Child’s Play

Vampire Owl: Do you remember Chucky?

Vampire Bat: How can we not remember Chucky? He was the coolest scary doll until Annabelle came into the picture.

Vampire Owl: Annabelle could never be that creepy, as the spirit is not always creepy enough.

Vampire Bat: Well, he has been an inspiration for vampire dolls too.

Vampire Owl: They say that this time we have a reboot and not a sequel.

Vampire Bat: That is not natural. Usually, the come up with more and more sequels as if this is something eternal.

Vampire Owl: This one also got Artificial Intelligence.

Vampire Bat: Yes, what is a doll without AI during these days of science and technology?

Vampire Owl: That would make it a robot.

Vampire Bat: A robotic doll which would replace all, maybe.

[Gets some tapioca chips and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie about? :: Kaslan Corporation has a new type of high tech dolls called Buddi, which are designed to be long time companions to kids, learning their interests and what happens around, and then acting accordingly. These dolls become huge hit among the children, as parents find them to be substitute for other children and pets – the dolls are also supposed to be flawless, passing a large number of tests, and not reporting a faulty piece anywhere. With factories for manufacturing and assembling all over the world, one of them in Vietnam, has its safety protocols manipulated and disabled, just before one of the fired workers finish his final Buddi doll. After doing the same as an act of vengeance, the worker commits suicide, but the doll is packed among the other dolls and sent to the United States of America to meet the rising need for the models.

So, what happens with the events here? :: In the city of Chicago, a retail clerk and single mother Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) and her son, Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman), movies into a new apartment, where latter struggles to make friends. To help Andy move away from his continuous staring at mobile and television, and to take his attention away from her newfound boyfriend Shane (David Lewis) who is with her most of the time, Karen blackmails her boss to get a faulty Buddi doll which was returned to them, as a new version of the doll was ready to hit the markets. The doll which does seem to have some problems with its working procedure, calls itself Chucky (Mark Hamill) and is instantly attached to Andy, whom he considers to be his best friend, and a pal forever. Due to interest in Chucky, two kids in the building also becomes friends with him, Falyn (Beatrice Kitsos) and Pugg (Ty Consiglio).

And what else follows with the happenings? :: But Chucky doesn’t seem to be the usual Buddi doll, as it develops violent tendencies from the horror movie it watches with the kids, and almost stabs them mimicking what happens on the screen. It strangles Andy’s pet cat which had scratched Andy, and scares Shane for making him happy. Chucky is one possessive doll that doesn’t like anyone other than him to be too much attached to him. Andy and his newfound friends make the other neighbouring kids like Omar (Marlon Kazadi) unhappy. Meanwhile, Andy also becomes friends with other neighbours Detective Mike Norris (Brian Tyree Henry) and his mother Doreen Norris (Carlease Burke) to whom he gives advice on new technology. But this increase in the number of friends is not something that pleases Chucky, as he is the one who is supposed to be the best friend forever – for that to happen, he would do more.

The defence of Child’s Play :: There are some nice scary and even more creepy scenes in this movie, as the doll becomes more of a threat than it had ever been in the past, with Artificial Intelligence threatening to do more. There is also the presence of blood and gore, especially related to the killing, and the final fight scene has more of it, with a lot of dead bodies involved with chaos being unleashed by the doll. The new generation who has not watched the original will like it even better. In the age of Annabelle doll with a spiritual presence, Chucky does more with Artificial Intelligence and catches our attention in style. Aubrey Plaza as the mother leads the way here with the performance, followed by Gabriel Bateman and the other kids, mainly Beatrice Kitsos. In between, Brian Tyree Henry also has a fine role done well.

The claws of flaw :: The fans of original movie and its early sequels might not like to stick to this one with a different look and also a divergent tale about its origins. The violence brought forward here might not make some people feel happy either. There are garden tillers and chainsaws in action here with the soon-to-be dead people not getting any close to a deviant respect either. The movie also ends too soon, as there is less happenings after the doll goes rogue – we should have certainly had more of them. Child’s Play is a franchise which was always destined for more greatness than it ever had. We can hope for the same greatness to be achieved in the possible sequels. We know that there is always more ideas coming up as far as horror is concerned, and with the slasher elements added, it is yet to be seen how much this can accomplish.

