Come Out And Play Review
WARNING: This review will contain spoilers, you have been warned. If you would not like to read certain plot details pertaining to this film, please read no further.
Sometimes the most frustrating film experiences for me aren't movies that are out right bad. Sometimes the level of stink in those films settles in and there is no going back. What is most frustrating is a movie that has a little going for it but still blows the experience completely. Such is the case with "Come Out And Play" a new film by a new filmmaker known as Makinov. There are moments that are genuinely unsettling, yet those moments don't add up and they revolve around an intrusive script.
The film follows Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and her husband Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) who on a romantic vacation to Mexico, and get talked into a island getaway somewhere in the Caribbean. They get to the island, there are kids giggling and playing, but something is very wrong right away. Where are all the adults? Very soon this young couple comes to the realization that there are no adults, they are all dead. Very quickly the film becomes a Spanish "Children of the Corn" on an island, but without the religion. There seems to be some kind of telepathic force which is giving the children this killing urge, but it is never explained. A point I did not like at all.
On one level, the movie features some memorable moments and creepy scenes. The drone musical score is very effective throughout, the violence is handled in a matter-of-fact way that was quite disturbing. This isn't the first time I have been creeped out by kids, but a mob of children with melee weapons are not that horrifying to me. But there are no doubt some effective scenes involving them. Consider a scene where kids laugh happily as they spin a severed head on a table, consider a scene where one sibling makes a necklace of body parts for another sibling...its all handled in a disturbing way. I give Makinov credit for creating such tense visual thunder, I just wish the story and script complimented those moments.
The half hour features lots of discussion between Beth and Francis and it gets so boring to the point that I wished Francis would just listen to Beth and get off the island. But no, Francis spends lots of time "thinking" about the situation, but never comes up with an intelligent solution. Another big scary movie no-no comes when Francis continually leaves Beth by herself. Just as the film is filled with effective disturb scenes, it is equally filled with scenes that could have worked, but didn't. We learn at the beginning of the film that Beth is pregnant. In the middle of the movie, it seems she is about to go into labor. However, the baby inside her womb begins to kill her. It would have been an ambitious and unnerving sequences, yet it falls flat due to poorly written dialogue. A lot of the movie suffers from bad lines and typical horror cliches. It maddens me because it seems Makinov is fairly talented, he was able to conjure up good chills. However the finished product is more "ney" then "yay."
Makinov wrote, directed, produced and shot the film, the guy has many talents but putting a good script together isn't his bag quite yet. This is somewhat of a decent start, I just hope for Makinov's next outing, he improves on his faults and rejuvenates his strengths.
FINAL GRADE: C-