Come Play (2020) Review: A Frustrating Bad Experience (Written By Jaeden Noel)
I have a feeling this was never supposed to come out in theatres...
Come Play is the new horror movie to get a theatrical release amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, starring Azhy Robertson (Marriage Story) and Gillian Jacobs (I Used To Go Here). The film follows Oliver, a non-verbal autistic young boy who uses his electronic devices to communicate for just about everything. When a new tablet has a story about "Larry" the monster, strange events begin to occur as the monster Larry begins to manifest in the real world.
Sigh, this was a huge bummer, I was extremely optimistic for Come Play. It's unique story was what interested me the most but what we are ultimately given is a half-assed horror film that doesn't know when to end. First off, there are some positive aspects in the film. Azhy Robertsons portrayal of a child with severe non verbal autism is great. (I won't get too deep into the logistics as I am not fully educated on children with autism and I don't want to present an incorrect statement. But from what I am aware of, it is very well done.) Gillian Jacobs also gives a solid performance that shows her versatility as an actress. For many scenes, there is a lack of dialogue due to the fact that Oliver does not speak. This is made up for with the films stellar sound mixing, making every sound hit hard and scary. All of these combined made for a great first 45 minutes or so, but after that point, everything hits the fan.
The biggest problem is that the film loses its momentum around said 45 minute point. Unlike other horror films, Come Play straight up starts the "terror-show" instantly. Within 5 minutes the story is fully in motion, kicking off and not stopping. Eventually this gets boring to watch because so much has already happened leaving the viewer to wonder: Where could it possibly go from here? The answer? A repetitive journey that only gets more and more frustrating as stupid choices are made just to have the film keep going. There were plenty of times where I expected the film to be done, but it never did.
Larry, is also a really bad character. The name alone is not fitting of a horror character and the design of it is terrible. Throughout the first 80 minutes or so we don't really even get to see Larry. Instead, we are shown glimpses and extremely quick shots of him, meaning that it's going to be a big deal when we finally do see him. Is it a big deal? Absolutely not. It's CGI is painfully horrendous and looks like a character out of a bad horror video game.
At the end of the day, Come Play was a huge disappointment, setting itself up for virtually nothing in what becomes of a repetitive cycle of bad horror tropes. To be honest, I didn't have any expectations going into it, but it's first act set up for something great, which ultimately became the opposite of great.
Come Play gets a 2/5