the acceptable 300 sample size minimum and could show a poor sample size bias. Total Sample Size: 264
Question: Are you going to see the Child’s Play reboot:
- Yes, I’m excited to see it: 37%
- Yes, I have no opinion: 16%
- Yes, I expect to be disappointed: 16%
- No, I expect to be disappointed: 23%
- No, I have no opinion: 8%
Opinions: Of those who were not going to see it and agreed to share their opinion.
- Chucky does not look well designed.
- No need for a reboot.
- Brad Douriff is not in it.
- Original cannon is still running.
- Chucky’s new abilities seem out of place.
- Trailer was boring.
- Waiting for reviews.
Chucky Isn’t Well Designed
This breaks down into two arguments, one which is completely invalid and the other I find quite interesting. The fist is that Chucky’s “Obviously CGI” look is chuncey. However, a report by CBR.com shows that 80% of Chucky is animatronic.
This makes the argument against a CGI doll invalid, as it turns out the doll is quite real. It appears people are only perceiving CGI where the is, in fact, latex practical FX.
However the second argument against Chucky’s new look I found to be hard to refute. The point was made by several individuals surveyed, that Chucky looks creepy and not like a harmless child’s toy. This admittedly ruins the whole concept of the “Good Guy Doll” look, which is supposed to be disarming and even inviting. One individual surveyed even referred to Chucky as “looking more like Anabel than a Good Guy Doll.”
The thing is, this point makes a lot of sense. Does the Good Guy Doll of the reboot really look like something a kid wants to play with? This brings up a new question. In a modern sense, with kids playing with portable gaming devices and owning cell phones by the age of 5, is the idea of the Good Guy Doll too antiquated to be taken seriously?
No Need for a Reboot
Again, I struggled to come up with a solid argument against this. I was stopped in my tracks, trying to justify why anyone would have considered a reboot of the Child’s Play franchise to begin with. This did brought up the topic of Chucky’s new abilities, but we’ll discuss them later. So this argument brakes down into several different parts, everyone surveyed had their own spin on why there was no need for a reboot. The first was the age old “You can’t mess with perfection.” Really? Perfection? What about even the first two movies was so perfect? Yeah they were fun. Hell, Child’s Play is one of my all time favorites. But you have to admit, even the first one was kinda corny. There’s plenty of room for improvements on the original concept.
Then there’s always the “Don’t mess with the original” argument. Like somehow the original is some sacred cow that we can’t imagine in a different light. I only need one example to prove why that argument is invalid. John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982). The man took and old, long forgotten, black and white, and turned it into one of the all time greatest horror movies ever produced. The Blob (1988) is another perfect example of a remake that pushed boundaries.
However, the ‘no need for a reboot’ argument did bring up a good point…
Canon is Currently Still Running
Okay, even I have a hard time justifying a reboot when canon is still running. And it’s not just running, they’re talking about a sequel to Cult of Chucky. They’re even talking about a series that runs off current canon. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t do a reboot while canon is still running but… why would you? Did someone really look at current canon and decided to themselves that they could do it so much better that they’d reboot it while cannon was still running? Kinda a baller move. I guess, as fans of the franchise, that could be seen as slightly disrespectful. Which brings us to the next point.
Brad Douriff Isn’t In It
I have to admit, for me, that’s kinda like doing Phantasm without Angus as The Tall Man and it’s not like Douriff is dead. He’s still alive and more than capable of continuing as Chucky. But here’s what immediately kills this point. Mark Hamill will now be voicing Chucky. He’s a prolific voice actor, one of the biggest names in the voice acting game, and has even voiced Chucky before on an episode of Robot Chicken.
Look, I love Brad Douriff, but he’ll be a part of the continuing cannon, so if they wanted to try a new actor for the reboot, none better than Hamill.
Chucky’s New Abilities Seem Out of Place.
I’ve heard jokes ranging from terminator T-3000 references, to killer Alexa dolls, and over all, a lot of fanboys seem pretty pissed off that Chucky isn’t a possessed doll. Okay, first thing. The possessed doll arch from the original franchise is part of what made it so damn cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, that’s part of what I loved about the original. However, if you’re really trying to go for serious horror, you would have to cut that out all together. So the question comes down to, can this be made into a serious horror movie? Is the idea of an animatronic doll with corrupt AI, that can take over smart appliances, really something that can be done without being cheesy?
Let’s take a look at the concept in action. There was an episode of the new X-Files that revolved around this very concept. Mulder essentially pisses off an AI chef, so it reaches out to all its other AI buddies to make life hell for Mulder and Scully, until they agree to tip it. Two things can be noted about this episode. First, we have become so dependent on our smart devices that we would literally become helpless without them. Second, we greatly take for granted how easily this technology can be weaponized against us. However, most importantly, that was one of the cheesiest episodes of the new X-Files that went on air. Is the concept scary and fit for horror? Yes. Can it be done in a way that is serious? I’m skeptical.
Much to my surprise, there are actually some valid points against the reboot. However, even including one of the largest backlashes I’ve ever polled, 69% of those polled said they’d be seeing it in the theaters. A whopping 16% of individuals expecting to hate it said they are STILL going to see it when it comes out. Only 31% firmly said they wouldn’t watching it in the theaters. Proving, once again, the sentiment against remakes are largely overblown.