A relentlessly routine remake of a 1976 thriller called Who Can Kill a Child?, self-appointed mystery-man Makinov's Come Out and Play exists for no other reason than most children do, and the basic fact remains: just because people can reproduce, doesn’t mean they should.
In watching Come Out and Play, I felt no sense of artistic exhilaration, no sparkle to the storyline, nor any personal flourishes from the actors. It seems everyone came out to work, not play. As a result, we have a paint-by-numbers remake which, while not awful, brings nothing new to the chopping block.
Expectant and happily-wedded American tourists Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) leave Mexico's mainland to visit a derelict yet idyllic island tourist trap that's just a short boat ride away – but it’s going to be a very long journey home for the couple. Soon after arriving on the island, they discover all the children have been possessed by a mysterious, murderous rage that caused them to do away with all the adults and no one stopped them because, after all, who can kill a child?
Forced to fight for their lives, and the life of their unborn baby, Beth and Francis go head-to-head with the bevy of brats, culminating in a bloody, brutal battle. Unfortunately, the beats that lead up to the inevitable end are played out to the point of fraying. (And speaking of which, the exceedingly aggressive score will surely fray the nerves of anyone whose hearing hasn’t already been excised by screaming babies.) The couple willingly part ways to chase ghosts more than once, they neglect to warn other potential victims, and worse still, they forgot their cell phones.
In real life, director Makinov overcompensates for his innate mediocrity by interacting with everyone, including his key crew and cast, in a red cloth hood. He wants to be all guerilla and edgy, but the affectation comes off as just that – more personality and panache should henceforth be put into his movies instead of his manifestos.
Having said all that, the movie is not dreadful. There are a few moments with the cast of kiddies that can pass as chilling, and the two leads do their level best given the stupidity of their characters. To its credit, the film is played straight without any awkward gallows humor or quippy asides. Cinematography is fair and square, and while it’s the expected one, we do get the downbeat ending we want.
- Come Out and Play Horror Movie Review