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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Come Play - Movie Review


The Movie: Come Play

The Director: Jacob Chase

The Cast: Azhy Robertson, Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr.

The Story: A monster named Larry that manifests itself through smart phones and mobile devices.


The Review:
For the most part, this is a pretty standard and safe horror movie with a story that plays out about like you would expect. This is the first full length feature for director Jacob Chase and the movie is based on his short film called Larry. We now live in a world of kid friendly and kid based horror movies thanks to shows like Stranger Things and movies like It which is fine, there is definitely an audience for this type of content. You will find a few scares although little to no blood, gore, or hardcore violence.

The creature in this movie doesn't necessarily have the most menacing name, but Larry as it's called, provides some pretty effective scares and the design could easily have come out of Guillermo del Toro's menagerie of dark and twisted tales. Some of the more interesting aspects about Larry show up as layers of the story are revealed so I'll steer away from spoiler territory. I'll just say that I really like the design and where the creature ultimately comes from although the end of the story was kind of strange and never got as intense or as scary as I was hoping for.

While watching the movie, there were two other films that came to mind, the first being E.T. and the second being The Babadook. I know E.T. is a bit of a stretch but the beginning of each movie is kind of similar in how the family is trying to figure what the creature is. You'll understand when you watch it. Now, the stronger comparison is definitely The Babadook although I would consider Come Play to be a much more tame version of that classic and truly frightening horror film. I know that's a tough comparison and there are definitely moments where this movie is very effective although the story never holds a consistent level of intensity like The Babadook does.

I also felt like there were some missed opportunities in the story, first and foremost being a lack of exploration into the lead character being a mute, autistic boy. There are a lot of ways that Chase could have explored this dynamic while making the story stronger yet he just sort of skims the surface of what's there. This could have also led to a much stronger and effective ending over what became an obvious choice that was set up from the beginning and lacked the kind of big payoff I was hoping for.


The Verdict:
Come Play is an entertaining and spooky creature feature, it's just lacking a few of the finer details that could have helped to make it a much scarier and more affecting experience. Still though, it's fun and I wouldn't tell you not to watch it.


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