Child’s Play parents guide

Child’s Play Parent Guide

If you’re not comfortable with a guy getting the top of his head ripped off by a rototiller, you should probably skip this movie.

Overall D

When Karen gives her son Andy a doll for his birthday, she has no idea that playtime is going to get so dangerous.

Release date June 21, 2019

Violence D
Sexual Content B+
Profanity D
Substance Use A

Why is Child’s Play rated R? The MPAA rated Child’s Play R for bloody horror violence, and language throughout

Run Time: 120 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) and her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) have moved to Chicago, where Karen works at Zed-Mart to make ends meet. When a customer returns a broken “Buddi” doll, she takes it home for Andy as an early birthday present. What she doesn’t know is that in the Vietnamese factory where this toy was programmed, a disgruntled worker turned off all the safety features…and then jumped off the roof. At first, it seems that Buddi, who renamed himself Chucky, is just a little glitchy. But then the glitches start getting violent, and Andy learns that he is now associated with increasingly violent crimes.

The original Child’s Play, filmed in 1988, was fairly lighthearted as far as slasher flicks go, and this reboot steers further in the same direction. At times this feels more like a dark comedy than a horror movie, and while that isn’t a criticism on my part, you should bear that in mind if you’re looking for a truly terrifying film.

Frankly, I liked Child’s Play more than I thought I would – although that’s a pretty low bar to clear. First, Mark Hamill is a hugely talented voice actor, and while he’s a little limited in what he can do in this role, he makes every line count. Aubrey Plaza, as the terrified mother, and Brian Tyree Henry, who plays the police detective investigating the violent crimes, both punch up the movie with good comic timing and deadpan delivery.

Second, the movie plays to my innate paranoia concerning privacy in a digital age. Smart homes, Alexa, Siri, you name it and it makes me nervous. The idea of allowing a corporation to have a microphone constantly active in my home, no matter how much they promise they aren’t recording, is an invasion that makes me profoundly uncomfortable. The “Buddi” dolls in the film seem like a logical step in that direction - walking, talking cameras and microphones that monitors you constantly, awaiting orders.

The “R” rating from the MPAA ought to give you a good idea that Child’s Play isn’t going to be the best film for your ten-year-old’s birthday party. If that isn’t enough to dissuade you, I must point out that this film has some of the gooiest gore I’ve seen in a horror film for a while. Not a lot of slasher films get released anymore, and this one definitely hearkens back to the blood-soaked films of a bygone era. So if you’re not comfortable with a guy getting the top of his head ripped off by a rototiller, you should probably skip this movie. If the violence isn’t enough of a deterrent, you should know that the characters use profanity frequently: 55 profane or coarse phrases, including 17 sexual expletives are included in the dialogue.

Fans of the original film who are looking for more demonic possession and serial killers are going to be disappointed with the changes director Lars Klevberg has made to the premise of this reboot, but new audiences might have a better time with the fresh approach to the “evil doll” idea. That is, if and only if they’ve got a strong stomach for gore and a lax approach to swearing. Family audiences looking for a cheerier take on living toys are better off getting tickets for Toy Story 4, which also releases this week.

Directed by Lars Klevberg. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, and Tim Matheson. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release June 21, 2019. Updated

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Child’s Play
Rating & Content Info

Why is Child’s Play rated R? Child’s Play is rated R by the MPAA for bloody horror violence, and language throughout

Violence: An individual is slapped across the face. Someone is shown fatally landing on a car after jumping off a roof. A person is scratched by an animal. In the context of a slasher film playing on a tv, a person is struck in the head with a hammer and other people are torn apart by chainsaws. In that movie, an individual is shown taking another person’s face off with a knife. It is then shown nailed to a watermelon. Someone falls off a roof and sustains compound fractures to both legs. They are then stabbed and pushed headfirst into a rototiller. A person is stabbed multiple times, has their hands burned, and falls onto a table saw. Two children have a fistfight. An individual survives a car accident only to be fatally stabbed in the chest. A dead cat is shown with some blood oozing out of its corpse. Several people get maimed by razor-blade toting drones.
Sexual Content: No sexual content is depicted. A woman is shown in her underwear before taking a shower. Several sexual terms (primarily variants of “dick”) are used frequently. There are references to adultery. One character is shown watching spy cameras of other people’s apartments.
Profanity: There are approximately 55 instances of profanity or coarse language, including at least 17 sexual expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Several adult characters are shown drinking beer or wine with dinner or while watching football. Characters are not depicted as drunken. There is no reference to illegal drugs.

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Child’s Play Parents' Guide

This movie raises big questions about our trade-offs of privacy for the power and convenience of digital devices. What kind of trade-offs are you comfortable making for the convenience of smart devices? What do you do to protect your data and your privacy?

Why people are willing to give up some of their privacy.

Risks of smart homes

Securing privacy in a smart home

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is a novel about a very, very bad doll who leads a girl into a parallel world where everything seems perfect, except for the buttons people have in place of their eyes. It only gets weirder from there.

William Sleator’s Among the Dolls is a creepy story of what happens when dolls seek revenge on a girl who has harmed them.

Doll Bones tells the story of three friends whose imaginary world revolves around a doll they have named the Great Queen. When one of the friends decides the doll is haunted, they decide to bury the Great Queen properly. Author Holly Black has written a not-too-scary but still spine-tingling story about leaving childhood.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The original Child’s Play released in 1988, and features a Chucky doll brought to life by a serial killer with an unusual knowledge of voodoo. It spawned six sequels, which get progressively weirder.

Coraline is a family-friendly movie about an evil doll who leads a girl into a dangerous alternate reality.

For horror movies that come in at a PG-13 rating, check out The Intruder, Happy Death Day, or Happy Death Day 2U