How it finishes :: The original version of Child’s Play was about a serial killer performing a Haitian Vodou spell to transfer his soul into a Good Guy doll. This one changes the storyline to match the current situation, as Artificial Intelligence becomes the key. Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky have been some very interesting movies in the franchise, and so a reboot here was supposed to arrive at some point. The variation that this movie had brought might not feel good for people who wanted to keep the original idea alive, but one has to agree that this one also brings a lot of scary and creepy moments to remember. It can even stand as a stand-alone film without the help of the previous movies – a claim which not many movie reboots can claim. Well, horror here can have many more sequels, and they can strive to be even better with this particular premise.

Release date: 21st June 2019
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Tim Matheson, David Lewis, Marlon Kazadi, Carlease Burke, Nicole Anthony, Trent Redekop

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@ Cemetery Watch
โœ  The Vampire Bat.

Cult of Chucky

Vampire Owl: There was this question for VPSC.

Vampire Bat: You mean Vampire Public Service Commission? You are writing exams out there?

Vampire Owl: Yes, my exam centre was on the Old Vampire Isles, and there was this particular question which caught my attention.

Vampire Bat: You travel a little too much to write a silly examination.

Vampire Owl: It is not my point. The real point is related to that question.

Vampire Bat: I know how strange the question of VPSC are. They rarely make sense, and they never really wanted anyone deserving to get a good score.

Vampire Owl: They asked about the greatest doll of all-time. the options were Annabelle, Chucky, Barbie and Shrek.

Vampire Bat: So, you only had to choose from two.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and I ticked on the last option, Shrek.

Vampire Bat: You and VPSC should make best friends, in that case.

[Gets three cups of ginger tea with Hide and Seek biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Years after the events of Curse of Chucky, a lot of things remain the same, including the existence of Chucky (Brad Dourif). Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) who had shot him in the previous movie, has his head kept at his house, and keeps punishing it for the crimes which were committed. At the same time, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) has been spending her in life in a mental institution, most of the time restrained and sedated for the murders of her family. After being watched at all times through cameras, and going through never-ending therapy, she murdered everyone in her family, and that the doll was just a creation of her mind as a result of her seeing things. Doctor Foley (Michael Therriault), who is sexually attracted to her, has her transferred to his own medium security facility where he can watch her at all times. There, the nurses Nurse Carlos (Zak Santiago) and Nurse Ashley (Ali Tataryn) are in charge, and are nice to her.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Nica has an interesting group of people to give her comany, with Malcolm (Adam Hurtig), a confused man with multiple identity disorder who is instantly interested in being with her; Angela (Marina Stephenson Kerr), an older woman who believes that she is dead and nobody can see her; Claire (Grace Lynn Kung), a woman who is known to have burned her own house down; and Madeleine (Elisabeth Rosen) who is believed to have killed her own son by suffocation even as she believes that he is not dead yet. To make things more interesting, Foley adds a Good Guy doll, as if bringing Chucky back between them again – nobody really likes that idea, except for Madeleine who believes that it is her child that has come back to her. Claire is more hostile to Nica than anybody else, believing that she is a mass murderer who killed her own family.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: Nica is visited by Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly), who has been the legal guardian of her niece, Alice. Tiffany reveals that Alice has died and leaves her a Good Guy doll, which she claims was a gift from Alice Pierce (Summer H Howell). After informing her that the kid is dead, she says that Alice wanted Nica to have her Good Guy doll, and that night, she tries to commit suicide by slicing her wrists. Chucky, who has woken up at the hospital, finds it out, and stitches her wound back, leaving a message that she won’t die that easily. At the same night, Angela is found dead, and Claire follows, as Chucky makes his impacy felt. Now the question remains about which doll is the one that is possessed, and despite Nica’s best efforts, nobody believes that there is a serial killer doll killing people – the doctor himself is not interested in her words, as his attention is only towards her body. Now, the question remains about who all will survive the Chucky attack.

The defence of Cult of Chucky :: If you like this never-ending franchise with Chucky, the charming serial killer doll at the centre of it, there is no reason why you need to miss this movie, as there is that murderer doll spirit being carried on to this one too. You have fun, and you have those scary moments, most of them with the elements of blood and gore though – well, Chucky is not Annabelle, and as most of you already know, his motives are significantly different. Well, in a seventh movie of a franchise, you have so many characters returning, and if you are a fan of the series, you are up for the treat again. The one you need to watch out for is indeed Fiona Dourif, who plays the helpless one with a lot of strength from within, and the supporting cast is also very good. The setting is also nice, as the mental hospital brings the appropriate environment to make sure that Chucky shines even after so many years. Well, you need to come back because Chucky needs you.

