Child’s Play – Collector’s Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory got their hands on the original Child’s Play six years ago and put out a boffo Collector’s Edition of the film, finally giving it some justice in the extras department, to go with a new transfer. Now, they get to introduce Chucky to the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format. Rather than just coast on what they had, they’ve put in overtime! No only is there a new transfer, but they’ve remixed for Dolby Atmos and added five brand new interviews including major players like Don Mancini, Alex Vincent, Chris Sarandon and David Kirschner! Now a 3-Disc set, it will be available, along with Child’s Play 2 and Child’s Play 3 on 4K Ultra-HD on August 16th. Get yourself a pre-order in using the Shout Factory site of the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.



Originally posted 10/4/2016

A mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday.  After a strange series of violent murders happening around the boy,  the “Good Guy Doll” is discovered to be possessed by the soul of a cultist serial killer that detective Mike Norris had thought was dead long ago.

The weird thing about Child’s Play is that the film holds up quite well.  I’m not saying this is going to thrill the socks off of some millennials or anything, but those who choose to revisit the film may find it much better than they are anticipating.  Tom Holland, who was one of the more smarter horror writer/directors of the 1980s, crafts a film that takes its material serious, but also allows for some laughs and self awareness.  These factors, along with some others allow it to age better.  Its a competent production that doesn’t feel super rushed, pressed or compromised in its final form.

Helping keep the film intact are some strong performances by the film’s leads, who craft some fuller characters that give you people to root for and understand some of their complex conflicts.  Catherine Hicks, who was coming off a big movie in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, takes on the mother role and real true lead of the film.  She’s just great with how she really grasps this single mom role with such reality, conviction and fun.  She’s matched by Chris Sarandon (Reteaming with Holland after Fright Night), giving us a cop that we can root for and totally understand where he’s going without finding him to be sinister or a jerk.

One of the script’s strongest suits is how they handle how the human characters react to one another about Chucky.  The thought of reporting something like this, or proving it to the police is completely absurd and one that could lead to question one’s sanity.  Heck, its a little extreme, but during the investigation of some murders, little Andy Barclay is sent to some maximum security mental institution for some check ups.  One of the best moments is when Sarandon asks his newly converted to Chucky belief partner “Now do you believe me?” to which he replies “Yeah, but who’s going to believe me?”

Its quite easy to see they had an instant classic movie monster with Chucky.  Having an amazing effects crew on this only solidified it.  Chucky moves quite well, and eerily.  His facial movements look natural and his body for the most part creeps.  There are times where it is obvious when the small performer is playing the role, but those are for far out shots and the like.  If you check the home videos on the bonus features, you’ll be quite impressed with the animatronic work done on the film.   Oh, yeah, having the villain voiced by Brad Dourif helps too.  Dourif gets a little human cameo in the beginning, but boy does he have something special with Chucky in this first film.  Its dark, funny and quite a terror.

Child’s Play works as a good standalone late 80s-horror-slasher romp.  This is the kind of killer that came in the wake of Freddy Krueger.  Chucky was pretty iconic and he managed to stick around for 5 more sequels.  An impressive feat for him that differentiates him from his contemporaries is that he has not been rebooted yet (And its not like he’s laid dormant, dude had a sequel as recently as 2013).  That’s saying something as the Dourif connection must be pretty strong.  If you’re into Chucky, most of his entries are worthwhile (3 is a little boring, but hell if I ever have to sit through Seed again) and this first one, while not my favorite of the bunch, is still one of the best in the series.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail:  Scream Factory’s 4K release of Child’s Play comes with an all new transfer culled from a 2022 4K scan of the original camera negative – presented in Dolby Vision. And it looks even more gorgeous than their previous edition. This one handles the blacks and saturates them a lot more, creating a bolder look with more information present. There’s a healthy layer of grain intact, improving the depth and detail from there was before.

Depth:  This new edition provides a bit more pushback, spacing and three dimensional appeal to the image on the new transfer. Characters move smoothly and filmic with no issues arising from rapid action sequences.

