Film Review: Come Out and Play (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a young married couple, are on holiday together when they venture to a beautiful, but highly remote, island. Beth is pregnant and the two are hoping to enjoy their last vacation before their baby is born. When they arrive, they notice that while there are plenty of children present, the adults all seem to be missing. Initially attributing this to the after effects of a recent festival, they quickly realize something far more sinister is afoot. The two will face terror and unsettling difficult decisions in their quest to make it off the island alive

REVIEW:

This tense thriller is set within Mexico as a young married couple Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) take to a remote island to enjoy their last holiday before the birth of their baby. Francis, who proves to be resourceful offers to rent a boat from one of the locals so that they can head on over on their own and enjoy the resort village.

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Though upon arrival it’s soon very apparent that something is not right in this almost deserted town. While children are initially seen playing about, the couple struggles to figure out where all the adults took off to. Perhaps a recent festival caused the entire town to rest and relax, however with no one around to inform them, they begin to sense that the children of this area are not what they seem.

We’ve had our share of child-related horror films in the past. “Come Out and Play” follows some of that design while using the stark emptiness of an abandoned town to build on the tension. In fact, you half expect a “Lord of the Flies” story to jump in at any second.

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“Come Out and Play” was filmed on the island of Quintana Roo, Mexico aNd is subtitled in Spanish mixed with English.

This new 2012 thriller was noted as being a remake of the 1976 “Who Can Kill a Child? horror film. That title itself is a huge factor in this film which is stated as, adults who will subject themselves to being murdered before taking the lives of the young. It’s a conflict of perspective that is skewed by the playful but deadly acts of violence that these children embark on, always accompanied by their own playfulness and naive reactions. Francis and Beth do try and make a run for it even when they know that the island that they are stuck on is pretty much a war zone for adults who are approached by the young.

“Come Out and Play” does tend to paint in some stark taboos which come on the form of murdering children once it is clear that they aren’t going to snap out of their bizarre trance. What is clever in this film is that we never really need a play by play explanation to carry the film but rather except that their is a “Children of the Corn” epidemic that makes no excuses for its violent behavior. The film mostly suffers from this simple aspect that some may claim is its strength. I thought overall the film is a success for what it achieves, but you can’t help feelign that perhaps the story just needs mroe meat to fully satisfy

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The children themselves contrast the reality of playfulness even when batting about severed heads and wearing body parts as necklaces. It’s a strange tale of terror that sticks to its impact moment right up to the very end. Francis who seems helplessly stuck on this island begins to come to terms with what is happening and takes measures into his own hands. Still this roll out is quite striking and is where director Makinov’s brilliance shines. The separation of antagonist and protagonist in “Come Out and Play” feels clouded even when we know what is going on. The film borders on extreme just for the visual aspect of children being shot and beaten if even for self defense. There is one clever moment which makes sense even if a suspension of disbelief. Intense graphic moments make it a worthy horror film with plenty of suspense and drama and a sufficient serving of shock.

Come Out and Play (2012)

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