The claws of flaw :: The movie could have surely been better, with a lot of scary moments – this one, with its one and half hours of length, doesn’t add that many of them, which could make the whole thing bigger. The previous movie, Curse of Chucky was surely ahead in that case, and was surely the better movie in comparison. Chucky needs to scare more characters, and here, right after people know that he is alive, they are just killed within minutes – give the poor doll some more time, will you? At least in the next movie? Why would someone need more than one Chucky? Why would one of them be in distress for so long? Why couldn’t the doll get more serious at least with a few things? We need the character to be better, and we need the doll to be creepier. This is not that age of old horror any more – ask many movies including last year’s Don’t Breathe, Lights Out and The Autopsy of Jane Doe for some ideas about innovation, or this one’s own predecessor about being better.

How it finishes :: We have one of the most popular horror dolls of all-time returning to action here, and due to the same reason, we just can’t stop the need to watch this particular flick, as we have felt the urge for so long, and it can only get stronger with time. Child’s Play has been an integral part of our horror lives, just like The Evil Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wishmaster, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and Friday the 13th, all of them, never really leaving our childhood, and all of these movies beginning before I was born. Along with accepting the fact that this one is not going to please everybody, you will accept that this is still good, and Chucky franchise is one of those things of horror which you need; if not now, at some other point. Remember this when you come across a nice looking dolls next time. Maybe there is more to it too, than what meets the eye.

Release date: 3rd October 2017
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Don Mancini
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Michael Therriault, Adam Hurtig, Elisabeth Rosen, Grace Lynn Kung, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Alex Vincent, Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Zak Santiago, Ali Tataryn, Jennifer Tilly, Summer H Howell, Christine Elise

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@ Cemetery Watch
โœ  The Vampire Bat.

Annabelle

annabelle (2)

Vampire Owl :: This is the day I have been waiting for.

Vampire Bat :: Are you sure this is the movie you waited for?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, I am hoping that I can adopt that doll soon. I have also written a letter to the Dracula Castle requesting permission from Uncle Dracula for the same.

Vampire Bat :: You don’t need that doll right now. You are pretty much a scary owl as of now.

Vampire Owl :: No, it is part of my plan to owlify the world. I would need a side-kick, like Robin is to Batman. Otherwise, I know that I am scary and dangerous.

Vampire Bat :: Annabelle doll doesn’t play supporting role. She always does the main role. She is a level five demon, not a level zero vampire.

Vampire Owl :: What? Bad doll. What makes it think that it can get the main role outside movies? Especially when super hero-villains like me are alive?

Vampire Bat :: Because she has pride, and also the rest of those seven deadly sins. It is why she is an evil demonic doll.

Vampire Owl :: I shall rate this movie low.

Vampire Bat :: No, it is me who does the rating, and I choose not for an owlified world.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: The movie has the same beginning as The Conjuring, with people telling the story of a demonic doll. From there, the movie goes to a flashback which shows John (Ward Horton) and Mia Gordon (Annabelle Wallis) expecting the birth of their first child. But they are attacked by a satanic cult which kills their neighbours and causes terror before the cops arrive. Annabelle Higgins (Tree O’Toole), a member of the occult group marks their wall with a symbol and a drop of her blood is left in the eyes of a doll which was in the house. Even as they throw the bloodied doll away, it makes another appearance at the house after a baby is born and they shift the house. They keep it feeling that the doll made its way to the new house during a quick packing and decides to keep it this time. But strange things begin to happen at the new home, and Mia begins to suspect the doll. She contacts the local priest and a detective, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop the terror, or is there a solution?

The defence of Annabelle :: The scares that this movie provides are impressive, just like it was for The Conjuring, even if lesser in a comparison, which should be avoided at each and every moment of this one. There is a very nice creepy environment and chilling atmosphere already created for the thriving of this doll and its scary demons. The way in which the lighting and the darkness are managed can be considered pretty much admirable. The sound effects support the visual horror in an impressive manner. There is one scene when an elevator keeps stopping at one floor full of darkness, and when you think you can avoid this moment by taking the stairs, there is a demon waiting downstairs. There is the moment when a young girl appears and runs towards you and when the door closes and opens, she transforms into something else. There is the bloody guarantee to scare the audience here, and it is something which is not easy to provide. It is time you respect the dolls, and may be after watching this movie, you will.

