Child’s Play/Jeepers Creepers/Hellraiser (2019-2022) Reboot Reviews
It’s Hallowe’en 2022 so let’s torture myself by watching some films from the movie industry’s current obsession, which is reboots.
I don’t mind reboots; some of my favourite films were reboots but they were made 40 years ago. Filmmakers these days lack the talent and passion to do the same now, plus, they are making films for the younger generations that have grown up with shite and therefore like this shite that passes for movies today.
Child’s Play (2019)
Normally I’d put a quote here but chucky didn’t say anything memorable.
What a load of shite. Talk about not understanding, nor caring, about the source material.
I’m not saying remakes have to stick too closely to the established lore, but it must understand it.
Instead of the doll being possessed thanks to voodoo, we have a disgruntled employee in Vietnam who turns of the safety features for the doll on what looks like a z80 chip from the 70s. Not a modern, custom, powerful chip that handle all of the complex algorithms and processes but a generic looking one from the 70s that I would find in my Amstrad 6128.
So is this toy made by a cheap, Asian company or a knock-off? No. This is made by a company that also makes self-driving cars, TV’s, Internet routers, Mobile phones that all are perfectly interconnected. It also seems to have limitless storage and never need charging. It has a Tony Stark-like chest reactor. In a child’s toy.
Anyway, that is why this cheap doll is evil. This means every doll is so poorly programmed that it needs safety features otherwise it will kill. It can climb, listen and replicate human commands, control RC cars and intricately plan how to murder someone which can involve following them from one side of town to the other, has the strength to kick a ladder with a man on it, know how to switch on a lawnmower, leave it to run by itself knowing it will only head in the direction of the victim and then find its way back home.
Having a sadistic killer possess the doll makes more sense.
The doll is fucking ugly. An abomination to look at. So hideous I chose a poster for this review that doesn’t have his ugly mug on it. It doesn’t have to be, the look of the doll for the current TV series, Chucky, is done properly. Maybe the makers of this couldn’t get the rights to the likeness but that is no excuse for this.
The should’ve designed a better looking doll.
Being a programmed doll, it means Mark Hamill doesn’t have much to say but that could also be because of how poor the script is.
‘A white guy murdered in the middle of a watermelon patch. Poetic.’ I’ve searched online to have that explained but all I found was other people just as confused as I am.
The next issue is also the biggest issue with horror, the man issue.
Every single male in this is either cartoony evil, a pervert or weak but all are idiots who are only there to act stupid, be insulted, threatened, slapped around, mocked and shown up by the females.
At one point the obligatory token female friend for the boys expertly kills one of the dolls, rescues Andy (this character is back but like everyone he isn’t worth remembering) and walks of after her Jane Rambo moment with all of the boys stood there, open-mouthed, commenting on how amazing she is.
Pass me the sick bucket. If I have to watch that shite in one more film I’m going to go on a killing spree.
So when Andy has his big moment to finally do something at the end (at any point of the film they could’ve got rid of the doll easily but don’t; stupid people doing stupid things) and the film builds it up, a camera closing in on him and the music becoming more epic, what does he do?
With his first steps he stumbles, trips, is tricked by the doll and knocked out in about 30 seconds.
This is supposed to be the final confrontation. Just like with the Evil Dead remake you think we are going to have that rarest of things within horror, a final guy, but nope. This is the modern age and instead it is yet another final girl.
Why are modern horror films so fucking terrible? Don’t these filmmakers ever learn? In 5 years time it will be the original Child’s Play we are all talking about and this will be forgotten. I have a feeling this will be true for the next two films below.
Again, no quote here because I can’t remember anything interesting that was said.
At least this is a step up from Child’s Play. Starting of very promisingly with horror legend Dee Wallace and Alien Nation star Gary Graham recreating the opening of the original film, somewhat. It has been a few years since I have seen that, but I am confident that is what is loosely happening here.
This is brilliant and if only it could be about these two for the rest of the movie, but we need to have teenagers. This is the modern day and horror is very predictable. Ticking the correct boxes to not offend the perennially offended and be as generic as possible.
Let’s introduce our ‘heroes’. Lain or something and her boyfriend. Another relationship you don’t believe. He’s too much of cuck and she can barely tolerate him, when she remembers he exist. The only way she can talk to him is to insult him and pull a strop, which she does most of the time.
Why write this?
Why write relationships like this? If you want people to engage in your film then you need engaging characters.
This predictably wimpy boyfriend and miserable girlfriend isn’t that.
When she receives a phone call from her gay best friend her demeaner and attitude completely changes, she even smiles and becomes animated; it made me think she was having an affair with him. Later on though, in the house there are times when it is like she has forgotten she’s in a fight for her life, is injured and the situation she is in and is reading her lines like she is in front of a mirror, practicing.
For instance, when she tells her boyfriend she is pregnant, the tone is more like, get over it, and then follows up by saying she’ll marry him; I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had followed that up with ‘I’ll have my people contact your people to arrange this’.
The only people in this I liked were the redneck and producer. The redneck is introduced as creepy (I said this was generic) but the film at least tries to explain that and the producer is the typical arrogant sort, yet when they are arguing, and the redneck pulls a gun on the producer to which he refuses to be intimidated is when I started to like them. Not sure why.
