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SYFY WIRE Child's Play

Child’s Play reboot has ‘Spielbergian’ throwback vibe, says Aubrey Plaza

By Benjamin Bullard
Childs Play remake via official YouTube 2019

The Child’s Play movie in development along separate creative lines from the Don Mancini-led original series may not have direct ties to its ancestry, but one of its stars says it’ll still feel familiar — especially if you’re a fan of that 1980s-era Steven Spielberg brand of creepiness.

“Buckle up,” promised Aubrey Plaza — who plays worried mom Karen Barclay in director Lars Klevberg’s remake — in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I love it so much. To me, the original is an iconic movie. I haven't seen our film, just the trailer, but it's a real throwback horror movie. It's almost got a Spielbergian vibe to it.”

It may be more than coincidence if the new Child’s Play ends up exuding a healthy Amblin-esque tone. David Kirschner, who co-created the franchise with Mancini, said last year that Spielberg himself was instrumental in helping the first sequel find a studio home at Universal, and therefore played a significant role in helping Chucky go on to become one of horror’s household names from the 1980s onward.

Plaza told THR that the new film is aiming for more of a slow-burn, psychological thriller feel than the out-and-out campiness that the original series has become known for.

“It doesn't feel like a hokey, shticky, campy movie,” she said. “If you remember the original Child's Play, it was a drama! It wasn't that funny. As the franchise went on, it became something else. The remake really captures the original.”

As Karen, Plaza said she won’t be encountering Chucky (who’s been rechristened “Buddi” in the reboot, instead of keeping the “Good Guy” moniker from earlier films) until near the movie’s end. Rather, she spends the film growing more and more worried about what the doll she’s bought for her son is up to — until, she teases, she and Chucky finally do meet face to face.

“I have less interaction with Chucky than the actor [Gabriel Bateman] who plays my son does," she said. “I can't reveal too much. We're not supposed to talk about Chucky. It builds for Karen in a way that I'm interacting with Chucky by the end, but I'm mostly dealing with my son — who I almost believe is behind the mayhem.”

The mayhem’s coming soon, too: The all-new Child’s Play (not to be confused with the Mancini-led Chucky TV project coming to SYFY) slashes into theaters on June 21.