Ready or Not puts a unique spin on the “People Hunting People” genre
Child’s Play is a movie franchise about a 29 inch tall toy doll named Chucky who kills people. Pretty straight forward premise. There have been seven Child’s Play movies proceeding this reboot. Unlike many of the slasher horror movies, Chucky desperately needed to press the reset button. It was a reboot that was needed, not a re-imagining. Especially not when the re-imagining changes what makes Chucky a unique and interesting character.
Child’s Play brought in Mark Hamill to voice the new iteration of Chucky. They changed the design of the doll which makes you wonder why anyone would buy this creepy thing in the first place. They “aged-up” Andy in the remake to 13 from 6 years old. All of these changes would have been acceptable had they kept what made Chucky the Chucky we know and love. Instead, these changes were made to fit a new narrative in an attempt to be more relevant in today’s society. It became another generic warning of where society and technology is going.
Child’s Play relies on a few gruesome murder scenes to carry the heavy lifting of this film. A bit of humor and pop-culture references are sprinkled throughout, but not enough to distract me from the absence of the core of the original. The Child’s Play for a new generation will be forgotten soon and I hope the next attempt will get back to the basics.
Happy Death Day 2U picks up right where Happy Death Day leaves off… Finally Day 2! If you have not seen the first Happy Death Day, it is a slasher movie that is caught in a time-loop (think Groundhog Day but with a murderer). A baby-masked killer murders college student Tree Gelbman, and she continually wakes up at the beginning of the day she died. Over and over she is killed and starts the same day again until she can unmask the killer and survive the day. Fantastic concept for a horror movie; poor execution. The sequel had the chance to take this concept into so many different directions and learn from the mistakes of it’s predecessor. Unfortunately, Happy Death Day 2U makes all new mistakes and seemingly kills the franchise going forward.
Happy Death Day franchise completely dropped the ball here. They were the first-to-market in the “Horror-Time-Loop” space and they switch genres into a goofy, run-of-the-mill, sci-fi cluster. It focuses more on why there is a time-loop than enjoying being in a time-loop. The audience doesn’t care why there is a time-loop, we just accept that they are in one. Sequels often fall into this trap of over explaining things that we don’t need to know. In the movie series Final Destination, Death is hunting a group of teenagers because they escaped a tragedy. We don’t know or care why they escaped the first time or how Death is chasing them, it just is. And it is fun. Happy Death Day 2U could have had a different person in a time-loop or have Tree stuck in a different time-loop. No explanation needed. As soon as you try to bring in the physics involved in how this could be possible, you lose the focus and interest of why we came. We came for a fun new twist on a horror/slasher genre. We left disappointed.
I am excited for the reboot of this franchise when they get to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.