Come Play; Grade: D
Come Play tells a story about a young child named Oliver (Azhy Robertson) whom has autism, as he handles majority of his communication through a smart phone. Oliver has been experiencing some strange occurrences, as his phone pops up a random story about Misunderstood Monsters. As Oliver keeps on reading the story, lights in the house go off. Olivers phone went missing, after an encounter with bullies as they toss his phone in a large field. Oliver thankfully was handed a IPad, but odd enough... BOOM Misunderstood Monsters story is back. The monster featured in the story was named Larry, a Tall Skinny fellow, as he just wants to be Olivers friend. But by being Larry’s friend... You must cut off all ties with everyone, as Larry stops at nothing until he gets a hold of Oliver.
When I saw this trailer, I thought “Oh it’s the horror version of Jexi!” I really didn’t have high hopes for this film, as I thought the concept itself looked pretty ridiculous, most of these films trying to bring out a supernatural horror element out of modern day technology typically fall flat on their ass. I wouldn’t say I hated Come Play, I just thought it wasn’t good.
For positives I would say both leads Azhy Robertson and Gillian Jacobs both played solid performances, as well as having solid chemistry making it a believable mother and son duo. I think Azhy’s portrayal of autism isn’t at all bad, does it go over the top at times?! For sure, my encounters with those dealing with autism don’t ever act the way this kid acts like in certain situations. But as far as remaining totally silent, having a trouble time speaking... Those were handled just fine.
But just about everything else with Come Play I just have way too many issues. There is a clear pattern in which this film has a repetitive problem including product placement or scenes keep repeating themselves over and over again. If you’re familiar with the show SpongeBob.... Get used to it because 40% of this movie features Oliver, his friends, and his parents watching SPONGEBOB! Sometimes the best moments of this film has to do with the episodes Oliver is watching, as you forget your watching the movie you’re currently watching... It’s that distracting. Same goes with some scenes repeating themselves over and over again, starting with Misunderstood Monsters popping up, as we reread the same damn story OVER and OVER again. The way this film sets it’s scares up can be repetitive as well, as you know the set up and the pay off because they repeat the same scare tactics a thousand times... Which is why the horror factor is barely present, because you already know what’s bound to come.
I do want to say that Come Play feels way too reminiscent to Dark Water, I won’t spoil anything but the problems this family goes through, as where it results in the end feels very familiar to Dark Water. The creature design for Larry was pretty laughable, I really couldn’t take it seriously at all. There’s quite confusion regarding how this entity keeps following Oliver, whatever phone or tablet is near his disposal. I think that’s good enough regarding majority of my problems, it’s been 12 days since I watched this so my mind can’t fully remember everything about this film, as it’s another problem to state it’s also forgettable as well.
Overall, Come Play is a bad film. I don’t recommend this film, watch Ingrid Goes West instead, much much better and even more scarier in a way. It was cool to see a Gillian Jacobs film up in Dolby Cinema... Just wish it was a film much better in quality, but good for Jacobs. -Mitch Smietana