With a plot that begins with a dying killer transferring his personality into a childs doll in a voodoo ceremony that takes less than thirty seconds one knows they are not exactly in high credibility stakes but that hardly prepares for the extraordinary silliness that results. A scene with the doll trying to kill Chris Sarandon in his car is the height of unintentional hilarity with cigarette lighters being used as weapons, knives jabbed up through the seat resulting in Sarandon driving with feet on the dashboard, Chucky on the pedals and a laughably overblown scene with an overturned car skidding. In another hysterical scene, psychiatrist Jack Colvin is ECTs to death by the doll. The climax with the charred Chucky still continuing on while gradually being blown away by a revolver has its amusements, but the double-double return-from-the-dead climax with the armless, legless and headless charred lump hanging from Tommy Swerdlows neck is absolutely ridiculous.
Tom Holland regrettably lacks what it takes to turn the affair into the parody as many of the sequels did. He treats the film reasonably seriously, which is what makes everything seem even more ridiculous. The plot throws in incredibly stupid devices, including one that with vapid obviousness demands Chucky have to take over the mind of the first person he revealed himself to. There is a mushy blandness to the characters the whiny voiced Alex Vincent is a cutsie irritation a scene where he makes a hopelessly inept breakfast for Catherine Hicks is so banal and silly it collapses off the screen.
The sequels were: Childs Play 2 (1990), Childs Play 3 (1991), Bride of Chucky (1998), Seed of Chucky (2004), Curse of Chucky (2013) and Cult of Chucky (2017). Child's Play was spoofed in Stan Helsing: A Parody (2009).
Tom Holland has a considerable career as a genre screenwriter and director. He wrote the screenplays for The Initiation of Sarah (tv movie, 1978), The Beast Within (1982), Psycho II (1983), the invisible companion film Cloak and Dagger (1984), Michael Winners revenge film Scream for Help (1984) and the story for the remake of Fright Night (2011). Holland debuted as director with Fright Night (1985) and has since made the psycho-thriller The Stranger Within (tv movie, 1990), the office psycho-thriller The Temp (1993) and the Stephen King adaptations The Langoliers (mini-series, 1995) and Thinner (1996).