Black Levels: Here’s the all star of this new transfer. Blacks are natural and well saturation, providing great shadow, and revealing more texture and patterns in the frame. Contrast really helps bolden the image and make colors more stand out. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are well saturated and have strengthened from the previous version. Neon lights and display screens now benefit from an HDR glow. Primary colors really have a good pop to them. More natural colors carry a lot more variation and have a strong, bolder appearance.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from opening credits to ending credits. Facial features and texture is quite apparent from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Chucky gets to slap with some Atmos this time around on his 4K debut. The mix opens up the room much more, keeps it loose and airy. Some nice rolling motion has good power across the room. The mix is well balanced with good practice on the layering an depth throughout.

Height: There’s some fun from up from above but mostly this sticks to accuracy being key, whereas something like debris coming from above or jumping over the frame.

Low Frequency Extension: There’s a nice punch from the subwoofer in many of the scuffle scenes, glass shattering, gunshots, lightning striking, explosions and big musical stings.

Surround Sound Presentation: There’s plenty of good stuff working around the room. There’s fun to happen with quick and off screen scurrying around rooms. Plenty of build for the louder scenes using the rear/side channels in concert.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Child’s Play – 4K UHD Collector’s Edition is a 3-disc set that has a cover with reversible art featuring the original theatrical poster design. Blu-ray Disc 2 is where you’ll find the new special features for this release.

Disc 1 – 4K UHD

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Tom Holland 
  • With Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and “Chucky” designer Kevin Yagher
  • With Producer David Kirschner and Screenwriter Don Mancini
  • With Chucky (Select Scenes)

Disc 2 – Blu-ray (Feature Film)

Birth Of The Good Guy (HD, 12:07) – An interview with writer Don Mancini. This is a great, very open interview where Mancini talks the inspiration, compares things to his original script, where his themes relate and giving credit where its due on aspects of the film that people love or have loved over the years.

Friends Till The End (HD, 15:12) – An interview with actor Alex Vincent. He’s very insightful on his experience on the film detailing what it was like for him to get into being in commercials and film. One of the most noteworthy things is him discussing Catherine Hicks and how had been upset early on in shooting because he had more lines than her and how he found a way to form a bond with her.

Believe Me Now? (HD, 10:41) – An interview with actor Chris Sarandon. He mentions that Tom Holland asked him to be on the film because he was a person that could alleviate his pressure for him because this would be a bit more studio involved film than Fright Night. Sarandon shadowed cops and was given weapons training for the part.

Chucky The Great And Terrible (HD, 26:01) – An interview with producer David Kirschner.  There’s an open about his career in music before diving into the Child’s Play film. Its a very interesting perspective here from the producer’s perspective which talks about studio bidding, scouting and all sorts of interesting tid bits not found in other more talent based VAM that’s been out over the years.  Funny enough, he is asked about Tom Holland’s temper mentioned in earlier interviews to which Kirschner can’t recall, “I’ve only seen this gentle, sensitive, kind soul.”

Windy City Chills (HD, 5:33) – An interview with production manager Robert Lathan Brown. He talks about being a replacement on the film in the middle of shooting. “There were some testy moments” he refers to about Tom Holland, whom he got along fine with. Brown is pretty precise with his perspective and has some nice tid bits about the score of the film.

Disc 3 – Blu-ray (Special Features)

Making Chucky 

  • Behind-The Scenes Special Effects Footage (HD, 1:00:08) 
  • Howard Berger: Your Special Effects Friend ‘Til The End (HD, 40:53)
  • Life Behind The Mask: Being Chucky (HD, 40:02) 


  • Evil Comes In Small Packages (SD, 24:49) 
  • Chucky: Building a Nightmare (SD, 10:05) 
  • A Monster Convention (SD, 5:26) 
  • Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child’s Play (SD, 6:15)
  • Vintage Featurettes (SD, 4:54)

More Child’s Play 

  • TV Spot (SD, :17) 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:02) 
  • Behind-The-Scenes Photo Gallery (HD, 3:09) 
  • Posters & Lobby Cards Photo Gallery (HD, 1:45) 


Scream Factory has out definitive edition’d the definitive edition of Child’s Play they put out on Blu-ray back in 2016. This new set has a great restoration of the film to go with a sweet Atmos track. The old extras are still here and then they’ve gone and tossed in 5 brand new and rather outstanding interviews on the bonus features front. This is an incredibly easy to do and must do upgrade for the film that started one of the most consistent slasher franchises of all time.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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