Filmmakers and storytellers have developed an entire cottage industry to exploit our fears that technology could go wrong. The Black Mirror has five seasons and an interactive film, as well as various ghost films, VHS tapes, mobile phones and more. By this measure, Come Play’s attempt to scare the world directly of his attachment to our phones seems more fabulous than the resemblance, and perhaps a little ridiculous in his conclusion. However, it is not a completely lost cause, because it is a well-built construction that is going through some pretty scary times.
Come Play, written and directed by Jacob Chase, tells the story of a young autistic boy, Oliver, who (Agi Robertson, The Story of Marriage) communicates exclusively through an application on his mobile phone, which also serves as his main refuge for the real world. One night he finds a mysterious book on his phone that tells the story of a creature named Larry, who looks like a thin man living outside our world and who seems to be looking into this world through phones and other similar devices. In the other world he was accepted by the E.T. road and Larry was gentle in an ugly way and befriended Oliver with kindness instead of breaking all the lightbulbs in the house and beating everyone.
It is worth mentioning that Robertson really does an incredible job because he is such a young actor in the role and because he literally has no dialogue in the whole role. He has a role to play in reactions and statements, which seems to be a big challenge for him. In fact, all the young actors who appear in the film do an excellent job with their material, which seems to appeal most to the target group of the whole work.
The public actress Gillian Jacobs takes a dramatic turn in the role of Oliver’s mother Sara, but her work is undermined by her husband/father, played by John Gallagher Jr., whose hilarious job consists of working in a parking lot that exists in nature as a cowardly dog brave joke. Although Jacobs usually opens a new path here, the influence on Come Play is clear. It is quite clear that he was inspired by Jennifer Kent Babaduk’s 2014 film to create the plot and the narrative battles, because the film is played almost everywhere in the same way.
A mysterious book about a strange monster with a rhyming motive? Take a look. A tired mother struggling with a difficult family situation? Take a look. The unfortunate boy with the unfortunate haircut? Take a look. The resemblance could have been clarified in the spoiler, but to be honest, it’s all there.
Even with such a clear effect, there are many moments in Come Play that really work. All fears are corrected for the eventual return, and even if they go exactly as expected, they usually succeed in stopping the landing. There’s almost nothing Come Play does that hardened horror fans haven’t seen hundreds of times before, and he’s even been beaten with fresh gags that had quarantined the film The Master of the Haunted House. This is where the line has to be drawn; Come Play doesn’t invent the wheel, but it has such a new twist in such a fairy tale that beginners can find something in it that they like.
Come Play hasn’t done anything for me, but if you have a kindergarten student who wants to watch horror movies (and you want to make sure there’s no blood fountain), you can do worse than Come Play. This film is perfect for an audience that hasn’t seen everything, and for those who have, it will look like a mostly boring movie.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Come play will take place on Friday the 30th. October, theatrical release.