The original Child’s Play released over 30 years ago in 1988. Much like the original which followed in the footsteps of other supernatural horror films of the time, this new take on the story echoes the current trend of technological horror films. Screen Rant sat down with Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman and discussed technology as the enemy, working with a doll that didn’t yet have Mark Hamill’s voice, and technology as a villain.
Congratulations. I love this film, and I love the cautionary tale that this film’s about. I think it’s so relevant, so good. But Aubrey, I heard that in the past you got offered a lot of horror roles before, but Child’s Play is the one that really brought you into the world. Why is that?
Aubrey Plaza: Well, I think because I just thought it was a such a clever reimagining of the character, and it’s such an iconic character that I thought it would be so fun to be a part of that world. Also, just the messaging of the movie that technology is the villain, and that these smart devices can turn on us and kill us all is something that I could really get behind. I’d much prefer to be in a movie like that than a movie where someone is trying to kill me and stab me or torture me.
Right. I thought that was the brilliance of the film. It’s so smart, because even driving home I was thinking, “Well, my GPS can turn on me, and I can end up anywhere.” You know what I mean? But for [Gabriel], the story is really told through your character’s eyes and perspective a lot. So what are the drawbacks of being a kid, and what are the advantages when a killer robot is coming after you?
Gabriel Bateman: Oh, jeez. Well, for one… I can’t really think of that many advantages, but a drawback is that you’re obviously physically smaller than an adult. So you need help, and then no one really believes you because kids are prone to making things up, which is also in the film. An advantage might be that… I don’t know. Well, in this film, Andy is Chucky’s best friend, so Chucky kind of dances around hurting Andy for a while. So maybe that?
Mark was brought on as the voice of Chucky, I believe, later on after you guys were done shooting. Is that correct?
Aubrey Plaza: Yes.
Have you guys seen the film yet, by chance?
Gabriel Bateman: Yes.
What did he bring to the voice that may have not been on the set when you watched it back?
Gabriel Bateman: There was a puppeteer reading the lines with us, but obviously Mark has a lot of experience with voice acting and playing villains. He brings something so different and so friendly, but yet when the climax happens there’s still that friendliness and innocence but with an evilness added to it. So there’s a lot of different layers.
When this evil robot uprising starts in real life, what piece of technology do you think is going to be our ultimate downfall?
Gabriel Bateman: Drones.
Aubrey Plaza: Ooh, drones?
I hadn’t thought of that, actually. But that probably is a good one.
Aubrey Plaza: I mean, I don’t know. I feel like our phones are just gonna destroy us. They’re already listening and watching and recording everything. It’s going to be psychological warfare.
I know, and we’re so attached to them. I feel naked without a phone.
Aubrey Plaza: Yeah, we’re all becoming robots anyway. We’ll just become mindless objects.
Gabriel Bateman: We rely on them way too much.
- Child's Play (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019