The claws of flaw :: There are those expectations which make things a lot worse than they really are, and what people expect after watching The Conjuring should be something not less than marvelous, and even as that movie’s fans will surely watch this one, the same has badly affected the opinions which have come out. Considering how much of a big level that movie had left for all the horror movies which were to follow, especially for a flick which claims to be its prequel. Annabelle lags behind The Conjuring with its ideas and the repetition of things that we have seen so many times in our horror watching life, as its plot gets thinner. Even as the end is satisfying, it is rather too predictable and not something that was wanted by those who wanted the evil to end or for the same to thrive. There is no grand success in a pure evil manner, or the end of evil with an exorcism, and also the movie takes a little bit too time to get into full flow of horror and those who are looking for ghosts end up getting restless early itself.

Performers of the soul :: Annabelle Wallis is lovely in her role (with the name of the doll for herself – that’s a nice surprise in the credits section and makes one wonder if it was intentional), but being scared becomes the more important part of her presence, and that indeed seems to work well with her character. Ward Horton and the rest of the cast are left with not much to do, except for a little bit from Alfre Woodard and Tony Amendola. Otherwise, there is not much to do for the actors and actresses, and that is no surprise from a horror movie. Its ddependenceon the performance of its cast is pretty low, as it keeps bringing those moments of terror now and then to minimize the focus on everything else. But the question remains if some more for the acting department would have been good, as this is nothing like The Conjuring, and needed more doses here and there to elevate its status.

Soul exploration :: Annabelle reinforces the faith in the supernatural, and it is always a good thing to have, in a world where people live with the false pride of being everything and believing to the be the centre of the world. Such movies are necessary for the realization that we can’t always know everything, and there will always be things beyond our comprehension. The more we remember about our minuteness, the better the world gets. There might be too many supernatural horror movies which are better than Annabelle, including the two parts of Insidious, Sinister and The Conjuring, and the dolls of Curse of Chucky and Dead Silence surely seems to do better than our demonic doll here. But Annabelle has life of her own, and despite the need to take a few lessons from Chucky, her power as the demonic doll will also stay. Do watch those other two doll movies I mentioned if you missed them. For a review of the former: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/curseofchucky/

How it finishes :: People will obviously want to think low of Annabelle due to the high expectations which haven’t come down even after the bad reviews. A number of reviewers from this part of the world had given even better ratings to below average movies like Pizza just because it was produced by Bollywood – is it how the quality is to be decided? Yes, one has to wonder how such a thing should even happen. Lets not come to any conclusions here though, as there is the certainty that Annabelle scares the audience, and any denial of the same directly takes the viewer with such an opinion into the demonic realm where he or she can join the devil. No, Annabelle is nowhere close to being perfect, and it has its moments of struggles. You can ask for many things extra in this movie, but that it clearly a direct result of your deadly high expectations which had ventured too high and as a result had gone to Mars with Mangalyaan. Just remember that there is chance for another movie between this one and The Conjuring ๐Ÿ˜€

Release date: 10th October 2014 (India); 3rd October 2014 (USA)
Running time: 98 minutes
Directed by: John R. Leonetti
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola, Kerry O’Malley, Brian Howe, Eric Ladin, Ivar Brogger, Tree O’Toole, Keira Daniels, Morganna May

annabelle

@ Cemetery Watch
โœ  The Vampire Bat.

Curse of Chucky

curseofchuckyy

Vampire Owl :: Chucky who?

Vampire Bat :: Chucky of Child’s Play? The doll that kills?

Vampire Owl :: Okay, I need one.

Vampire Bat :: It is not available in the market yet. That thing is just in the movie for now.

Vampire Owl :: This is unfair. I don’t even have an Annabelle doll yet.

Vampire Bat :: I shall tell the Lich Queen to gift you one for Halloween.

Vampire Owl :: Can I have her crocodilia animiatia spell with it? She likes me, right?

Vampire Bat :: I have to ask her for the Halloween offers, unless the day is re-located to the Valentine’s Day as both of them are the same in spirit.

Vampire Owl :: It is time they make such dolls locally available. I can’t even have a doll; this is why the world is going to end.

Vampire Bat :: Watch this and be prepared, then.

[Gives the DVD].

What is it about? :: Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) suffers from paraplegia and lives with her mother Sarah Pierce (Chantal Quesnel) in a big house away from the busy life of the city. One day, the Chucky doll (Brad Dourif) arrives at home by mail, and there is no idea why it is there and who sent it. But they decide to keep it anyway as it is just a cute little toy. The next day, she finds her mother dead and it is thought to be a suicide. The very next day, her sister Barbie Pierce (Danielle Bisutti) arrives, accompanied by her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), their daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell), the kid’s nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell) and a priest named Frank (A Martinez). Alice develops an instant liking for the doll, and Nica is happy that it could be use to someone. But strange things happen, as the poisoned priest dies as he goes back home driving his car, and Jill is electrocuted to death. Meanwhile, Nica finds some information about the doll from the internet which details the doll’s connections to murders and a serial killer. But will anyone believe her?

