Year – 1988
Decade – 1980s
Cinematographer – Bill Butler
Director – Tom Holland
Aspect Ratio – 1.85
Distributor – MGM/United Artists
Genre – Horror; Slasher
Format – 35mm with spherical lenses
Categories – Title Card; Cloud Tank; Split Diopter; Shadows; Car shots; Cross Dissolves
A lonely Chicago boy’s prized birthday gift – a much-in-demand, My Buddy-esque doll – turns out to be possessed by the soul of a serial killer.
Part of the lore of Jaws is how the finished film benefited from the shark’s lack of screen time – a result of the mechanical great white’s failure to function properly. Child’s Play – shot by the same cinematographer, Bill Butler – is the opposite for me. The movie is at its best when its pint sized killer plastic cherub Chucky is on screen, with animatronic and puppetry effects that hold up shockingly well after more than 30 years.
Random trivia – Original screenwriter Don Mancini wrote his first pass of the script while still a junior at UCLA. His original title, Batteries Not Included, was changed after the Spielberg-produced movie of the same name went into production. It shifted to Blood Buddy before finally landing on Child’s Play.
Groups of Frames
The first kill scene in Child’s Play comes about twenty minutes into the film as Chucky dispatches a babysitter watching over his new owner, Andy. At this point, the movie is still playing coy with Chucky so in this scene we never see the little bugger.
My favorite moment in Child’s Play – the reveal where Andy’s single mom discovers he hasn’t been lying about the doll’s murderous deeds. The info is delivered in purely visual terms – mom picks up the doll’s box and the included batteries fall to the ground.