Child’s Play Blu-ray Review
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Run time: 87 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD25/1 DVD
The “chills come thick and fast” (Los Angeles Times) as voodoo and terror meet within an innocent-looking doll inhabited by the soul of a serial killer who isn’t ready to die. From the Director of Fright Night comes a “clever, playful” (The New York Times) and stylish thriller with “excellent special effects” (Leonard Maltin) and heart-pounding suspense guaranteed to scare! After 6-year-old Andy Barclay’s (Alex Vincent) babysitter is violently pushed out of a window to her death, nobody believes him when he says that “Chucky,” his new birthday doll, did it! Until things start going terribly wrong dead wrong. And when an ensuing rampage of gruesome murders lead a detective (Chris Sarandon) back to the same toy, he discovers that the real terror has just begun. The deranged doll has plans to transfer his evil spirit into a living human being young Andy!
Child’s Play” has spawned some ridiculous sequels (‘Seed of Chucky’), but this original succeeds because it uses genuine suspense, solid performances from its cast, and slick, stylish direction from an underrated horror director. A criminal who is on the verge of grisly death finds a nice-looking children’s doll to plant his demonic soul. The doll then engages on a murderous killing spree as it attempts to befriend little Alex Vincent. Catherine Hicks plays her role well as the mother who will the evil doll at all costs in order to save her son and Chris Sarandon plays the detective in search of the real answers to all of these bizarre, gruesome murders.
Tom Holland, director and writer of films such as “Fright Night” and TV’s “The Langoliers”, directs this slasher film with excellent precision. What could have been another laughable, run-of-the-mill gorefest ends up being a tense chiller that will make you laugh and scare you all at the same time. Brad Dourif is creepy as the doll’s alter ego Charles Lee Ray, using an incredible vocal presence to dominate the film and provide an identity that changed the horror genre forever. A nice surprise of a film. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of horror.
Movie Quality: 9/10
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image was a decent surprise albeit a few small issues. To start things off, don’t go in expecting a huge upgrade over the DVD. This is a marginal improvement over the previous DVD release. The film encompasses a pleasant color palette throughout that is above average considering the age of the film. Grain is consistent throughout and never becomes intrusive. I found fleshtones to be a bit off with the use of a golden tint. Black levels are strong. Overall I was satisfied with the print and finally I could replace my DVD.
Video Quality: 8/10
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. Audio is another story with this release and is bar none impressive. MGM went out of their way to make this audio mix sound immersive for a catalog title. What makes this mix impressive, is that effects were dynamically brought out into the entire soundfield. Moments where Chucky is running around and you hear him running by is a nice added touch. There are also gunshots in the film which dynamically pan from speaker to speaker. This alone is a good reason to replace your old DVD of the film.
Audio Quality: 9/10
- Audio Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks, and Kevin Yagher
- Audio Commentary with Producer David Kirschner and Writer Don Mancini
- Chucky Commentary
- Evil Comes in Small Packages
- Chucky: Building a Nightmare
- A Monster Convention
- The Making of Child’s Play
- Photo Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
- DVD Version of the Film
All the special features are presented in standard definition. While I frown upon special features being in standard definition with Blu-ray, this is a nice set of features presented here. Both audio commentaries are excellent and fans of the film should give both of them a listen as there are some interesting comments about the film. As an added bonus the DVD version of the film is also included.
Special Features: 8/10
After 5 films in the franchise we finally get the first film in the franchise on high definition. This was one of the many horror films that I couldn’t wait to hit Blu-ray. Before the demise of HD DVD, Universal Studios released ‘Seed of Chucky’ on high definition even though it is the weakest film in the franchise. On Blu-ray ‘Child’s Play’ boasts an impressive audio mix and a video transfer that is above average. If you are a fan of this film, I highly recommend adding it to your library or if you are on the fence for upgrading this is a must.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10