The defence of Curse of Chucky:: This movie comes after nine years of wait by the fans of the genre, and only one movie within the fifteen years of two movies. It is the result of such a long wait which was finally fulfilled. This might be the best appearance of Chucky too, as he is back with a clear mission, something which he executes with so much focus and vigour. There is more creepiness with the doll this time, and there is not much for a funny side as he takes over the objective with seriousness. There is lot of blood out there and there is the much needed creepy atmosphere nicely worked out. The plot is nicely reinforced by the addition of a flashback and there is more logic in how this tale goes. The whole world of the group of people in a house in the middle of nowhere, fighting for survival from a doll which they don’t know as the villain – it is a treat. It is Chucky, and he will keep coming back for you until he gets your attention, because he wants to play ๐Ÿ˜€

The claws of flaw :: The long wait after the last movie of the series also works against the same, because not many people remembers about the previous one. The effect that The Conjuring 2 has, won’t be that much if the title is delayed for too much time. There is also a lot of stuff that you are familiar with, and this is after all, just another slasher movie at its core. There could have been more variety in the killings too, and a more suspense could have been used with the doll and the murders that it committed instead of letting the viewers know how it got into actin so early – but it won’t be a suspense in manner as we all know that Chucky is the one doing all, right? But that should work for the people new to the franchise. There was also the scope for Chucky to be more evil, and hope it is used better in the case of another sequel. Chucky should always do more, because he has that kind of a legacy to keep, as one of the first dolls ever to scare me during my childhood – it took me long to be interested in a doll again; and then there were little toy racing cars for me.

Performers of the soul :: It is impressive how well Fiona Dourif played the damsel in distress who fought back to be only damsel causing distress to Chucky. From her wheel chair, she causes more trouble to the doll than the others who claimed to be smarter, and she has done that role which so much power, and she carries that throughout the movie. Not many killer souls will be happy about being beaten up by such a girl, and here Fiona Dourif does that in such a convincing manner. She doesn’t do the same throughout though, as she varies in her situations, from the cute pretty girl on the wheel chair to the sad daughter and the frightened girl in trouble and finally to that lady fighting for survival against a serial killer doll. With the same, we also have one of the most frightening dolls of all time at work, and who needs humans when we have such awesome killing dolls? Sorry, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, for the latest slasher score goes to the doll character.

Soul exploration :: Curse of Chucky, just like most of the movies of the franchise, is horror right from the soul. There is the soul of serial killer in a doll, and there are not many better souls that a doll can have to create trouble. A person caught in a doll is pretty bad, and this one is a serial killer, not a regular ghost who would just be terrifying – but here the killer chooses to be his sadistic self, and this is where the movie has the potential to be so wonderful, and this is why Chucky is special. The only other movie which used the dolls so well was Dead Silence, and there it was the ventriloquist doll. Remember that it also had a doll coming by mail and nobody knowing where it came from. They might have been more of puppets, but they were dead scary, and no one can deny them that. Dolls might be cute gifts for the kids, but they can be nicely used in the horror genre, and lets hope that the upcoming movie Annabelle uses it well as the spin-off should be as good as The Conjuring itself. The real name of the heroine of that movie is also Annabelle – now that is strange ๐Ÿ˜€

How it finishes :: I have been a big fan of the Child’s Play franchise and its awesome doll. This franchise which has celebrated its silver jubilee and having six movies, all of them being fine, even as I don’t have that much high an opinion about the last two before this. It was going through a rather comic route at times, but here we have it back in the full horror. The movie had all the potential to be another bad horror movie hoping to have success by the name of the franchise itself. But Curse of Chucky brings it back up to the powerful horror side where it belongs. It is a case of happiness for the horror fans to have their favourite doll back in all its horror glory. It is the highest rated movie in the franchise by the critics, and it is well deserved, because it would have been easy to go the wrong way at this age, being just another horror movie which doesn’t scare. I am looking for the android game Chucky: Slash & Dash right now, hoping to get it some day ๐Ÿ˜€

Release date: 8th October 2013
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Don Mancini
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, Brennan Elliott, Maitland McConnell, Chantal Quesnel, Summer H. Howell, Jennifer Tilly, A Martinez, Brad Dourif, Kally Berard, Anne Leveille, Kyle Nobess, Kevin Anderson, Alex Vincent

curseofchucky

@ Cemetery Watch
โœ  The Vampire Bat.