Child’s Play is one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2019, largely due to the name it carries.
Despite being pint-sized, Chucky is one of the most enduring horror icons of all time. The idea of killer dolls has been a horror mainstay since the days of the Twilight Zone. However, some people believe the magic of Chucky lies in the story behind him.
The foul-mouthed fictional serial killer known as Charles Lee Ray with his voodoo powers and a goal to transfer his soul into a human body was spooky in its own right. It gave the killer doll tale that extra something. Even as the series teetered on comedy throughout its seven movies, fans kept coming back.
When it was announced that the 2019 reimagining would take things in a different direction, many people were skeptical – warning, spoilers ahead.
The thought of Chucky being rogue AI seemed a little underwhelming when compared to his original incarnation. There were also worries it would lead to irrational fears of one of the most promising technologies of today.
Yet, you don’t have to be a Luddite to be spooked by one of the more troubling trends in tech. No, it’s not just smart technology. It’s smart technology within your own home. Producer Seth Grahame-Smith weighed in on the opportunity to give Chucky a modern spook-factor that hits close to where we live.
“It seems like we’re always reading about Alexa spying on people, or smart homes being hacked,”
“It feels inevitable that in the next five years some big tech company, whether it’s Apple or Google, Amazon, Boston Dynamics — is going to create a smart, connected child companion toy.”
With the constant worries of surveillance, big tech morphing with big brother, and technology refusing to take orders from its creator, this spin on the classic horror franchise has potential. Admittedly, losing Brad Dourif on voice duties takes it further away from the Chucky audiences know, but that could be part of the idea.
Fortunately for fans who like familiarity, Chucky looks almost the same as his old version. There’s also the classic story of a lonely child seeking out the doll as a companion. This plays into one of the classic fears about technology – what if people become too dependent on it?
Everyone has seen the signs – think of those photos that show hordes of people marching with their eyes locked on a smartphone screen. Even better, consider the common fear that kids are spending too much time on the internet and not enough outside.
Chucky’s desire to be Andy’s best pal could also highlight how the technological singularity is something none of us can escape. It’s not as much of an anti-tech stance, as it is a statement about how even the best innovations have their dark sides.
Regardless of how the movie does at the box office, we’re betting Alexa sales will take a hit afterward.