Come Out And Play (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Come Out And Play
Despite its familiar genre trappings, this nastily efficient horror film delivers genuine chills.
The film maintains a deliberately unhurried pace that builds tension naturally and with minimum interference from the soundtrack.
For horror fans, there are ... enough gruesome images, icky concepts and "don't-go-there" moments to carry the day.
Even by the low standards of scary-movie plausibility, mononymous first-timer Makinov exhibits brazenly little interest in psychologically grounding his story.
Makinov tries repeatedly to mine suspense from slowly creeping up on his actors with the camera. If I'd directed this bunk, I'd hide my face too.
Audience Reviews for Come Out And Play
If you've known me for a while then you'll know that one of my least favorite genres of, not to mention my absolutely LEAST favorite horror sub-genre, is the 'evil child' concept. It's a problem with an easy solution and seeing adults bumbling around trying to find a way around the obvious is tedious and asinine. Perhaps the problem is that most of these movies have the kids TRYING to look evil by making mean faces, and that's just about the most retarded thing I've ever seen. There's no way you can make a child look evil by having him look mean. There's just no way. This is where this movie ultimately differs from those that do this story so ineffectively. Outside of a few exceptions, the kids in this movie STILL behave like normal kids. They play, they laugh, the run. Except the fact that they're murderous maniacs. At first glance these kids seem like normal, playful kids. There's this sequence near the end where you see the kids laughing and playing with the body parts of those they have murdered and it is so simple, but so effective. There's nothing more innocuous than children's laughter, but when set to the images of these kids laughing and playing with heads, ears, fingers, etc. it makes it infinitely more creepy than it would've been, say, if the kids had been scowling and looking mean. I think that's what the film does best above the typical 'evil kid' movie, they let the kids act and behave as if they would normally. Really I just thought the film was solid all around. It is a little slow at first and it relies mostly on its atmosphere and its score to build up tension. And the movie does build up the tension really well. The score only enhances the atmosphere, it never takes away from it as is usual in so many horror flicks. But the movie definitely delivers the good stuff. It's got SOME gore but it's used sparingly and the way it's used, it's incredibly effective (ie: the scene I already mentioned with the kids playing and laughing with the body parts). The film is nicely shot, with some damn good cinematography. The acting is more than solid with the highlight being this one scene where one of the adults explains how the kids became murderous. This guy is, literally, just telling his tale...there are no flashbacks, no scenes to illustrate what he's saying. He's just delivering his lines and the way he delivers his monologue is incredibly well-done, because it does achieve a certain creepiness. This is just a well-made film, through and through. Sure, they don't explain what turned these kids into these maniacs, but I think that adds a little mystery to the events. I did think that 15 or so minutes of the film weren't so great. But I think this is a solid horror film, one that requires a little patience but one that rewards you with an effectively chilling story.
Francis (Moss-Bachrach) and his pregnant wife Beth (Shaw) are taking the opportunity to holiday in Mexico before the birth of their child. Hearing of a tranquil island, Francis hires a boat and the couple leave the mainland. When they arrive they find children playing at the dock but no sign of any adults anywhere on the island. At first they assume everyone has left for a carnival but when Francis witnesses the brutal murder of an elderly man at the hands of a group of children, it becomes apparent something sinister is occurring on the island. Though it's mentioned nowhere in the marketing, 'Come Out & Play' is a remake of Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's 1976 Spanish horror movie 'Who Can Kill a Child?'. (The line is even uttered by a character in this version). Stephen King's short story, 'Children of the Corn', later adapted into a long running movie franchise, also borrows heavily from Serrador's film. In Makinov's remake, the English couple holidaying in Spain are replaced by an American couple in Mexico, but it's essentially the same movie, or rather an inferior copy. Serrador attempted a commentary on the effects of war on the young, but, despite dedicating his film to "the martyrs of Stalingrad", Makinov has little interest in anything other than cheap shock tactics. The film is devoid of suspense or tension, with much of the running time spent following characters wander around the island with no concessions made toward mood or atmosphere. Attempting to make children seem terrifying is a tough ask for any film-maker but Makinov completely fails to convince us that his young antagonists pose any tangible threat. A few years ago, the British film 'The Children' tread similar ground but added dramatic weight by having its killer kids the children of the film's protagonists. There's no such quandary for the lead couple of 'Come Out & Play'. As we have no investment in these children, they may as well be zombies or any other type of movie monster. What could have been an interesting look at what happens when survival wrestles with morality is instead just another by the numbers horror remake.
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