The Creeper is fine in this. Not too much has changed with him, but you do probably see a bit more of him than in the other films.
Reborn does look cheap in places, at one point they are walking through a cgi forest. This was filmed in England and in America in Louisianna. I don’t know about Louisianna but in England we have plenty of creepy woods to film in. There’s so much bad greenscreen for the outside shots that seem like they could’ve been done better using Blender.
However, the rundown house that is the final setting is very nice and from here the movie does improve as they try to survive the Creeper.
The final confrontation though is stupid. The plan and everything about it. Earlier in the film final girl tries throwing one of the Creeper’s throwing stars at an amusement park, which is the first time she has ever tried anything like that and can you guess? Is a master at it. Later on, as part of their moronic plan she throws two of them at the Creeper’s eyes with both hitting their intended targets.
Shaolin monks that have trained their whole lives couldn’t make those shots. The next part is for the boyfriend and redneck to remove the spire at the top of the house (lucky for them it could be removed because they never checked beforehand) and throw it of the roof and into the Creepers mouth who is 4 floors below them.
This sort of shite is why I just can’t watch modern horror. It is lazy and lacks the charm of 80s horror to pull off improbable rubbish like this, plus shaky cam does not add drama and tension to a scene.
More tolerable than Child’s Play is the best I can say for this and I still have the Hellraiser reboot to watch.
“Save your breath…
You’ll notice I put a quote from the film this time because I liked it.
But it is a reboot of an 80s series so I have to hate it.
This is very nicely filmed. It looks like a proper Hellraiser film in places, especially the end when you see Leviathan and the Labyrinth that look like they could be from the original film. The way the walls or floors break apart and retract to uncover entrances to the Labyrinth look amazing. They don’t rush these scenes, don’t focus on them too much either, giving a nice contrast between the Cenobites arrival and their victims rising terror at what is happening.
There are some very creative ways this is used that really impressed me.
I also really liked the new Hell Priest (Pinhead); people immediately praised it for being closer to the Novela, but the voice isn’t. Deeper and suitably menacing, the new Pinhead isn’t overused, barely speaks and is all the better for it. Her dialogue isn’t on the level for what Doug Bradley was given to say but what little she has is effective. She doesn’t outstay her welcome (not that you’d want to meet her), doesn’t speak too much and is so calm and in control that I’m sure any sequel will ruin that in order to be bigger, badder and better.
The music borrows from the original which is pleasing to hear when it starts up and that too, isn’t overused. For a 2 hour film it does show a lot of restraint and knows how to use things sparingly but effectively.
I’m not sure about the look of the Cenobites. The style makes sense, it is flesh torn and folded and pinned to the rest of the body but the original does it better with the S&M Leather bondage and piercings. The look grows on you, it is just different with one of the Cenobites standing out to me more than the others for being a bit odd.
This goes into something else the film does exceedingly well, the make-up, practical and special effects. As I’ve said Leviathan and the Labyrinth look like they are from the 80s, good stuff, and the film shows massive restraint with the use of CGI so you don’t have Marvel level of particle effects and flashing lights disorientating you when combined with the camera that seems as if it being thrown about like it is on a rollercoaster. Just smoke, Lightning and Leviathan descending from the skies.
There are no flashy effects around the Lament Configuration as well. Blood nicely being absorbed into it and when need a nice self-transforming effect. The only noticeable CGI was when the walls and floors move once the box has been used but these for the most part look like actual sets being pushed and pulled by the crew in part thanks to the excellent use of lights.
As for the make-up effects, these are excellent, when the flesh is being torn from someone’s mouth into strips it just looks fantastic, I know there is a combination of CGI and practical going on but I couldn’t see how. It looked so real and the blood is almost always the syrup type and if it isn’t then it is very convincing digital blood.
As for the cast, to be honest they are all great in their roles, playing their parts well and really going for it. I was worried the final girl would be another Mia from the Evil Dead Remake.
Another selfish character who’s actions that causes the deaths of those around her are forgiven because she’s an addict and has gone on the biggest journey, has changed the most by the end.
The stupid excuses I had to listen to when that movie came out, but thankfully, that isn’t the case here even if I wanted her… resolution, to be a bit more visceral. She isn’t likable and yet has everyone dying to help her (another pun intended) but she doesn’t come out unscathed. Well, the only other one to come out of this alive needs urgent medical help and will be scarred for life whereas she only receives a scratch. A scratch that needs stitches.
That’s because the rules for the box are different here (and she has that final girl plot armour) which do work and are consistent, followed fairly (so to speak) by Pinhead (who’s indifference to whom she takes including that of the final girl really helps shape this new Pinhead as a great antagonist), so I’ll assume I missed something during the final confrontation when the rules are, relaxed shall we say.
Atmospheric, good tense scenes, great villains (is Pinhead a villain here or just following the rules of a game indifferently?) great effects and overall great film that is let down slightly by a genuinely annoying final girl but not enough for me to not watch this again. Worth a watch, not a classic like the original two are but worth a watch.
So, can I recommend this?
No, because it is a reboot, and all current reboots are bad. That’s the rule and just like new Pinhead, I follow this rule completely fairly and most importantly, impartially.